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UPDATED: The 11 Most Valuable Community Management Skills

By Ted McEnroe, Head of Research at The Community Roundtable

UPDATE: The Community Careers and Compensation 2015 report is out, and the 11 skills we originally flagged in this post remained the 11 most valuable skills when the data was finalized. See the final skills wheel at the bottom of this post, download the summary report for a more comprehensive analysis of the data, or take the CCC survey and get the full report for FREE. 

Looking broadly, it’s exciting to see that community professionals are an experienced, mobile group that have had the opportunities to move up the community career ladder. Community professionals in the survey have an average of 15 years of experience, with 5 of them specifically in community. Also striking, though, is that almost ¾ of those surveyed so far have been in their current roles for three years or less.

We’re also getting insights into where community professionals sit in their organizations – where they report and who reports to them. And we are seeing trends in compensation – whether those reporting patterns and responsibilities are translating as you might expect into higher pay and better opportunities.

And this year, we have asked people to rank the skills most valuable for their current jobs from the 50 skills in the Community Skills Framework. Think community folks have a lot on their plate? So far, survey participants have ranked 42 of the 50 skills over 3.0 in importance on a scale of 1 to 5. And 11 community management skills have scored over 4.0. In no particular order, they are:

• Listening and Analyzing
• Promoting Productive Behaviors
• Empathy and Member Support
• Member Advocacy
• Community Strategy Development
• Measurement, Benchmarking and Reporting
• Evaluating Engagement Techniques
• Community Advocacy and Promotion
• Communication Planning
• Writing
• Data Collection and Analysis

Full definitions of these skills are included in the CCC survey.

There are variations, certainly, in skill rankings among roles and use cases, and there are a few 3.9’s I didn’t include here. But even just this set of 11 demonstrates the broad challenges of being a community professional. Not surprisingly, almost all of the 11 also rank highest as the skills in which community professionals most want training.

This data is a good start and provides a great base for the research. But we still want as many people as possible to complete the survey – which can allows us to really get into industries, use cases and more in unprecedented ways. Are media or nonprofit communities different from business and retail? Do they emphasize different skills? What’s the pay gap?

We can’t answer these questions without you. We won’t share your personal data with anyone, and if you’ve got particular concerns, we can work with you. (See the survey and this blog post for more on our data pledge.)

Best of all, it takes about 5 minutes for you to complete the survey, and the report will be in your hands this fall. So please, take a moment. Sharing a little now will generate a lot of great actionable material later.

The Community Skills Framework 2015

Want to improve your own skill set? TheCR Academy offers online courses in Internal and External Community Management Fundamental and Community Program Essentials. Learn more at

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