Focus on Community Management with Marie-Julie Bourdeau
Marie-Julie Bourdeau, Head of Digital Communication at Radio France, reveals her career path and discusses the challenges of Community Management in the field of media.
Can you present your professional background leading up to your current position as a Community Manager at Radio France?
After attending a preparatory course for business school (HEC) and completing my studies at ESC Clermont, I worked at Médiafix, a communication agency, for 2 years. My main clients were Michelin Compétition and Michelin France. I primarily worked on crisis communication, including the closure of the Joué-lès-Tours factory for the latter.
I had a strong desire to move closer to the cultural sector. So, I came to Paris and joined Théâtre des Déchargeurs Paris 1, a contemporary creation theater, as a Press Officer and Community Manager. It was a complete discovery of the theater industry and the roles of press officer and community manager. I learned everything on the job.
Two years later, with three Avignon Festivals under my belt, the doors to Maison ronde opened for me. I joined France Culture in 2017 as a press communication officer, media partnerships, and digital communication. I stayed there for 4 years. Currently, I have been the Head of Digital Communication at Radio France for 2.5 years.
How has the role of the Community Manager evolved over the years with the rise of social media?
At Radio France, there have been significant discussions on this topic, and there still are, obviously. Social media platforms are strategic channels today, especially for a media group like Radio France. Two distinct profiles are now present in the Radio France teams:
- Journalist/Editorial – Digital Publishing Manager: This role primarily focuses on sharing content from programs, podcasts, interviews, and everything related to editorial content on each social network.
- Communicator – Digital Communications Manager: This role is responsible for creating more event-driven communication on the station’s social media platforms, such as promoting events, awards, updates on programs/podcasts, and partnerships.
The role of the Community Manager has undergone significant changes over the years due to the emergence of social media. Initially, Community Managers were responsible for handling the communication and content on social media platforms, working relatively autonomously. However, with the increasing importance of social media for businesses, companies have started to pay closer attention to their social media presence and have dedicated teams for community management.
Community Managers have evolved from being mere executors to decision-makers in their field. Their responsibilities now include building a digital image, developing interactions with various audiences, and implementing marketing and communication strategies. They are no longer solely focused on community engagement but are also involved in creating a brand identity and maintaining strong online relationships with clients.
The role of a Community Manager has become more professionalized, demanding a broader skill set that combines strategic vision with strong operational capabilities. The ability to stand out among the vast amount of content and communicate from a different angle has become crucial. Additionally, Community Managers now play an essential role in customer service, working closely with AI technologies to enhance the customer experience and provide interactive and empathetic support.
Furthermore, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has not diminished the role of Community Managers but rather provided them with new opportunities. AI tools, such as SEO optimization, moderation, segmentation, and augmented reality, complement the work of Community Managers, enhancing their creativity and productivity.
In summary, the role of the Community Manager has evolved from being an executor of social media communication to becoming a decision-maker involved in brand building, customer engagement, and strategic marketing on social media platforms.
What are the key skills that you consider essential for a Community Manager in the field of radio and media?
Here are the key skills that are considered essential for a Community Manager in the domain of radio and media:
- Knowledge of the media landscape: It is important for a Community Manager to have a good understanding of the media landscape in France, Europe, and globally, including radio, television, print, and digital media.
- Understanding of public service missions and challenges: If the position is within a public media organization, it is essential to have a vision and understanding of the missions and challenges of the public service sector.
- In-depth knowledge of digital communication and influence: Community Managers need to have a strong grasp of the latest trends and practices in digital communication and influence. This includes understanding social media platforms, content creation, engagement strategies, and leveraging digital tools effectively.
- Ability to work in a team and manage multiple projects simultaneously: Community Managers often collaborate with various teams and stakeholders. They should have excellent teamwork skills and the ability to handle multiple projects concurrently, ensuring effective coordination and timely delivery of tasks.
