Community managers should be awarded, not underappreciated. Santy's Community Manager, Kendra Rutledge, makes a case for why the people behind the all those tweets deserve more recognition for their work.

  • Kendra Rutledge
  • Social Community Manager

Hey, Awards Shows - Community Managers Exist Too!

A couple of weeks ago, I read another “Top 30 Under 30 Creatives” article (or something of the sort). Then, I had a thought - “Hey, what about community managers?”

Really, what about us? During ad awards season, I constantly see a stream of which creative director/art director/copywriter won at Cannes or the Clio Awards, but there is never a callout for community managers. Sure, there are categories like “Use of Social Audience in a Promotional Campaign for Cannes,” or maybe the general Social Media category at the Clio Awards, but nothing gets more specific than that.

Who do you think executes and manages those campaigns?

Take Burger King. They won a Bronze Clio in the Social Media category for their “Whopper Signs” campaign. They used the King to invite the deaf community to create an official ASL sign for the Whopper using #WhopperSign. There were prints, posters, tutorials, influencer partnerships, a microsite, and they eventually ended up with the official sign. All in all, it was an impressive and successful social media campaign!

But at the end of the day (and at morning, lunch and at two in the morning for that matter), who do you think was in the trenches keeping an eagle eye on all of those moving parts? The copywriters or art directors? No.

And as a side note, I don’t know how every agency runs their campaigns and how their organization is set up. Every agency is different. But I do know, at Santy, a campaign like this would have the community manager handling the day-to-day. But you never see community get that recognition from the advertising community.

I don’t want all the awards, but community managers should get some kind of recognition in the awards world. Why not? This could be because community management is not a tangible thing like a video, print ad or billboard, but it’s still important on a day-to-day and campaign level.

All we want is to be recognized and appreciated outside of our agency. At Santy, community managers are given credit on a consistent basis by our respective team and agency-wide. All we want is that credit outside of our agency bubble.

That means adding us to that list of award credits or creating awards specific to community managers. For example:

- “Best Branded Community”

- “Best Customer Turnaround”

- “Best Off the Cuff Response”

Even an article like “Top Brand Community Managers” (looking at you Adweek) would be great.

When it’s all said and done, awards are not everything, but they sure do make your agency and yourself more credible. Throw us community managers that gold star, we deserve it.

Photo via Visual Hunt

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