Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Guild Guide: Communication

Alright for today's installment of the discussion on managing a guild I wanted to talk about communicating with your officers and your members. This is such a tricky thing I have found. When your guild starts out, typically you will be a smaller a group of people, who more than likely play at the same time. The problem you will find is that as you grow, it will become more difficult to be able to communicate with your members. So how do you manage to let all the members of the guild know what is going on? That is exactly what we are going to examine in today's post.

In-Game Calendar

The first method is the in-game calendar. This is one of the most useful tools that Blizzard incorporated into the game. There were some add-ons out there that were great, but trying to ensure that all members had the same add-on calendar version is impossible. So great job here Blizzard. I would say that this tool is going to be one of the biggest things to use for communication. It is great for coordination of raids with the ability for individuals to sign up for guild events. This is also a great way to track members who committed to show up and did a no show.

Message of the Day

This is a nice little quick hit. What we will typically do is pop a sentence here giving instructions as to where to find the information relevant for the days activities, but it is hardly sufficient to use for organization of events. I would definitely recommend to incorporate it, but do not expect this to be all that you will need to do for communication with your guild.

Officers

Perhaps your officers are all on at different times? If so, then utilize those officers to incorporate important information. The only problem here is that if the officers are busy with something else, they may not notice a member signing on and this can lead to a lack of communication. So take advantage of your officers being on, but make sure there is a more central location for posting information as to what is going on with the guild.

Guild Website

This is a great location to post a lot of information about the guild, officers, members, media, etc. I know when we first founded MAS, we tried to set a site up and had some difficulties with it. I eventually took it upon myself and managed to find a couple good resources and we established the guild site last April. It is a lot of work to keep up to date, so I would recommend that you try to keep it at a manageable size. Do not overwhelm yourself or someone else with a lot of work to do. I would say use it for more informational purposes, such as upcoming events or registration. Some basic information about the guild leadership or the history of the guild would be good, but I would try to avoid making it a daily task.

Guild Forum

This in my opinion is the premier way to communicate with your guild. There are several different sites to establish a free forum through and this is the perfect place to begin. Most forums will allow for permissions, so you can create forums for your officers where normal members are unable to view. This allows you to conduct officer meetings over the course of day or two, as well as, notify members of important information, class specific information, or even posts for crafting or suggestions.

One of the biggest reasons guilds hit a wall is the lack of communication or a perceived segregation. By taking the time to communicate with all of your members, you help to ensure the success of your guild in the long run. In the short term, all members will feel like they know what is going on with their guild and hopefully develop a sense of loyalty to the guild.

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