Creative influence agency TMW has appointed Vikki Chowney to the newly created position of head of community. Chowney will lead and develop the agency’s community management and influencer relations capabilities across its client base, which includes Unilever, Diageo and Brother International.

Chowney has worked in the digital media industry for over seven years and is widely recognised as a leading authority in the social media and online PR industry. She has developed her extensive knowledge and experience by working as a journalist, blogger and PR consultant. Chowney joins TMW from Econsultancy, where, as news editor, she launched the site’s news operation, managing a team in the UK and working with another in the US.

Prior to this, Chowney was the editor of NMA’s sister title Reputation Online, where she contributed a regular column to NMA. In the past, she has written for a number of publications, including Marketing Week, Contagious and Communicate. Chowney has also worked as content editor for the project and has acted as an independent consultant to brands including Talk Talk and O2.

A key part of Chowney’s role will be to ensure that the insights gained from community management feed into a client’s wider social media and management strategy, including research and development and customer service. She will also be responsible for providing best practice across the spectrum of participation platforms and ensuring community management ties in with TMW’s Intelligent Influence proposition, which aims to create greater brand engagement by encouraging consumers to actively participate with brands. The appointment completes the agency’s line up of content services, combining best in class community management with engaging editorial content and creative concepts. Chowney will report directly to TMW’s director of social engagement, Chris Buckley.

Chris Buckley, director of social engagement at TMW comments, “As social media continues to mature, brands are increasingly looking at ways of generating measurable value from their online communities. Vikki’s specialist knowledge and experience make her the ideal person to drive forward this area of the business. She is a real find and we are delighted she has chosen to join our team.”

Chowney adds: “Community management is about much more than just managing a Facebook page or Twitter feed. Using what’s being said within your online community to inform the future direction of your business is where it’s heading. It touches on all aspects of a business and the insights gained from this activity should be used on a broad scale to maximise any investment made online.”

Published on: 10:43AM on 25th April 2012