(Part One covers tips.)
Defining specific member guidelines are essential for a Facebook Group to work. Especially when you are creating something where promotion is not allowed and you are mingling two different audiences – such as public relations professionals and journalists.
Other than moderation to enforce the rules, crafting member guidelines was easily one of the most important factors behind the success of the Phoenix-based group that I co-moderate, @PhoenixPRPros. And it will be just as essential for you, if you are starting your own local group.
Just a reminder that if you head to Facebook to check out this group, you won’t be able to view it. We recently changed it from a closed group to a secret group to control growth and spam.
So what was in it? Here is the full, unabridged version (shared with permission of the @PhoenixPRPros founder and admin team), plus a few simple tweaks of my own. Feel free to use and adapt them.
PR FACEBOOK GROUP MEMBER GUIDELINES EXAMPLE
<insert group name here> is a “closed” Facebook Group – only group members see posts or comments.
This private forum is for professionals in the metro Phoenix area who work in:
- Public relations (corporate, agency or independent)
- News media (reporters, freelancers, editors, producers, assignment managers)
Vendors and other professionals outside of these two specific groups are not allowed.
Individuals can go to the page and request to join the group, and current members can add new members they are already connected to on Facebook through the “Add member” tool on the group page. ALL requests go through a vetting process to verify they are PR or media pros in the Phoenix market before they are approved for the group.
New member requests from those who do not work directly in PR or the media are considered on an individual basis.
What The Group Provides:
- Opportunities to network with other professionals for mutual gain
- A resource for sharing relevant information that group members would find useful
- A forum for asking for professional opinions, advice or suggestions for relevant resources
- A local resource for journalists who need a source quickly
- A quick way to share job openings or freelance opportunities (Please use the “living” JOB POSTINGS doc to share these and include the posting date.)
- A “Friday Brag” where you can share successes and acknowledge other group members’ support
- Please keep your posts relevant
- Share your opinions in a respectful manner
- This is not the forum to promote your company, clients, products or services.
- Posting a link to your blog or company website should involve sharing relevant information that the group will find useful or cultivating relevant conversations.
- This forum includes reporters and employees from multiple PR businesses. Assume that your comments may be made public or shared with others. While constructive criticism is helpful, comments that trash local PR pros or media are not in the spirit of this group.
- Friday Brags: once a week we invite you to share an achievement, success or relevant company news with a Friday Brag.
- No press releases
- No solicitations
- No media pitches except when responding to a specific media source request
- If you would like consideration of any type of special discount on your product or services for group members, please contact an admin to discuss. Admins are <insert names of the admin team here>.
We want the <insert group name here> group to be an enjoyable, informative experience. We value and respond to member feedback. Group admins will delete postings they feel conflict with group guidelines. If a posting is removed you will be notified in most cases.
Multiple violations and/or complaints from group members can result in the person being banned from the group – we hate doing that, so if in doubt, just ask for information.
Questions? Comments? Complaints? Want to help? Send a message to <insert name of primary admin> via DM or at <insert email address>.
Using Events & Files Tabs to Make Your PR Facebook Group More Useful
The ability to create events (such as mixers and educational events) is a fantastic way to grow visibility of the group while providing networking opportunities.
You can also build value of the group by sharing documents on the file tab. Some examples we’ve used with success on @PhoenixPRPros include a list of links to local editorial calendars, job postings, event sponsorship and attendee bag insert opportunities and local PR/marketing blogs. Each one came about because of repeated member requests, a clever idea or a way to handle a member request that balanced right on the edge of violating member guidelines yet seemed of value to provide off the main forum.
My final piece of advice? A local group can be INCREDIBLY valuable. But no matter what you choose to do, have fun with it and, most of all, make it useful!
Who are the @PhoenixPRPro group administrators? It began with founder Joe Cockrell, then expanded to include Pat Elliott, Charlotte Risch Shaff, myself, Jake Poinier, Ryan Narramore and Dianne Elizabeth Price. This particular group is not affiliated with any associations or off-line membership groups.
Did you miss part one of this series? Head over to http://rockthestatusquo.com/secrets-of-a-highly-successful-local-pr-facebook-group/ to read it. Don’t forget to add a comment if you have group experiences or advice to share!