Your Community Team’s Personal Brand

Jenn LebowskiSome companies don’t want their employees, even their community team, to have a strong personal brand. They feel like time spent on a personal brand is time away from the business, and that the employee is building their brand on the back of the company.

That’s not the case at Health Union, an owner and operator of communities targeted at health conditions. They encourage their community team to build strong personal brands – during work hours – that they can take with them when they leave. Jenn Lebowitz, senior director of community development, is my guest this episode, during which we also discuss:

  • Why we don’t want people to become addicted to our communities
  • How Health Union uses a mix of in-office and distributed team members to ensure full coverage of their communities
  • Looking for the best in troublesome members

Big Quotes

“Addiction is a disease. I don’t think it’s something we want to emulate in our communities – or take lightly.” -@JennLebowitz

“If you were driving on a road trip, you wouldn’t just be like, ‘oh, I’m going to go wherever.’ You’ll be like, ‘oh, I’m going to California, and so this is how I get there.’ You want to think about where you are headed before you jump in and start using tactics.” -@JennLebowitz

“Our site-specific moderators are people who have the condition, are professionals in the field working with the condition or are caregivers for people with the condition. What they bring is just this amazing ability to relate to the community, because they either have the condition or are very, very familiar with it. When a community member says, ‘I just got diagnosed, I don’t even know where to start,’ we have that first person experience that can go in and say, ‘yeah, when I was diagnosed, this is what it was like for me.’ Being able to relate in that way is just unbelievable, and it makes such a difference in our community members’ lives.” -@JennLebowitz

“One of my favorite things to talk about with moderation is the idea of unconditional positive regard. Which is just basically seeing the best in people, even when they’re kind of showing their worst, and just believing that they can get there – get back to their best.” -@JennLebowitz

About Jenn Lebowitz

Jenn Lebowitz got her start in community management somewhat by accident, when she started RipLB in Long Beach, NY, as a response to the heroin epidemic her hometown was experiencing. At the time, she was a dean at a university, but once she realized she could do community management full-time, she went after it and snagged a position at fast-growing startup Health Union in Philadelphia, where she now serves as senior director of community management.

Jenn holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from St. John’s University in Queens, NY, where her concentration was on critical race theory and education. What gets her psyched to wake up in the morning is Dunkin’ Donuts decaf coffee (yes, decaf), managing other community managers and hip hop (her master’s thesis was about Nas and Talib Kweli).

Jenn will be teaching a workshop, Results-Oriented Moderation, at CMX Summit East on May 18 in New York City.

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