10K Humans is extremely excited to introduce you to our new Panel and Community Director, Valentin Calugaru

We did a ‘Q&A’ session with Vali so that you can get to know him… and start looking forward to the fresh thinking he’ll bring!

Tell us about your history in Market Research?

I’ve been working in market research for the last 14 years, spending the second half of that time working in Project/Community management, During that time I specialized in both Qual and Quant methodologies working with clients across various sectors and industries. 


Where are you currently located, and what’s one local activity / attraction / food you’d recommend for a visitor?

I'm currently located in Bucharest, Romania, where I was born and raised, it's a really nice city and Romania as a country is great, I would recommend going to the Danube's Delta which is part of the Unesco Heritage and offers some stunning views, in Bucharest you can visit the House of Parliament, which is the 2nd largest administrative building in the world and also visible from space.


What are your passions outside of work?

I’m a very active person, playing football (soccer) on a weekly basis, and I like to swim, ski, and go hiking in the mountains. I’m also an avid movie fan and can speak a couple of foreign languages, too. 


Oh, which languages are those, and any fave sayings in any of those lingos?

I am fluent in English, French, Italian and Spanish, at least used to be, I kinda lost touch with some of them as I haven't had the opportunity to exercise, but I'm sure that if you give me 2 weeks, I should be able to get back in shape. 


What’s your mantra when it comes to Panel and Community Management?

When it comes to community management I think most of the time when communities fail, it's because the people managing those communities are not being responsive, not keeping their finger on the pulse, or not managing the participant or the stakeholder side of things well enough. 


What’s one way Panel and Community Managers can keep their finger on the pulse and make sure the community remains relevant to participants? 

For example, not all the engagement content is going to be relevant to all the people in the community, so if you are showing everything to everyone all the time, you are running the risk of making the community irrelevant to people of a certain segment, for example just because I`m a football fan, doesn't mean that I'm a hockey fan, which is why a segmented approach is probably the best way to go about managing the engagement content that you're using on a community. 


How do you approach partnering with clients?

I also believe that a very thorough understanding of the business you're representing is a must, which is why the community management should always be a collaborative effort between the community management team and the client. 


What’s one method of keeping client collaboration going throughout a long-term project?

Obviously it's very important to have a good relationship with your client throughout the length of a project, which is why in my opinion, besides keeping on top of the usual tasks and keeping the client in the loop, probably the best thing you can do is to make the relationship personal, make sure you've got regular catch ups, keep them in the loop with everything that is going on, request feedback on how you're doing and what you could do to improve etc. 


Final words - tell us what you are most excited about in joining the Echo MR team?

I think Echo's main asset is the team, the people that work here are all really nice and quite smart, it's a pleasure to be working with them. There's a lot of experience spread among the team and a lot of things you can learn from them.