Have you ever wondered what it’s like as a Community Manager? Well here’s a look into the life of Splinter Cell‘s Zack Cooper.
Recently I was lucky enough to ask Zack a few questions about his job with Ubisoft Toronto, here is what he said (links are my own and added afterwards).
1. How did you get into Community Management?
I think in some way, I’d been doing community management through my radio career. That’s at least how I pitched it to Ubisoft Toronto. We’re all responsible for our own brand… but this job is obviously very different from simply promoting your own talk shows and such. Personally, I was very lucky. I had been thinking about some new challenges (with fatherhood quickly approaching), when I got a call about this position. They felt it could be a great fit. I agreed. After a long process involving several rounds of interviews, and a week after the birth of my daughter, I was told they’d liked the cut of my jib… and here we are. I think I got really lucky. Generally speaking, though, I know a lot of Community Developers also have backgrounds in journalism, communications, and/or marketing.
2. What are your responsibilities at Ubisoft Toronto?
It’s far from basic… but basically, I handle the social channels for the studio and our first project – Splinter Cell Blacklist. The goal, as a ComDev, is to engage with our fans. Generate and manage the conversation, and keep information on a two-way street; not only am I providing news and information to gamers, but they’re also giving us valuable feedback, which I collect and provide to the studio. It’s a pretty spectacular opportunity to be fully integrated with a Splinter Cell brand that I’ve always love, a team that amazes me daily, and a beautiful, energetic studio working on its first project.
4. Where is the best place for a fan to go to make sure their ideas or comments are heard?
There are many avenues upon which a fan can be heard. I always say that official Forums are the best, though. That’s where conversations grow the most organically. Because of that, you’ll usually find a community comes together to make some great ideas. It’s also typically where the most hardcore fans gather. With that being said, though, we are paying very close attention to all of our channels – Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, etc.
4. Can you share a crazy fan story in your current role?
Crazy fan?! Whatchu talkin’ bout?
5. Can you offer some advice for someone wanting to become a Community Manager in the video game industry?
The best advice that was ever given to me for this role was to treat feedback equally. I think somewhere along the line we, as people, were somehow programmed to let negativity penetrate our brains (and hearts) a little more deeply. Obviously that shouldn’t be the case, but I think it is. It’s been a goal of mine to pay as much attention to any negativity as I would positivity. There’s a LOT of love on the internet, and I think we’d all be better served (in any walk of life) if we didn’t dismiss praise as quickly as we tend to do.
I’d like to thank Zack for giving up some of his valuable time to answer some questions for us; there is no straight path into a CM role so any info helps. I’d like to continue doing these, so if you would like to know more about the Community Manager of your favourite brand, let me know in the comments.