This is a list of some cracking comms communities online, that offer support, inspiration and chat about comms issues we have in common.
We all need a gang of people who ‘get it’ to belong to – especially if you work in a small team on on your own as a communicator. Don’t be lonely!
Here are some of the best online communities for people like us – the places on this list are active and have lots of engagement.
I’m leaving out the groups that have a ghost-town vibe, or where there aren’t many discussions because they mainly contain posts by people promoting themselves (as seen on Linkedin).
If I’ve missed a great one, please let me know and I’ll add it to the list.*
1. Comms Creatives Club on Facebook
Look, it’s our blog so I can put our community first OK?
It does what it says on the tin hopefully – it’s where communicators who are creative gather to ask each other questions, share cool cool jobs that are vacant, have a chat.
We often talk about brand content we see on social media, and I do occasional webinars and interviews with guests sharing tips and tricks that are useful for comms pros.
The most recent webinar type session we had in there was with the fantastic Alexa Heinrich, who gave us an incredible lesson on social media accessibility.
Oh, and talking of Alexa…
2. Accessible Social on Facebook
Alexa has created a wonderful community called Accessible Social.
The group is dedicated to helping anyone working in social media, marketing, public relations, communications, or advertising learn more about accessibility best practices for digital content.
It’s such an important topic and chat there is primarily focused on is social media, but other topics related to digital accessibility are welcome too.
3. House of Marketing & PR community of practice
I have to say, I get LOADS of value from this group. It’s a community of practice to explore the future of marketing, media and public relations.
People post interesting hot takes on latest news stories from a PR and marketing perspective, and I’ve had fascinating chats with a range of experts, students, academics and communications practitioners.
The group is run by the magnificent Stephen Waddington, who publishes a weekly Substack newsletter of content shared in the group.
4. CommsHero on Twitter
CommsHero is a curveball entry in a way, because it’s not a group in the sense that the other suggestions here so far are Facebook Groups.
But I have to highlight the dedicated and championing way Asif Choudry and the gang at Resource use the CommsHero Twitter account to support and engage the comms community.
They promote and cheer on communications people so much, have a podcast and they’ve run online meet-ups where I see a sea of smiley faces enjoying the connection.
5. NHSComms on Facebook and Twitter
If there is one group of people who need moral support, motivation and the chance to pat each other on the back after a tough few years, it’s NHS communicators. NHS comms pros – I salute you!
This online community is for NHS communications and engagement professionals to chat, share, learn, debate, network + more. There is also a Twitter account and hashtag: @NHScommsorg #NHScomms
6. Third Sector PR & Comms network on Facebook
If you work in or with a not-for-profit, this place is a goldmine.
You will find lovely people to add to your network, great advice and a lot of useful ideas, relevant job vacancies, events and resources being shared.
Do you get value from these, or any, online communities? If so, I’m sure those who run them would love to hear good feedback from you.
How to thank a community manager or creator
It takes time, dedication and many delicate judgments to run a group that has a welcoming and productive atmosphere. So hats off and thank you to those who do it, for no payment and for the love of their profession and community.
If you want to show your appreciation:
- Read, accept and adhere to the group rules. I have a pile of people who want to join our group, but because I want it to be a lovely place to be, I won’t admit them unless they agree to the rules.
- Contribute as much as you can – when you comment or post anything, you will be helping, amusing or just making someone else feel less alone.
- Try to compliment people and make others smile – life’s not easy but you can make it a bit nicer and brighten it up for someone else in a tiny way. It’ll make you feel good too.
- Expensive gifts and lavish public praise.
* I write this as a white woman in my 40s in the UK and will have missed some groups that are there to serve people not like me: groups for comms people to do with age, race, gender, sexual orientation, physical abilities or mental health.
So if you have experience of a great group, and want to share it, I’d love to hear about it.
The Channels Network is a great one, and it’s global!