Spotlight On Community Managers – Hollie Bennett

Could we start out with you telling us a little bit about who you are, where you work and your job title?
I’ve been a passionate gamer for as long as I can remember but while working as a Midwife I was lucky enough to claw my way up the ladder at and start as their EU community Manager and presenter. Up until that point I had just been a very active community member for the best part of five years. About 15 months ago I took a step away from both of those jobs and started my current full-time role as the Community Executive for Namco Bandai Games UK.

My job is really varied but on the whole I manage the UK community, develop and implement community projects, run the social media accounts, care for the home page (including the forums), customer services, events management and I’m the PR contact for all community press. It keeps me busy but being able to do all these different things keeps the job really exciting. I get to be really creative and involved while engaging with fans which for me is one of the best aspects of this job.


Community management can take on many forms, how would you sum up your role?
On the most basic level I always see a Community Manager (or Community Executive in my case) as three main things:

I’m a leader – it’s my job to lead the community and help it grow.

I’m a participant – I’m part of the community. I’m passionate about our games and want to share with the community in what they are thinking and feeling.

I’m an advocate – I’m my community’s voice within my company. I work hard to make sure that my head office knows what our community is thinking. This helps us adapt the way we think and work to try and meet both our needs and their needs the best we can.

What has been your favourite game you’ve worked on?
It was easily Tales of Graces f. The community are just delightful to work with. I really enjoy talking to and engaging with them, so I’m obviously really excited to work with them on Tales of Xillia. With Tales of Graces f we launched project ‘Your Tales of’, an on-going community project that saw us run different ‘creativity’ activities that Tales of fans could get involved with. We created the mini-magazine that was packed full of their cosplay, fan-fiction and fan-art and we also ran a t-shirt design contest where Tale fans got to design it and pick the winner. I’ve already started thinking up some exciting stuff for Tales of Xillia which I can’t wait to start working on, I really hope the community will like them and want to get involved again.

Tales of Xillia

If you could choose one game from another publisher to have worked on what would it be?
For anyone who follows me on twitter they will already know the answer. I’m a huge Bioware fan and would love to have been a Community Manager on the Mass Effect or Dragon Age series. The amount of time I have put into those games is a little bit scary and yes, I’m wearing my N7 hoodie as I type this.

What is your fondest memory of working in community management?
I think I have two that really sum up why I love what I do. Firstly, it was the day I announced Tales of Xillia. The community had been asking about it for such a long time and until the embargo lifted I had to keep saying that we didn’t have any news, naturally they were a little upset. When we finally announced it their excitement was overwhelming, it was this sudden rush of passion and kindness that reminds me why I love gaming and the games industry so much. I was on the train to Glasgow (to run a Tekken Tag Tournament 2 event funnily enough) when I announced it and I actually started to cry. It was actually a really emotional moment.

I still keep the group photo we took in my purse even to this day

Secondly, it was the time I went to PAX with Destructoid. For us at Destrucotid PAX is our sacred place, the community are encouraged to travel from wherever they live in world and meet up. It’s the most amazing weekend spent with the greatest people. I really can’t sum up just how incredible that trip was but it was one of the best times I ever had in my life. I still keep the group photo we took (around 200+ people) in my purse even to this day, it serves as a reminder as to how lucky I am and to remind me of the passion I have for what I do, even on the bad days.

Mario or Sonic?
Ummmm… Mario!

Coke or Pepsi?
Oh, 100% Pepsi. In fact I’m currently drinking a massive bottle of Pepsi with lime that the specialist PR brought me back from his holiday in Brazil. It’s delicious.

Sushi or Pizza?
Sushi, always sushi.

Tell us how readers can get involved with your community?
We have the homepage with forums which can be found at, we have a number of facebook pages for our games/brands including the EU facebook page and we have twitter accounts @namcobandaiUK and (for Tales of news) @TalesofU. If anyone is interested in my ramblings you can find me at @HollieB.

And lastly could you please nominate someone for our next “Spotlight On Community Managers”?
I am very lucky to know some amazing Community Managers but I would say Neil Gorton of Capcom. Namco Bandai UK and Capcom work really close to each other (only a few minutes walk apart) and Neil is a amazing source of support for me. Community Managers are all very supportive of each other; it’s a great circle to be part of.







One response to “Spotlight On Community Managers – Hollie Bennett”

  1. Salisbury Steak avatar

    Awesome! Keep up the great work, ReadyUp and Hollie!

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