5 LinkedIn groups for PR pros

If you work in PR, chances are you have one of three needs:

* 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?

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15 comments on “5 LinkedIn groups for PR pros

  1. Thanks for these tips! I work in social media at a marketing firm, and find myself wishing I had more PR background (now that engagement on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. is blurring the lines of what is marketing, what is PR, what is customer service….). I’ve had the same problem you mention about finding groups that aren’t all spammy, but actually have helpful discussions. Based on your recommendations, I’ve already joined some of these groups! Thanks again.

  2. I would add #PRintern | #EntryPR group. It’s great for people (like me) trying to get an entry level job. Also, links out to site for advice such as Culpwrit.

    If you’re a PRSA member, definitely check out the individual sections (e.g., New Professionals, and PRSA Jobcenter).

    I’m definitely going to join some of these that I’m not in. Thanks!

  3. Great collection of helpful groups. Only advise I would add is to join more specialized PR groups. They can (don’t have to) be less crowded and more on point if you’re looking for specialized discussions or people. I’m, for example, a member of a group called “Tech PR” that helped me connect with a few important professionals in my industry.

  4. Arik Hanson says:

    No problem, Danielle. Please let me know if you stumble on any other good groups for PRs.

  5. davinabrewer says:

    Arik, Good list and thanks for the MarketingProfs recommendation, I will check it out. Like you mentioned, the value you’ll get from joining any LinkedIn group will usually vary per two things: 1) the activity of the group itself, if it’s all spam and job seekers and self promotion vs. substantive discussions and 2) the amount of time you put into it (like all social media IMO). Checking out my groups, sharing more content with them, participating in more conversations always seems to be on my to-do list, yet rarely makes the got-done list. I gotta work on that for 2011, FWIW.

  6. Arik Hanson says:

    It’s tough to make time, no question. But, that’s the challenge these days, isn’t it. For me, LinkedIn Groups are a lot like volunteering–like you said, you get what you put into it.

  7. this is very useful

  8. this is very useful

  9. Ari Herzog says:

    Why should one join (or not join) a local PRSA chapter? Benefits? Disadvantages? General thoughts, Arik?

  10. Arik Hanson says:

    Benefits: Networking and opportunity to develop skill sets you might not currently have. Disadvantage: I tend to think membership fees are a little steep considering what you get in return. Everyone needs to evaluate that for themselves though.