Womenize! Wednesday Weekly is our weekly series featuring inspirational women from games and tech. For this edition we talked to Alina Ullrich, Junior Community Manager at ZeniMax Germany. Read more about Alina in this interview:

Hi Alina! You are Junior Community Manager at ZeniMax Germany, managing the German community for games such as The Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 76. You have a background in Marketing, what made you decide to change positions and start out as a Community Manager?

During my studies I have specialized in social media, which is now still an important part of my work as a Community Manager. So you could call it more of a development than a change in my case. But that’s not all, of course. I’m particularly enthusiastic about the operational aspect of the job, the direct exchange with the players, be it at events, trade fairs or simply online and I do work closely interdisciplinary with the marketing team, where my background helps a lot.

You are active in forums and can also be seen on Bethesda’s German Twitch Channel, which leads to a lot of direct contact with fans. Do you have some advice on how to deal with the rather unpleasant parts of managing a community, such as harassment or just overall uncomfortable encounters?

I’m a passionate gamer myself and understand the love some gamers put into certain games and franchises and that this passion can lead to emotional comments, which can be sometimes unobjective and inappropriate. First thing is to address these comments politely and ask to remain objective.

There are many details, which a lot of people do not know. Often it already helps to simply explain processes. For example that we, who are seen in the stream, are not responsible for the development of our games and can’t “just fix” certain bugs. It’s a mix of showing empathy and being patient, which helps in a lot of these situations. If this won’t work, we are forced to draw consequences like time-outs and a ban as last resort.

There are of course certain topics or behaviours, like for example violence, sexism and racism, which we do not tolerate at all. Fortunately, we rarely see stuff like that!

Lastly, what do you think is one essential trait every Community Manager should have?

You should bring a certain level of communication skills, because that is the main part of the job: talking to the community, be it face to face or online. You have to understand what their wishes and concerns are and forward these to other departments (like Brand Marketing or Sales) and the developers. The feedback we get is one of the keys to our tactics, so it is important to gather it right (be it positive or negative).

In addition to that it’s always handy to develop a thick skin and patience. Don’t take things personally!

Thank you for your time, Alina!

Alina’s Links: Bethesda Germany’s Twitter | Bethesda Germany’s Twitch
| Zenimax Website

WWW Feature by Anne Zarnecke