Doing Community Programs Right

You know I’m not the biggest fan of vendor clubs (or influencer marketing programs, call them what you like). But if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right. Don’t let it just become a ‘free T-shirt club’:

@pandom is spot-on. The ideal community program should not just be a method to blast out press releases, or give out a few free shirts in the hope of currying favour. The program manager has taken care to select people who are positive about the company, share with the community and have opinions about where the vendor is going.

That is a valuable resource that should not be wasted. A good program should seek to engage in a two-way dialogue. Not just pushing out info, but seeking feedback on what’s working, and what’s not. Don’t just push out a few early release notices - have honest discussions about roadmaps, plans, etc. Help your members connect with each other - who knows what benefit that might lead to in future?

FWIW, I’m hearing that the Cisco & Juniper programmes are doing this well. Good on them.

Update: Michael Stump has an interesting take on becoming a vExpert, and later leaving the program