Cultivating Local News Communities with Facebook Groups

This Webinar was originally broadcast on:
March 15, 2018 Enroll Now
Watch and listen to the original one-hour Webinar in its entirety. This Webinar recording features the full presentation led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty including Q&A from the audience and resources from the presenter.

Course Overview

Cultivating Local News Communities with Facebook Groups
This $29.95 webinar is free thanks to the generous support of the Google News Lab, American Press Institute and Knight Foundation.
Originally Broadcast On:
March 15, 2018
Time Estimate:
One hour for the main presentation and questions. Sometimes presenters stay longer to answer additional questions from participants.

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In this virtual classroom, participants can join in a seminar led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty. This screencast includes live audio and a slideshow presentation in which participants can post questions and respond to poll questions posed by the host.

Facebook Groups are an exciting way to build communities, especially on the local level. At a time when Facebook has deemphasized news on its feed, Facebook Groups also remain an effective way to interact with audiences and share meaningful stories with interested people.

But how do you start? What makes for a good Facebook group? What pitch can you make for resources? How can you involve your business side and journalists outside of the social media team in managing it?

This webinar will discuss best practices in starting a topical Facebook group, how to involve your newsroom and how to keep the conversation going.

This training event is part of a series on digital tools, in partnership with the American Press Institute and The Poynter Institute, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Learn more about journalism tools with Try This! — Tools for Journalism on

What Will I Learn:
  • Why the recent changes to Facebook's newsfeed make Groups so important
  • The things you need to consider as you're setting up a Group
  • Ways to get your newsroom excited and involved in managing the Group
  • How to be a host and build productive communities
  • The relationship between Facebook Groups and audience loyalty
  • Benefits for the business side of your publication
Who Should Take this Course:

Editors, reporters, audience engagement or social media producers who want to connect at a deeper level with their audience on Facebook should plan to attend.

Course Instructor:

Hannah Wise

Hannah Wise is the Engagement Editor at The Dallas Morning News. She oversees the newsroom's social media strategy and seeks ways to cultivate conversation around the News' journalism. Hannah is the Online News Association Dallas-Fort Worth chapter co-founder and president.


Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote community engagement and lead to transformational change.

Training Partner:

American Press Institute

The American Press Institute advances an innovative and sustainable news industry by helping publishers understand and engage audiences, grow revenue, improve public-service journalism, and succeed at organizational change.

Technical Requirements:

1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended) for Windows 7 or Windows 8
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, 11; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome
Adobe® Flash® Player 11.2+

1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
Mac OS X 10.7.4, 10.8, 10.9
Mozilla Firefox; Apple Safari; Google Chrome
Adobe Flash Player 11.2+

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