"Get Together" Podcast Roundup
Interviews with Adam Bedoian of Margaritaville, Lewis Kang'ethe of The Fearless Community, and Ashley Hackworth of BTS A.R.M.Y.
The Podcast Roundup is an introduction to the ordinary people building extraordinary communities featured on the “Get Together” Podcast. ________ Issue #11
For those of us in New York and California, this week marked the passing of one year since our first Coronavirus lockdown.
Through each lockdown, we have watched as the number of folks thinking and writing about how to build community, for personal and for professional reasons, multiplied.
So when earlier this month, People & Company paused on taking any new clients (you can join our waitlist here), I put out a call. Though we weren’t available to help the rad organizations on our waitlist supercharge communities, I knew that others out there could.
The response was remarkable. Old friends I recognized and new names I didn’t messaged me on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter sharing the community work they were doing from all over the world.
Katie and I compiled these names and bios together into one Google Document, which you can check out (and add your name to!) here.
Thank you to all the folks out there who are forging this body of work forward, despite the incredible adversity brought by the past year. We see you! Count us as on your team.
The Podcast Roundup is an introduction to the ordinary people building extraordinary communities featured on the Get Together Podcast.
Wastin’ away in retirement paradise 🍹
Margaritaville isn’t just a state of mind, it’s a real place. Seniors can live out their Buffett-inspired retirement dreams at the three Latitude Margaritaville retirement communities in Florida (Daytona Beach and Watersound), and Hilton Head, South Carolina.
When moving into a retirement community, people care greatly about what their community will be like. The Margaritaville theme communicates a clear identity of fun, food, music and escapism. In this interview, Bailey chats with Adam Bedoian whose team is responsible for bringing the Margaritaville lifestyle to life.
Editorial note from Bailey:
I was delighted to see how clear it was that Adam and his team took a “build with” approach to establishing the community at Margaritaville. Even though the community members there are paying homeowners, the community will flounder if members aren’t participating and shaping it.
Connecting designers across Africa during COVID-19 🇰🇪
Lewis Kang'ethe works as a product designer in Kenya. When he’s looking for jobs outside of Africa he often has his qualifications and experience questioned Lewis started the African chapter of The Fearless Community so that designers in Africa can share stories on their own terms. It’s a place for designers like Lewis to find work and build a network.
Members from around the world convene in local Slack channels and attend video podcast series with veteran designers. When COVID-19 became a threat, they launched the #StayConnected series first to talk about their wellbeing and then, the next steps forward for their members as designers. Whitney and Bailey talked with him about attention to detail when connecting people across cultures and how the community has adjusted to online meetups.
Editorial note from Whitney:
Lewis reminded us to go back to the basics of bringing people together. He was thoughtful in personal outreach, seeking feedback, building with as opposed to for. Lewis leads and builds with purpose, emphasizing the importance of communicating your “why” when bringing people together.
Meet the huge, leaderless web of fans fueling BTS 🎶
BTS is a seven-member South Korean boy band. They became the fastest-growing group since The Beatles to earn four US number-one albums, doing so in less than two years. The rise of BTS is in part thanks to a huge leaderless web of dedicated fans who call themself A.R.M.Y.
People like Ashley Hackworth host accounts that serve as informational and even emotional hubs for millions of fans. They don’t just love BTS’s music, they support each other through mental health issues and other very human challenges, many of which the band sings about in their music. Mia, Maggie, and Mira Zhang (Maggie’s sister) talked with Ashley about how fans gather to support each other in many ways without formal leadership and beyond music.
Editorial note from Maggie:
The thing that was most impressive to me was how much A.R.M.Y. functions like a family. Ashley talks about how when she meets other members of the community, she feels like it's immediately an older sibling, younger sibling relationship. They do really incredible things together not only do they support BTS the band through fundraising and spreading the word. They also take on volunteering projects to do social good and support each other wholeheartedly as humans. It's basically its own mini world.
✨This Week’s Inspiring Link
Allison James wrote a crisp essay titled “Don’t call it a community” that had our heads nodding in agreement.
Building a real community requires time, effort, and shift in perspective for many marketers, but the benefits abound. The Minted Artist community is one of the most vibrant brand communities I’ve had the pleasure to help grow, and it began with an inefficient, time-intensive, personal commitment from Mariam Naficy, the brand’s Founder & CEO, to forming individual relationships with every early member. To this day, Mariam hosts Minted Meet-ups (initially in person, now virtually) with small groups of artists in cities across the country and around the world to connect over coffee...For Minted, it isn’t hard to understand why an engaged artist community would be valuable — after all, these independent artists supply the designs for nearly every product sold by the company.
When a marketing team at a more mature company has to choose between paying for Instagram ads or building a community to acquire new customers, you can guess which tactic is better suited to hit their Q1 targets. And there’s no shame in that. Where brands set themselves and their “communities” up to fail, is when they approach community building as another short-term marketing strategy.
This isn’t to excuse community teams and programs from being required to measure and deliver results, especially to their members, but it’s often unrealistic to expect those results to align with short-term business goals. Instead, invest in community for its long-term benefits — to make your brand more resilient and innovative by building with rather than for your customers.