Meet the team: Luiza Draghicean - community and growth advisor

January 6, 2022
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We’re excited to introduce you to Luiza Drahicean, our new Community and Growth advisor. 🎉

Luiza has 10 years of experience in communication, PR & marketing in fields ranging from public sector, diplomacy, to NGOs & private sector. With background studies in Journalism & Development, International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, she has a strong understanding of different environments and challenges, and a track record of advancing solutions through building and scaling communities.She previously worked as Global Advocacy Community Manager at UiPath & now she’s advising and enabling start-ups & companies to grow through community.

We’re more than happy to have her on board and hope we can build a leading community data intelligence platform together.

Read further to learn more about industry insights, learnings about managing communities, useful resources and 2022 predictions.

What was your first touch with community management? How did you started out in this industry?

I have always been part of communities, as we all have, and I’ve witnessed community leadership and management before being able to put a name or a tag on it.

I’ve learned from my late volleyball coach what nurturing a tight community of young girls and their parents in a small city means and what we now call community values of respect, teamwork, co-learning, accountability. I carried these principles with me on my first volunteer job as communication officer in India for a student NGO dedicated to building a local community ecosystem of support for underprivileged children. I learned how to manage a web of hundreds of communities of Romanians living abroad by listening to their needs and applying the same principles.

I became passionate about technology because of an amazing community that I’ve also helped build. From a timeline perspective, I realised there’s an actual community industry when I joined the tech field but at heart, I’ve always been a community builder.

I have a soft spot for connecting people, for enabling & nurturing the sense of belonging, learning & discovery and giving back.

What do you enjoy about it?

Everything! From the initial strategy and design, to the onboarding processes all the way through engagement and advocacy. I have a soft spot for connecting people, for enabling & nurturing the sense of belonging, learning & discovery and giving back.

What kind of communities did you manage?

It’s been a diverse range - from Volunteer communities, NGOs; media and journalists; international development professionals; techies (developers), startups, founders & leaders.

As for the platforms, I’ve used multiple means, platforms and tools of management from: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Discord, Slack, Discourse, WhatsApp to the old excel sheets, Google drive, Bevy, Notion, Atlassian, Salesforce, Marketo, Vanilla, Zoom, Microsoft, Eventbrite, Cvent, Meetup, Youtube, Twitter, email and.. the phone :).

What do you wish you knew back then?

The importance of having and growing community is rising - why do you think so?

2021 has been a stellar year for community as a “working model”, especially for private companies in the tech field. Probably more than ever, people felt the need for belonging, communicating, expressing themselves; they wanted to be seen, heard, needed - they wanted to learn more, to help more, to take a stand, make an impact.

It has been amazing to witness the formation of so many new communities and the flourishing of other established ones. Community Managers emerging as leaders within their organizations was another highlight.

What made you to join us as an advisor?

I strongly believe that a successful startup company is that which can bring a quality, simple and cohesive solution to a current need or challenge. The idea behind Ahoy responded to what I needed as a Community Manager: to understand the real state of the community I was managing and its impact at scale: for the members, for the industry, for the business, and equally important, to help me put metrics and data on top of words. Discovering the team, their values & strategy helped build the current chemistry & won me over. Beyond that, the opportunity to participate with my knowledge, insights and views on building the idea and platform together with the bright and creative team of Ahoy.

Pay attention to what you measure; what are the metrics that actually count for a healthy community

Upcoming community marketing trends or predictions for 2022? What should community leaders focus on in the next year?

Health & metrics!

While 2020 & 2021 were high on the discovery of community as a growth factor for ... everything, what comes naturally in the lifecycle and considerably as a trend, is measuring communities’ health and their impact on individuals, organizations & businesses; I believe CEOs, CMOs will take a closer look into the part community plays in  developing the business and will allocate more attention and resources into it. together with that will come the need to keep educating stakeholders on what are the right metrics and how to disseminate those.

Your favourite community resources?

LinkedIn is a great place to be connected with community leaders and groups, and even to witness other communities unfolding and trends emerging. As specific communities, I enjoy being part of the Community Hacked group, CMX and Find Calm Here Community, Community Leaders Institute, Community Club, and connecting with fellow community builders & strategists for virtual coffee chats on a regular basis;

On another level, I am part of other communities, as a happy member or “apprentice” such as: Notion (both for personal and professional use), Pros and Content Community (from Knotch), startup & accelerator community (InnovX), Female Founders community and,  the one most close to my heart: the worldwide Crossfit Community along with my local crossfit box -The Forge, as an athlete; and, of course, the UiPath Community. 😊

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