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March’s Community Call Recap – What makes a great ambassador program?

On this month’s Community Call, two project teams from the CSCCE Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP) shared their research into what makes a great ambassador program and how we as scientific community engagement managers can support the members of our communities who volunteer to take part.

Ambassador Programs Slide
March’s community call focused on ambassador programs in science. Image credit: CSCCE

What is an ambassador program?

To advance the mission of the community with which they’re working, community managers often turn to ambassador programs. Also known as community champions or fellows, these more engaged users can help with beta testing, advocating for the community’s work, recruiting new members, launching specialized projects or other specific activities.

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Welcome to Katie Pratt – CSCCE’s Communications Director and Content Archivist

This week, we’re thrilled to welcome Katie Pratt to the CSCCE Team! Katie joins us as our new Communications Director and Content Archivist, a role in which she will work with our Director, Lou Woodley, to catalog and share more resources for scientific community engagement managers.

She will also support our community of practice, providing updates to our flourishing community of scientific community managers.

About Katie

Katie spent the last seven years working as Communications Director for the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO), a decade-long Earth and life sciences program with core support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. She co-led DCO’s Engagement Team, overseeing a variety of internal and external communications activities, and managed a community of more than 1200 scientists from a variety of disciplines around the world. She was heavily involved in programming for DCO’s early career scientists and co-organized three workshops and two summer schools specifically for this sub-community.

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March’s Community call – community ambassador programs

Our next CSCCE Community Call is on Wednesday 18th March at 2pm Eastern. Join us to discuss the outputs of two of the community engagement fellows program (CEFP) projects about community ambassador programs.

After the presentations there will be time to ask questions and learn from others who’ve launched and/or managed ambassador programs.

Join us for March’s community call on ambassador programs in science. Image credit: CSCCE

Community ambassador programs

To advance the mission of the community with which they’re working, community managers often turn to ambassador programs. Also known as community champions or fellows, these more engaged users can help with beta testing, advocating for the community’s work, recruiting new members, launching specialized projects or other specific activities.

Nurturing a successful ambassador program can be a helpful way to scale your community’s activities – but what does running such a program involve? How should you recruit your ambassadors? And what motivates them to participate and stay engaged? Join us in March’s community call to explore some of the data about what these programs look like in science.

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February’s Community Call – help us to launch our Community Profiles project

Our next CSCCE Community Call is on Wednesday 19th February at 2pm Eastern. Join us to discuss how we’re going to be creating Community Profiles to help connect scientific community managers with others doing similar things – and how to make the profiles useful to you!

Introducing the Community Profiles project

Some of the questions that we get asked most often about scientific community management go along the lines of “I’m looking to launch a new community focused on X. Can you tell me about another organization that’s already done this?” or “We’re looking to expand our community programming to include Y. Are there any best practices about how to do this – or things we should absolutely avoid?”

To help our community members to answer these questions more directly themselves, we’re looking to create a series of downloadable Community Profiles. At this concept stage (read: plans may evolve as we test and iterate!) we envisage that the profiles will be very visual, two-page summary sheets with some vital stats about specific communities that have agreed to be featured. As a user, you’ll be able to compare communities with similar audiences, online tools, programming and more – and possibly also reach out to their community manager to ask any follow up questions.

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CSCCE Working Groups – new ways to work together in our emerging community of practice

In January’s Community Call we reviewed our plans for CSCCE’s programming for the first few months of 2020. In this post we recap our intentions to launch three initial working groups this month – as a precursor to creating the supporting structures for future working groups later this year.

Working together to advance our collective understanding of scientific community engagement. Image credit: CSCCE

Why working groups?

CSCCE provides training, programming, resources and research to support community managers in science – and organizations looking to nurture scientific communities. One of our core activities is to host a community of practice, where existing community managers can learn from one another and ask questions of a supportive group of like-minded peers.

In addition to our Slack channel and monthly community calls, we’re now offering community members the opportunity to work more closely together in a working group.

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Online Co-working Partnerships are Community of Practice in Action

When Naomi Penfold of the CEFP2019 cohort and Stefanie Butland (#CEFP2017) met in person at the January 2019 CEFP training week they decided to continue collaborating online – by setting up virtual co-working sessions. In this joint post they describe the format that’s worked for them and why they’ve found their shared time so valuable.

What is online co-working – and why is it good?

After meeting at the first CEFP2019 Fellows’ meeting, we started a co-working partnership. We meet face-to-face online, at agreed times, to do work – our own work, but together in time. This is remote synchronous co-working via video-meeting.

Briefly, we start a session with each of us saying what we are working on, and how we’d like to break up our time together into work blocks and discussion. At the end of each work block, we report back to each other what we’ve accomplished in that time and whether we’re struggling with anything. These breaks can turn into work discussions when we feel we need that, and that’s the real magic.

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Leveraging anniversary programming & content to nurture community

In this post by CEFP2019 Fellow Camille Santistevan, Associate Director of Public Relations at the Advanced Science Research Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY, she explores how an organization’s anniversary can be an opportunity to nurture community. Camille shares 5 tips for success and 3 potential challenges to anticipate.

Community-first event planning

Is your scientific organization celebrating an anniversary sometime soon? If so, how will you be celebrating?

In the higher education and non-profit sectors, anniversaries are often used to launch major fundraising campaigns. Central leadership, in concert with the development office, tend to spend a lot of time, energy, and resources to organize a big bash for external stakeholders, with the internal community often left as an afterthought.

The ASRC Open House event. Image credit: ASRC.

How can we re-engineer some of this content and programming to supercharge our scientific communities? Below are some ideas both big and small for how community managers can leverage anniversary activities to nurture community. 

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Congratulations to the CEFP2019 fellows on their graduation!

Last week we celebrated the conclusion of the fellowship year for the 2019 cohort of our Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP) – with a three-day wrap-up meeting in NYC.

The meeting was a milestone for several reasons. It was our first true hybrid CEFP meeting where we bridged between in-person and remote participation, it was our first time hosting the CEFP training outside of DC (and we loved being in NYC!) and it was the first time that we now have a clear path from fellowship participation to a broader, ongoing set of professional development programming via our new community of practice.

CEFP2019 fellows and staff in the room celebrate those joining remotely! Image credit: CSCCE
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Join January’s Community Call for initial survey results, CSCCE working groups and more!

We’re continuing our monthly community calls for scientific community managers next week at 2pm Eastern on Wednesday 29th January. Please join us to discuss what comes next for our community of practice.

As we start a new year our first community call of 2020 will focus on updates about phase two of our activities to support those building community in science. Join us to discuss the initial results of our survey of the members of our community of practice on Slack – which includes programming requests. We’ll also be sharing opportunities to join an initial number of working groups – and we’ll introduce CSCCE’s advisory board.

We’re excited to share the initial results from our survey of members of the CSCCE community of practice. Image credit: CSCCE.
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