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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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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Understanding the Advocacy and Ambassador Program Landscape

We’re now mid-way through the first year of the AAAS Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The first cohort of Fellows is made up of 17 scientific community managers working with a diverse range of scientific communities. As they continue to develop their community engagement skills and apply some of the ideas and strategies from their training, the Fellows will report back on the Trellis blog, sharing their challenges, discoveries, and insights. Today, Fellows Melanie Binder and Rosanna Volchok catch us up on what their project team has been doing to better understand the current landscape of community advocate programs in science and technology.

Posted by Melanie Binder, Community Engagement Manager and Social Media Coordinator for the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), and Rosanna Volchok, Network Engagement Manager at the New York Academy of Sciences

Two men holding cameras walk through a field. One points ahead
Explorers” by Darren Flinders under CC BY 2.0

The goal of our CEFP project team is to gain a stronger understanding of what makes a successful advocacy/ambassador program at scientific communities. As a follow up on Allen’s blog post describing who we, the Advocacy Ninjas, are this post provides an update on what we have been working on since then.

One of the initial challenges we faced as a team was deciding on the final output and format of our research findings. For example, did we want to publish a paper, produce a report, or present at a conference? Once we chose the final format–a detailed report with a scorecard and case studies–then it was time to get to work on a survey that, ideally, would address our two main research questions:

  1. What do community advocacy/ambassador programs in science and tech look like?
  2. What makes these programs successful?

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