Was Bobbi a Successful Community Manager?

I originally scrapped this idea because I thought it wasn't a discussion worth having- that was until this past week when Bobbi left the Club Penguin team after 4 years. Many people were devastated by the news, while others are excited about the new approach the team will be taking with Joe filling in Megg's position. Personally I am happy that Bobbi has left the Club Penguin team, and I will be going into great detail why I think so- this post is going to be mostly objective but because of my strong stance of Bobbi's management it might be just as subjective.

I'm A Mod (Moderator Rap Battle) - Official Music Video - Disney Club Penguin

 So, was Bobbi OBJECTIVELY a successfully community manager? According to a quick Google search, this is the job description of a community manager:
A community manager is responsible for advocating the brand on social networks. They create their own social persona and actively go out within the online community to connect with potential customers and advocate the brand.
Bobbi Jean Reiger, during her time with Club Penguin, did everything listed above to a certain extent. Bobbi technically did her job, but not enough to leave an impact or change the community for the better. In fact, I believe Bobbi was unsuccessful, even within her job description.

Bobbi didn't advertise Club Penguin on social networks nearly as much as it needed to be advertised. Of course, this falls on the fault of Disney's marketing team as well. Club Penguin wasn't advertised on Disney Channel after the Halloween Party 2014 Game On segment, and the advertisements on other websites, such as Miniclip, were disappearing. 

After a ton of cheap flash games and mobile puzzle games, here's Club Penguin Island, at the bottom of the page. This is the ONLY mention of the game on Disney's websites.

Club Penguin wasn't advertised on Disney's website, or the Disney games site, either. Even when Disney Games changed to Disney LOL, Club Penguin was delegated to only the bottom of the site, under endless quickly-developed puzzle games based on Disney properties, and even then it was only a brief mention. (shown above)

This, again, has a large part to do with Disney's marketing team, but Bobbi could have spoke up about this problem- after all, it was apart of her job description. Not until Club Penguin Island's release did Bobbi start reaching out to potential consumers like Sqaishy Quack  and other kid gaming channels in promotional YouTube videos. Club Penguin Island also allegedly gained a TV spot featuring the app on Disney Channel (as shown in the Too Much Disney article), but I have not seen it in between mass advertisements of Descendants 2.

Club Penguin Island : MT. BLIZZARD ~ Sqiashey

From 2013 to 2016, Bobbi rose from intern of Chris and Johnny to social media contractor to community manager in a flash. Bobbi's penguin, Megg, was used all over Club Penguin's blog, communicating with fans and building relationships with her audience. Megg became a Club Penguin icon, more than RocketSnail or Billybob. Unlike RocketSnail and Billybob, though, Megg became popular because of how she interacted with the community, not because she helped in the development of Club Penguin. Older staff were leaving, but Megg was just what the community needed. A young face who penguins could relate to and aspire to be. She quickly gained a following of young children who treated her as royalty. The penguins loved her - she hosted meet-ups for penguins to chat and ask her questions, she had a quirky, fun loving, kind charm that children could relate with, and the success story of her rising from intern to the top so quickly was nothing short of impressive. 

However, the community wasn't together as much as it was in  years past. Young penguins were honoring Megg as an idol instead of a community leader. The focus was no longer on community- the focus was largely on Megg.

Around the time Bobbi joined the team was also the time Club Penguin disabled their comments on YouTube and stopped communicating through Twitter and other social media often. The only way Club Penguin could communicate with fans and vice versa was through their blog, which at the time, had a very strict filter. Club Penguin Support emails became much more automated in late 2013, too- which is to say, it was less personal and often times detracted from my overall satisfaction with Club Penguin. As someone who communicated with Club Penguin Support often back in the day, getting personalized emails each time, it really surprised and saddened me that now I would just receive generic pre-written messages back. I plan to go deeper into this miscommunication piece of modern Club Penguin in the future, but as it relates to this, I felt disconnected from the community for awhile, even when Bobbi became a prominent figure in Club Penguin, and I guarantee there's others that felt the same. Club Penguin, or the upper management at Disney, were limiting the social aspects of the game. 

Penguin of the Week, almost weekly meetups with Club Penguin team members (largely Megg), fun YouTube videos like #WaddleOn, The Spoiler Alert, and now Island Insider; these are stepping stones for the formation of a giant community. But it wasn't (and still isn't) enough. It was obvious the Club Penguin team was trying to decide what works and attempting to keep the community together in this way, yet they were only entertaining a fraction of the community.

It wasn't until recently that Bobbi started to communicate with fans through the blog and social media regularly, by responding to comments and tweets and reopening their abandon Instagram. The Island News blog became much more prominent with the absence of the Club Penguin Times, resulting in almost daily blog posts where Joe or Bobbi responded to fan feedback directly. These were all great changes... but the majority of the Club Penguin community had left. It was already too late.

But, Bobbi did her job... eventually. But it's better than nothing, right?

A Special Island Insider | Disney Club Penguin Island

Her farewell message on Island Insider was a message that the remaining community needed to hear. 
Pushing the community in the right direction- her message is clear: "The community is the future of Club Penguin Island." The remaining community has so much passion for the game because of Megg's impact, and we only have her to thank. Waddle on, Bobbi.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH. I say it all the time, and I even say it in the video, but I will repeat it once more (or a million) for emphasis. We have the best community ever, each one of you is a valuable part of our colony of penguins, and I am so grateful to have had the chance to get to know you all better and share in this incredible journey. 
Keep all the positive energy flowing, no matter what. I know I know, it’s an obvious request. But it’s up to you, the community to keep this a happy and welcoming place for new family members to join and belong. Club Penguin Island is destined for great things, and you can all help make that happen. 
So until next time… Waddle on, you incredibly amazing, passionate, caring, fantastic, and all the other words I can say to show you how much I appreciate you all, penguins.
- Bobbi (aka Megg)

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