So… I felt it was necessary to write this because I think it’s important to praise a great job and after AAUK left Sega Europe as their main community man, European fans of Sega went through a bit of an ‘urm… ahhh… urm…’ with regards to outreach and connection with Sega and community. We’re not going to talk about that period today, instead we’re going to talk about someone who did a lot of good for Sega in Europe.
In September of 2015, Dan Sheridan or “Action Dan” as he’s also known as joined the company as the new community manager, now quite often when a company gets a new CM, they don’t really do too much other than put out the very heavily scripted tweet or reblog a trailer for a game. In terms of community relations that is, I know there’s a ton of more admin related stuff which goes on internally…
With regards to community engagement… This is just a small sample of what Dan did, or at least was the main front man of in terms of community within his first month of being in the role.
- Started a ton of giveaways for some pretty amazing stuff. We’re talking promotional merchandise items for some videogames, collectors editions of games, sega employee hoodies and various other very exclusive hard to get items.
- Organised and ran a community party for Sonic Lost World’s PC release and invited the community, free entry, goody bag (which included a free copy of the game) and there was an open bar… Yes my friends, I can sit here and say that we got drunk thanks to Sega. Although we liked Lost World on the PC before the booze started flowing.
- Completely turned around Sega Central which many fans had stopped watching because it was cringe worthingly bad. Oh yes, and at the end of each episode lots of codes were given out for free PC games, sometimes codes would unlock multiple games, so that’s always a good thing.
- Actively reached out to the community, even I was contacted at one point to help run a giveaway and review a bunch of games, I know of several other people on YouTube who were also contacted and reached out to.
However… one of the best things I ever saw him do was at the Sonic Lost World party, there was a fan there who was very shy, so for a large part of the day, Dan sat with this person and just talked to them, what about? Just… anything. Just sat and talked and made them feel welcome and I think it probably did help with them feeling more relaxed as they seemed to ‘warm up’ as the event went on.
But it didn’t end there, he also gave this person one of the red Sonic Christmas Jumpers which at the time hadn’t been released.
I’m pretty sure that someone who was at this even nominated him for a community manager award because they were so impressed with how he made this fan more at ease and to ensure that they had a good time and didn’t feel alone at this event.
Then there was other amazing moments too, such as the day before Western Super Sonic, a rather large box from Dan turns up, when we opened it up, it was full of free items for giveaways at the event.
Free stuff is always nice, but I wanted to write this not just for his brilliant work with the fans face to face (as illustrated by the Lost World party note earlier), Dan has been quite brave in the stuff he’s had to do. Practically being the face of Sega Central, coming to it after many fans hated the show and turning it around as he did could not have been easy. Yet on every occasion he puts in a lot of energy for someone who was clearly nervous in his first few episodes. He clearly researches and cares about the material he’s talking about, and that’s the key point, he clearly cared because we the fans, be it of Sonic, Football Manager, Alien Isolation, Yakuza, Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax or even Aliens GodDam Marines, also cared about the things we love to play.
And even though I’m still bitter over not winning the Alien Isolation robot USB storage device in the first giveaway… He’s done a very good job of which he should be very proud of, I only hope that whoever takes over is just as good and just as engaging with the community as he was.
Best of luck in the future. I hope they let you keep the hat.
P.S. Whoever takes over the role as EU community manager, can we have another community party with an open bar… and cake!