If you work in PR, chances are you have one of the following three needs: A need to build or grow your network, acquire new skills or hone existing ones, or find a new job
Although many social networks meet these needs adequately, I might argue that LinkedIn has the biggest potential to meet them best.
Are folks capitalizing on that opportunity within LinkedIn now? Not so much.
I started to write this post about the 12 groups all PR people should join, but after some initial research, I couldn’t identify 12 I could really recommend.
Most groups (some reputable brands even) were chock full of spam job postings and blatant self-promotion in the discussions pane. Overall, there was a lack of effective community management within many groups.
But there were a few groups doing it right. I recommend joining the following post-haste if you haven’t already:
1. PRSA—your local chapter (varies). Obviously, this one depends on your local chapter. Ours in Minnesota is pretty active and productive. In my view, it all depends on your local community.
2. MarketingProfs (9,782 members). Even though this group doesn’t technically fall within the “PR” bucket, it’s a “must join” for any communicator or strategist. It’s one of the more active LinkedIn groups I’m a part of right now. For example a recent discussion around starting a Marketing 101 class solicited a whopping 204 comments!
3. Solo PR pros (726 members). Selfishly, this is one of my favorite groups. Regular updates (sometimes, multiple discussion threads each week) and numerous people weigh in. Within this group, solo PRs discuss new tools, budgeting and books to read. Kellye Crane does a fabulous job managing and directing this community.
4. PR News group (5,336 members). You’ll find a fairly engaged group with relevant discussions to anyone who works in PR. Recent—and popular discussions—include: “How to conduct PR without an agency,” “Wikileaks is the Facebook of whistle-blowing,” and “Have you ever tried the press release distribution services?”
5. HAPPO (1,099 members). Jobs are the focus, but this group is about much more than just the search. And, with another HAPPO event coming up in February, this group may be on the rise. Recent conversations have focused on: salary requirements, what employers want to see in an entry-level portfolio and the best free software to create an online portfolio. (Disclaimer: I am the co-founder of HAPPO and one of the community managers of the site).
What groups do you recommend?
Arik Hanson is principal of ACH Communications.