Grace Carroll is the Lead Community and Social Media Manager for Creative Assembly. Grace has helped galvanise fans and champion the work of developers for a wide range of games including Total War: WARHAMMER I & II, Total War: THREE KINGDOMS and Transformers Universe. We asked Grace, some key questions about getting into the games sector.
Explain your role like I'm 5 years old
I make sure that the players are up to date with everything going on with our game! I also listen to what they like and don't like about the game, and let the people who make the game know.
Take us through your average day at work
It can often change! I manage a team, so sometimes I'll need to help them out with their needs as well. I can be working on a strategy for release, checking our analytics or feeding back to a development team. Usually, I am listening to our players and making sure all the information we're sharing that day is correct.
What was your educational and career journey into your current role?
I started out getting a journalism degree at university and became a music journalist for a few years. However, I got really into gaming at the same time and learned that the community manager role existed! During this time, a journalism jobs site that I checked regularly had a Community Manager role at Jagex and I applied, not thinking that I'd get it. However, I did - and after that, I saw the role at Creative Assembly and moved onto there. Originally, I was social media manager - but over the years I've grown a team and taken on more responsibility, so my title has changed.
What is the most rewarding thing about your role?
Most of it! I really value highly being the internal voice of our players. It's my job to represent them within the company and to speak up for their wants and needs, and I take that seriously. It's also my job to represent and showcase the hard work of our developers, which is just as important. I love being the conduit between the developers and our audience, and being able to bridge that gap. In many social media roles you're selling a product, but I love that with games, often your audience already has the product, and they're just excited to find out more about it!
What's the hardest thing about your role?
Probably dealing with overly passionate players! I love how engaged our audience is, and I'd rather that than one that didn't care at all, but people on the internet can sometimes have very strong reactions and as I represent the studio, often those are directed at me. Sometimes that can be tough!
What key skills should people work on to do your role one day?
It's important to have a strong tone of voice. If you're going to be the voice of a game or a studio, it's vital to be able to communicate in an appropriate way. You don't want to be overly corporate, but you also want to stay professional. That can be a difficult line to walk! Also, technical skills can always help: become familiar with social media software and analytics (much of this is free), get comfortable with Photoshop and just read about and be passionate about the field - the social media field, not just games!
What advice would you give to your younger self looking to get started in the industry?
Don't take everything so seriously! It's important to do a good job, but it's just as important to have fun with what you're doing.
Do you have any links to good articles or videos that you think might give some tips or advice to someone starting in your role?
I would look at the free/available GDC talks, look at what Develop has on their website, and follow as many CM professionals on Twitter as you can, as we often talk about skills and tips and a behind the scenes look at the role.
Also, Victoria Tran is a great resource!
Read the Into Games interview with Victoria Tran here.