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July 23, 2012

Day in the Life of an International Yelp CM

The next to star in this blog series is Jenny L, Community Manager in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Jennyprofile

What did you do before becoming a CM at Yelp?                 
I read a lot of books, went to student productions of Arthur Miller plays and had aspirations of becoming a penniless author before landing myself a marketing role. Suited and booted I managed the brand and all advertising for a local Scottish company that helped students start up businesses. I also read a lot of books in that role, and ate cake.

How did you find out about Yelp?                 
A good friend of mine, from New York, who I had met at University told me to check out this "awesome new website" where I could write about eating cake. Turns out he was right! I was yelping for 6 months as a die-hard Yelper before I found out about the possibility of becoming a CM.                 

How do you describe your job to people?                 
I manage the Edinburgh community of Yelp – the review website where anyone can write reviews of any of their favourite places in the city, from bars and restaurants to bike repair shops and parks.

This basically means I get to host awesome parties at brilliant local Edinburgh restaurants, cafés, bars and shops, eat out and drink out as part and parcel of the job, research and write about all the food, drink and culture trends in the city, get involved with all the awesome events Edinburgh has to offer from crafting to live music to pop-up burger shops, and spread the good word of Yelp amongst locals.

What's your "office" like?                  
It usually involves cake, and big windows with lots of natural light and gorgeous views over the city. I work half the time from home, and the other half in local cafés and bars with wifi. I love being out and about in the city, and amongst people, and taking my laptop everywhere with me means I never miss what's going on.

What do you think makes your Yelp community different than others? Do you have a mascot?
Edinburgh is a capital city, but it's also quite small and feels more like lots of small villages all stuck together. The city inherently has a great community of friendly locals and great business owners, and it feels like Yelp was made for the city! The business owners all support one another, they're really active online and interact with customers via any online social outlet. And the locals are all real foodies with a great appreciation for fantastic food, and support a lot of 'eat local' movements. It feels like every Edinburgh local was a natural-born Yelper.

What's been your favorite event that you've thrown?                 
Yelp's Prohibition Spring Fling at The Old Waverley Hotel Ballroom, in March 2012. I'd been trying for months to throw a themed Elite Event, encouraging Yelpers to dress up, but to little avail. But for this event, everyone got dolled up to the nines! It was like something out of a Hollywood movie, or Boardwalk Empire. Classy gin cocktails, a Charleston dance class, in a period ballroom overlooking a night sky and Edinburgh castle, with the men in their suits and suave gelled hair, the ladies in their ball gowns. I couldn't have asked for anything more, it was just magical! http://communityblog.yelp.com/2012/03/yelp-edinburghs-prohibition-spring-fling-the-old-waverley-hotel.html                 
 
Describe your co-workers...                 
The friendliest, craziest, most beautiful group of people I have ever had the good fortune to meet.

What's your favorite thing about working for a company like Yelp?
The freedom and encouragement to be creative, to be yourself and make the job and the community your own. Every city is different, every CM is different, but the common theme is that all Yelpers are AWESOME. Oh, and I have a legitimate excuse to eat cake every day.