On Friday, around 100 agencies and government marketers met 25 representatives from some of the UK’s biggest online communities, including Netmums, The Student Room, BusinessZone, Mumsnet, StudentMidwife.NET, Carespace, Do The Green Thing, PatientOpinion, Prospects and the Army Rumour Service.
The group heard short case studies from the communities, discussed some of the key issues around the barriers to working with online communities, sensitivities and strategies for engaging a community, and whether to build new communities from scratch or engage with existing groups. Half the session was spent networking, sharing stories and exchanging business cards.
The case study presentations and many of the community links are captured in the live event coverage (click ‘Replay’ below) and we’ll be adding video from the event to this site in due course.
Thanks a million to everyone who came, to DECC for hosting us and providing an amazing film service, to Alistair Reid and Rhys Stacker for providing live multimedia coverage, and to We Are Social and Diffusion PR for sponsoring food and drinks.
What next? We’re not sure, and it would be great to have your ideas. Perhaps we should create an online directory of communities, with profiles and contact details? Perhaps we should run more Meet The Communities events either around specific topics or sectors, or in different parts of the country? Perhaps we could expand the model to more hyperlocal sites? Perhaps we could try and work to address some of the underlying barriers to working together, around procurement, planning and funding?
Over to you – let us know in the comments what you would like to see happen next!