Creating a mission statement for your online community

by Martin Reed on 5 October 2011 in Snippets

It’s impossible to be a great community manager if the community you manage doesn’t have a mission statement. Without a mission statement, how do you know what kind of culture you’re trying to develop? How do you know what kind of content should be encouraged? How do you know what kind of members you want to attract?

A mission statement is critical if you want to build a successful online community. The mission statement will influence your community’s rules and guidelines. It will determine how you grow and it will remind you (and your members) of the community’s purpose.

So, how do you come up with a mission statement? I like to come up with the mission statement myself when building a community from scratch. As the community grows, I’ll revisit it and see if it needs to be adjusted (normally, it will).

At this stage you can also invite members to band together to write the mission statement themselves.

However you do it, just make sure your community has one.

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Cathie Dunklee-Donnell October 22, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I love your idea of having your community help to build a mission statement. I can see how that would help to foster the feeling of community, and make everyone feel like their opinion has merit!

mr woc December 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

I agree its a good idea, as its often easy to lose focus of your direction sometimes, so i guess its a good idea, not easy to come up with sometimes though lol !


Mrinmoy Das March 6, 2012 at 7:00 am

There are two words that goes hand in hand when talking of Mission, somehow I believe the Vision also comes to picture. Vision is long term objectieve while Mission is short term ambission. I am not sure which one is more important. Both seems to guide the organization toward a targeted culture and objectieve.

Tommy T May 8, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Yes! I can never stress this enough. Thankfully, this is one thing I always got right. Though it wasn’t named mission statement, was named “Community Pledge”. It stated that I would live up to what members expect of me, and in turn they’ll live up to what I expect of the core loyal member base.

It worked fantastic – and judging by the e-mails and feedback, it was actually this mission statement that encouraged and convinced the majority of my members to sign up. Particularly female members, as they were very attracted to my main marketing “ploy” (for lack of a better word) – FC’s beloved strict zero tolerance “No Perv Policy” stated in the mission statement, and the site’s dedication to protecting its member base from these kind of people.