Cultivating Local News Communities with Facebook Groups

This upcoming Webinar will be broadcast on:
Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 2:00pm Eastern Time Enroll Now
Can't attend the live Webinar? We'll have an archived replay available soon after the live session. Your registration will give you access to the replay plus our bonus resources.

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.
Time Estimate:
One hour for the main presentation and questions. Sometimes presenters stay longer to answer additional questions from participants.

About Webinars

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, supported by Google News Lab and 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.


Google News Lab

The Google News Lab collaborates with journalists and entrepreneurs to build the future of media with Google.

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it useful and accessible to everyone. Quality journalism is critical to that mission, providing accurate information to people on important issues when it matters the most.

Over the past decade, technological changes — and the shift to digital — have presented significant challenges to the underlying models that allow news organizations to produce quality journalism.

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 conducts research and training, convenes thought leaders and creates tools to help chart a path for journalism in the 21st century. The organization was founded in 1946 with the mission to help the news industry fulfill the purpose of the First Amendment – sustaining a free press in the public interest. That mission continues today.

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+

Bandwidth - 1.5 Mbits/sec up and down. We strongly suggest viewing our Webinars with a wired connection.

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This Webinar contains audio. Please adjust your headphones or speakers.

Questions? Read our Webinar FAQ or contact us at

You can watch our Live Webinars on your iPad with a free Adobe Connect app. To watch Webinar replays, your iPad must be able to view Flash media players. The Live Webinar experience on your iPad is very similar to watching it from your computer. You can watch the video, follow the presentation, respond to polling questions, ask the presenter questions and participate in any discussion forums.

Download the free Adobe Connect app from iTunes here. To access the live event, click on the "Join Live Event Now" button on the Webinar landing page. The virtual room will automatically load. Viewing recorded Webinars on iOS devices is not currently supported.