The Community Club

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Chief Community Officer

Tessa Kriesel
Head of DevRel @ Fast • Founder @ Devocate • Alum: Twitter, Pantheon & General Mills • Keynote Speaker • OSS Developer • Women in Tech Advocate • Developer Relations Leader • Dog 💜 & Archer
Originally published at ・2 min read

Uncommon title, but why? Until recently, I had never heard it. I couldn’t help but wonder, why not?

It made perfect sense. A strong community leader requires an entire multi-layered team accounting for every detail and uniqueness of their community members. An impactful leader will contribute and meet goals across every team of the company.

  • Struggling to fill your recruiting pipeline? Engage your community—bring HR and community together to build strategy around identifying potential community members that fit the team, and integrating open opportunities throughout the community.
  • Can’t quite seem to nail the messaging for your next marketing campaign? What does your community leader think? Share it with your highest trusted community members, what do they think? Your MVP community members love every opportunity they can get to work with your team.
  • Wouldn’t it be nice to have a steady stream of qualified leads? Your community leader can build a customer advocacy program so great that your customers can’t help but sing your praises.
  • Your product managers would love to know exactly what their customers think so they can plan the most impactful work first. Building relationships and capturing feedback is so key to a business’ success. Yet why do we infrequently hear about companies having a solid feedback loop?
  • It could finally give a home to the team that fluctuates the most within companies, the developer relations team. A solid leader guiding their DevRel leader, all under the same purpose and mission of supporting their customers in the way they want to be supported, could make DevRel even more impactful and necessary.

Now that I think about it, there isn’t a single seat at the c-suite table that advocates on the customers behalf. Customer success or support tries to, but it’s hard to remain an advocate when you’re dealing with people at their peak frustrated point.

Imagine the impact a chief community officer could make on a company if they had a division, a seat at the key table, that solely focused on the customers needs. That captured the uniqueness of your customer and brought that back to your company to ingrain in the culture & the product itself. Sounds dreamy to me.

Discussion (6)

brianoblinger profile image
Brian Oblinger

I was fortunate enough to live this dream for 4 years at Alteryx. I had a VP title, but effectively had the role described here. We had the buy-in and alignment across the entire company. The impact was incredible.

tessak22 profile image
Tessa Kriesel Author

Preach! 🙌 Let's make all companies like this!

mac profile image

"Imagine the impact a chief community officer could make on a company if they had a division, a seat at the key table, that solely focused on the customers needs." 😍

tessak22 profile image
Tessa Kriesel Author

Right?! It just blows my mind that this is not in place already. Who is advocating for their customers now? The answer is likely "no one."

shinyee_au profile image
Cindy Au

I've seen the Chief Customer Officer / Chief Experience Officer become more common - curious if this type of C-Suite role captures what you're envisioning? I also wonder whether the CCO/CXO role makes a meaningful difference for community career paths - as in how many C-suite execs (of any title) started in community?

tessak22 profile image
Tessa Kriesel Author

That's a great question. I am going to start looking through job descriptions now!