- Passion, creativity, curiosity, and proactiveness: A successful Community Manager should be passionate about their work, demonstrate creativity in content creation and community engagement, have a curious mindset to stay updated with industry trends, and be proactive in proposing new ideas and strategies.
These skills are crucial for a Community Manager to effectively manage and engage with the audience, build a strong online presence for radio and media organizations, and contribute to their overall communication strategy.
What are the challenges and issues you perceive for Community Management in the coming years?
Community Management plays a vital role in the media industry as it allows companies to interact with their audiences and promote their content on social media platforms. Social media platforms are crucial for media organizations, especially in the radio industry, to reach a wider audience and engage with listeners in a more direct and interactive manner.
At Radio France, Community Management involves an increased focus on video content, creating immersive experiences for listeners, and adapting to the ever-evolving codes of social media by offering innovative and engaging experiences. This requires close collaboration between editorial and communication teams to ensure maximum coherence and effectiveness.
Looking ahead, there are several key challenges and issues for Community Management in the years to come:
- Evolving social media landscape: Community Managers need to stay updated with the latest trends and changes in social media platforms. The constant evolution of algorithms, features, and user behaviors poses a challenge in effectively reaching and engaging the target audience.
- Content personalization and customization: As audiences become more segmented and diverse, Community Managers must adapt their content strategies to cater to different demographics, preferences, and cultural contexts. Personalization and customization of content will be crucial for building strong connections with the audience.
- Maintaining authenticity and trust: Building and maintaining trust within the community is essential. Community Managers need to ensure transparency, authenticity, and responsiveness in their interactions with the audience. Building credibility and managing reputation will remain key challenges.
- Handling online negativity and crises: With the rise of social media, negative feedback, online controversies, and crises can quickly escalate. Community Managers should be prepared to handle such situations effectively, implementing crisis management strategies, and addressing concerns promptly and empathetically.
- Privacy and data protection: As data privacy concerns continue to grow, Community Managers must be mindful of privacy regulations and ensure the protection of user data. Respecting user privacy while leveraging data for community insights and engagement will be crucial.
- Balancing automation and human touch: Automation tools can streamline processes, but maintaining a human touch and personal connection with the community is vital. Community Managers will need to strike a balance between automation and genuine human interactions.
- Measuring and demonstrating ROI: As Community Management becomes more strategic, measuring the return on investment (ROI) and demonstrating the value of community engagement will be essential. Developing metrics and analytics frameworks to track and showcase the impact of community initiatives will be a continuous challenge.
These challenges and issues highlight the dynamic nature of Community Management and the need for Community Managers to adapt, innovate, and continuously learn to effectively engage and nurture online communities.
Radio France & Apprenticeship
Every year, Radio France recruits around 90 apprentices for various positions, including management, production, technical, digital, etc. Thirty of these positions are entrusted to Mozaik RH.
This partnership aligns with our commitment to promoting equal opportunities and diversity. We also advertise our positions on the job page of our website. Among these nearly 90 recruitments, there are also contract renewals.
What sets Radio France apart is that recruiters attach great importance to the candidate’s profile, their affinity with the channel’s identity, and their dedication to the concept of public service.
An example of a position?
Community Manager / Digital Publishing Manager
The main activities for which he/she is responsible are as follows:
- Editorial production, dissemination, and publication of content on various social networks and channel platforms.
- Management of the channel’s social networks.
- Synthesis and analysis of key statistical indicators and performance metrics of different social networks (Emplifi, Crowtangle, etc.).
- Active monitoring to propose new digital formats and suggest specific formats.
- Supporting and assisting contributors from other departments within the channel.
About Radio France
- Group’s Stations: France Inter / franceinfo / France Bleu & its 44 local stations / France Culture / France Musique / Fip / Mouv
- The Orchestras: National Orchestra of France / Philharmonic Orchestra / Radio France Choir / Radio France Children’s Choir
- Missions: Inform, educate, cultivate, entertain – these are the four essential missions of public service at Radio France.
- Values: Trust, independence, proximity, services, innovation.