Six Questions on the EMC Elect program 2

I love being involved in the community, being part of something other then yourself is a great feeling. This probably started for me when I was in the Military, having a sense of worth or value to something other then myself. Many years and different roads later I found myself part of a community that like the Military sparked a huge passion and drive with-in me. I finally found a place I loved to be and enjoyed being a part of.

In this journey I came across user groups, and found out about community recognition programs. Today we are going to look at EMC’s community advocacy program EMC Elect.

Now EMC headquarters is about 5-10 minutes from my house, I have a lot of great friends and associates that work there. I myself worked there for short time as a contractor and that experience helped shape this blog and my own social journey. But today is about the EMC Elect, I sent over six simple questions to Matthew Brender who is on the Social Media team at EMC and his primary role is working with the program.

Here are my six questions, very simple and straight forward, but can give someone a starting point to becoming an EMC Elect member.

  1. Why did EMC choose to start the EMC Elect program?
  2. What is the purpose behind the program?
  3. What makes this program special?
  4. What is the process for becoming an EMC Elect?
  5. What are some of the benefits?
  6. What tips would you give to someone thinking of becoming EMC Elect?
 So please enjoy the Q&A with EMC’s Matthew Brender.
Emc Elect

image courtesy Matthew Brender

1.  Why did EMC choose to start the EMC Elect program?
 Simply said, EMC recognized an opportunity to connect important dots across our community. 
We are blessed with passionate contributors and a diverse portfolio. When you took a look around, you saw rich, engaging blog posts over here and lively, informative discussions there. You saw EMC customers recognized for being incredible references, EMC partners recognized for their dedication to our relationship and rockstar employees across every department. 
A couple questions came to mind. First, if anything, what do all these contributors have in common? Is there a thread – a motivation – that everyone has? 
Secondly, and something always on our mind, could we do a better job at showing our commitment to this community?
Upon inspection, both questions had clear answers. Yes, there is a passion for enterprise technology behind every post from our community. And another yes: it is time for a community without the boundaries that job titles or specific expertise demanded of us in the past.
This train of thought lead to EMC Elect.
What was unique for the company was the holistic view of community contribution. EMC Elect allows us to see beyond social platforms, beyond specific product expertise and even beyond employer.
We now have a single name for those individuals who have contributed and want to continue to engage with the company, and they are called the EMC Elect.
2. What is the purpose behind the program?
The full outline of our purpose is here, but here’s my abridged version.
Public recognition for past contribution was first and foremost for the program. We can note here that EMC Elect is thanking you for past contribution only and never forward looking.
This fact leads right into the other half of it: unprecedented amounts of opportunity.
Through the program, members have had early access to content related to our launches, behind-the-scenes access to our live events and a small-but-dedicated army of supporters to connect the dots inside the company. We recently broke the barrier between community and press by sending EMC Elect to Mega Launch in Milan. You can read about Dave Henry’s experience there.
So while we don’t require continued contribution, we do everything we can to ensure EMC Elect feel empowered to be the leaders that we see they are.
3. What makes this program special?
What makes EMC Elect special is the breadth and background of its members. You can see from our infographic just how many countries and specialties are represented in just 75 people.
What makes us truly unique is that the judging process is done by members, not EMC. My colleagues and I provide a framework to keep the playing field fair, but the ranking of potential members is always driven by top members who are recognized as judges for the following year. I believe that approach is first of its kind in the industry.
4. What is the process for becoming an EMC Elect?
The program is a yearly recognition beginning with a nomination here by November 15th. We then reach out to each candidate to confirm their interest and a few details about them. Next, we begin the analysis phase with members selected as judges for the following year.
Candidates find out their status in early January, which is followed by our annual public announcement on January 15th.
5. What are some of the benefits?
The core benefit is public recognition. We keep a list of EMC Elect members available on our blog and an updated list to follow on Twitter. We also syndicate member’s blog posts so you can easily find them.
Beyond recognition, there’s incredible amounts of opportunity for members. We range from member access to events, private meet ups with executives and loads of exclusive content. As I’ve mentioned, members joined the Mega Launch event out in Milan, Italy this past month, but we’ve also had incredible hangout space at EMC World and VMworld 2013.
The main point is, that as EMC Elect, you’ve been identified as a highly engaged contributor and trustworthy. We enable you to do whatever you think would be awesome. Our world is your oyster.
6. What tips would you give to someone thinking of becoming EMC Elect?
The process begins with a candidate’s everyday contribution. No one moment makes someone EMC Elect – it’s about regular commitment.
The best advice to be eligible is public on our blog, but here are some more specifics:
The three most common reasons community members did not receive EMC Elect this year are:
  • The nominee’s contribution was not easily found online
  • There were too many community members within a single product interest
  • Nominee’s social footprint did not include technology-oriented content in their own name

The four most common ways people can improve their rankings as influencers are:

  • Join and regularly contribute to the EMC Community Network
  • Maintain a strong social and technical community on Twitter
  • Expand into new domains of interest in your social community
  • Start a blog where you talk about your trials, errors and expertise on EMC products

Nerd’s Blurt
I love seeing a program grow from concept to reality, one of the things I like most about the EMC Elect program is the selection process, you have a clear date on the announcement if you made it and it’s chosen by your peers.
I will be covering some other community recognition programs in the coming weeks, I will ask them all the same questions and hopefully one of my readers gets inspired to get involved.