* A need to build or grow your network.
* A need to acquire new skills or hone existing ones.
* A need to find a new job.
While you could argue many social networks meet these three needs adequately, I might argue that LinkedIn has the biggest potential to meet these needs best when it comes to professional skill-building, networking and job-seeking.
But, 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 be a member of, but after some initial research, I couldn’t identify 12 I could really recommend.
Most groups (some pretty reputable brands even) were chock full of SPAM–job postings and blatant self-promotion in the Discussions pane and overall, just a lack of effective community management within the group.
I was a bit disappointed. Like I said, a few of these groups were reputable, larger organizations. I was expecting a little more.
But, there were a few groups doing it right. And, I most certainly would recommend joining the following post-haste if you haven’t already:
* PRSA-your local chapter (varies). Obviously, this one depends on your local chapter. Ours here in Minnesota is pretty active–and productive. In my view, it all depends on your local community.
* 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!
* Solo PR Pros (726 members). Selfishly, 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.
* PR News Group (5,336 members). Fairly engaged group with relevant discussions to anyone who works in PR. Most 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?”
* 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 early next year, 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).
Any other groups you’d recommend?