Podcasters take on so many roles to get our shows made: writer, researcher, editor, interviewer, host, social media manager, web developer, designer, marketer. But one job that I don’t often see discussed is community management.
Community managers turn people with something in common into real communities and keep those communities healthy. They are what make tight-knit subreddits on Reddit different from diffuse hashtags on Twitter, creating the conditions for participants to organize, interact, contribute, and feel invested in their community. I don’t think any podcast active today has a dedicated community manager, and I suspect a lot of producers don’t even think about hiring one—but every single one of us could use one. Community, specificity, and strength of engagement are what make podcasts so special. We must devote time to our shows’ communities to help them grow.