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DEIB & People

Staff Spotlight: Community Manager Appreciation Day

Date Published: 23/01/2023

Today’s gamers want to reach beyond gameplay and establish a connection with fellow players and game makers themselves. Our dedicated team of Community Managers are on hand to ensure these communities are both immersive and safe for the players that inhabit them.

To celebrate Community Manager Appreciation Day, we sat down with Jessica Blazquez, Community Manager at Keywords, and Christoph Kerchner, Community Management Lead, to discuss their respective journeys into gaming, how community management is evolving and advice for those looking to break into the industry.

What inspired your journey into Community Management? Have you always wanted to work in the games industry?

Jessica: I’ve been at Keywords for five years - most of that time as a Player Support agent. I had some friends on the Community Management side of things who recommended I apply, and so I finally took my shot! As someone who’s been gaming since the Nintendo 64 days, getting into the games industry had always been a dream of mine.

Christoph: It’s a long story! In short, yes it was always a dream of mine to work in games, but it always felt so distant to me. I am a gamer at heart with a really competitive mindset and so decided to combine my previous work in social media and marketing with that love for games. Originally I worked in roles such as Moderation or Junior Community Manager, then moved on to German CM to great success. Currently, I am leading my CM Team with the aim of establishing strong connections with our clients. 2023 here we come!

How has Community Management evolved since you started?

Jessica: On the Discord side of things, we’ve seen communities expand and grow to unexpected levels in terms of reach. Discord started purely as a platform for gamers, but after the pandemic it has evolved into a space where you can find communities regardless of your interests.

Christoph: I started 7 years ago and back then it was a lot different to nowadays. I feel the role itself was unexplored, companies knew they needed Community Managers but had far less structure in terms of what those CMs should be aiming for. Interacting with the community itself has changed too. Back then, CMs communicated through official statements or the odd forum post. Now, they are much more active on social media and the community in general.

A lot of communities are built in Discord, so interactions are more casual and more relatable than before. I think this is a good change. It gives us a better understanding of what the community needs and really builds that connection between the games and the players.

What are your hopes for Community Management in 2023? Are there any trends CMs should be watching out for?

Jessica: My hope (and my focus) is to continue watching community spaces grow into more inclusive spaces, especially when it comes to things like accessibility. My advice would be for Community Managers to look out for the kinds of people engaging in their communities, and use that to decide how to increase inclusivity - whatever that looks like for them!

Christoph: We have really strong connections with our clients’ development teams, and my hope is that we can further strengthen those relationships. I also think community building will be more fan driven than ever before and CMs need to integrate and adapt to positively enhance these communities.

We are celebrating Community Manager Appreciation Day today. How do you reflect on the industry as a whole? Are there any particular initiatives within Keywords or beyond that you’re proud of?

Jessica: I think overall the best part about the industry as a whole, but especially at Keywords, is the
amount of diversity! I'm surrounded by so many people of different backgrounds, cultures, and
perspectives. As a queer person, it's especially important to me to find that community and it was
honestly way easier than I had ever expected.

I think Keywords truly puts an emphasis on inclusivity which makes it easier for us to put that forward into the communities we build, which as I mentioned is something super important to me.

Christoph: I think Community Management has grown so much within the industry in recent years and I have met so many amazing Community Managers here at Keywords specifically! It is absolutely mind blowing what these people achieve on a daily basis. I really like that we have built a community of CMs here - helping each other out, doing stuff together like our game nights - it really feels like we are a growing community ourselves. Keywords is a special place to join forces with like-minded people.

Speaking of appreciation, are there any Discord or Social Media Managers in the games industry that you admire? If so, what have you learned from them?

Jessica: Honestly? My team! I think that we’ve really grown into a great group, and achieved a lot during 2022. Everyone has been able to create communities on Discord that we’re super proud of. I’ve learned a lot about the creative and aesthetic process from them, and really just how to be a
good CM. They helped show me the ropes after all!

Christoph: There are many people that I admire, and it would be unfair to name only a few. In my opinion you never stop learning, it doesn't matter how good you are. I think it is good to always be open-minded and listen to what others have to say.

What tips would you give for applicants looking to join the CM department?

Jessica: Be creative in your application! It always helps to show off your artistic side in my opinion, as
Community Management is definitely a very creative department. I’d also say that it’s a good idea
to know the kind of communities you’re passionate about - what kind of spaces do you hope to

Christoph: Don't be afraid to apply! I hesitated for far too long before I dared to give it a try. I'm sure you already have the skills needed to be a Community Manager in the future. If you remember from above, I initially came from a completely different field. Do not hesitate to seek out others for help. Community Management is constantly evolving, just as social media and communities themselves are. So be open to creative challenges and stay "hungry" to pursue new things.

If you are interested in a Player Support role at Keywords Studios, you can find current open positions on our Careers page.