Masters of Community with David Spinks
Building the Dream Community Team with Holly Firestone
January 11, 2021
Today we’re joined by an experienced community leader, Holly Firestone, whose work at Birthright, Atlassian, Salesforce, and now Venafi has transformed the way these communities are built and structured. We dive into where Community fits within an organization and the importance of having a separate community team with goals focused on the company goal and the role it can play across the organization. Holly has years of experience designing community teams and discusses the power of having a senior community manager overseeing specialized community managers, as well as the benefits of a community operations manager. Holly dives into the ins and outs of these roles and the importance of having a specific career path and goal for each member of the community team. We finish up by talking about key aspects of managing and hiring a community team, ensuring you make time for one-on-ones and everyone on the team is making decisions within their work scope. If you’re trying to build, structure, lead, or hire a community team - this episode’s for you. Rapid Fire Questions: - Up and Coming Community Builder/Creator: Brittni Cocchiara & Beth Vanderkolk Go-To Community -Engagement Tactic/Convo Starter: What was your first job? (p.s. Holly’s was Chuck E. Cheese) - One Community Metric to Use for the Rest of Her Career: Engagement & valuable conversation. (Although communities are dynamic and this often depends on the business goals). - Weirdest Community Holly’s been a part of: BBYU - jewish sororities and fraternities - Final Life Lesson: Slow down, be kind to others, appreciate yourself, stand up for what you believe in, do what you love, drink water, wear sunscreen, the best support you’ll ever get is the support you give yourself. Notable Quotes: 1. “David: What are the things that you look for when interviewing in order to be able to identify who, who would be a great community manager, community operator for your team? Holly: Number one is empathy. And I think that you can find that in your conversations with anybody and understand, are they thinking about the experience for the people in your community first and foremost, can they put themselves in their shoes? Are they thinking about, you know, building for that, for that group of people? So I think that that's the most important because I don't think anybody can do the work that you do in a community team without that.” 2. David: “What do you think is really important for someone who's managing a community team? What were the systems or things that you did to make sure that team was successful and supported and had what they needed to do their work?” Holly: “ I think a regular one-on-one is so important and it's not just, you ticking off a list of everything that you want to talk to them about. They really have to be in the driver's seat for your one-on-one. So there's always, you spend, you know, half talking about the things that they need to get answered from you or, you know, Whatever questions or topics you need to discuss. And then half you're talking about them, what do they need? How are they feeling, what's going on? But they're equally important in my opinion, you know, and I think that creating a space for them to be able to share is also really important to share on a regular basis.“

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