Nov 10, 2011

Posted by in Features | 3 Comments

United We Stand: Message For You, Sir!

United We Stand is an Ask A Jedi series focusing on guilds, groups, and other communities in Star Wars: The Old Republic. By examining the communities that we form, we can create a stronger game for ourselves, build relationships that will last a lifetime, and perhaps even change the world itself.

Six weeks from now, we’re starting on a grand adventure, one that will likely change many of our lives forever. We’re not going to be alone though, everyone else is going to be there with us. Thus, the next six articles are going to focus on how to design a guild from the ground up, how to market your guild, how to make it an effective organization, and how to reach your goals. This plan goes right along with Ask A Jedi’s amazing new column Council Chambers written by the very talented Lady Republic, which deals with day to day problems and solutions for guild officers.

Before we get into that fancy topic, I want to give you aspiring guild leaders and officers probably the best and most useful advice I can possibly give, for beside all the cool ideas and theories we discuss here there will be nothing more useful then what I am about to say: You cannot do this alone. Before anything else, you must find one other person who completely shares your vision with you. This person will be incredibly valuable to you both as an advisor, a friend, and your greatest supporter. Once your guild becomes successful, you will never forget what they have done for you.

The Message

The six concepts that we are going to discuss, one week at a time, are message, visibility, transparency, legitimacy, infrastructure, and resources. First, we’re going to focus on how to build your core message. The concept is pretty simple, every guild must have an identity, whether it be hardcore or causal, PvE or PvP, crafting or leveling, every guild must have a specifically defined promise. The important part is how you present those things. You need a core description of your guild, well written and attractive that you can show off all over the internet. It should be something that you can refer to whenever anyone wants to know what you are about, what you stand for, and what you are trying to do. I know that this isn’t a guild’s, but the one that always comes to mind that I try to mimic is Day[9]’s manifesto. Immediately this will set you apart from other guilds, if you have this core message, it will be clear that you know exactly what you are talking about.

What should it say? It should declare who you want to be. If I want to make a progression guild to take down the hardest bosses in the game, don’t tell players that this is what you want to do and you want their help, you tell them that this is what you’re doing and they better damn well be on board. Tell it exactly how you want it to be, don’t try to appeal to everyone or you are going to get a ton of people that want you to do everything. As LadyRepublic put it, “Focus on what you do offer and want to do, and don’t try to recruit the players looking for other aspects of the game that your guild doesn’t do.”  A straightforward, well written message, and lets the world know exactly what your purpose is, who you are, and who you want to be.

The Vision

This is important not only for recruiting purposes, but because it will be good for you as a leader. The process of writing your core message will help you narrow down and define your vision of what you want to do. I am willing to bet that most of you aspiring guild leaders don’t have much other than a single image and feeling in your head that you are trying to reach. It could the feeling of clearing Directive 7 before anyone else, stomping your way through a warzone with your teammates or simply the glow in your heart as you watch your guildmates succeed. Writing this core message will help you turn that image and feeling into a clear vision. With a clear vision, you will find it surprisingly easy to rally others behind.

If you’d like feedback on your core message, leave a comment and I’ll email you asking for it. Otherwise, leave comments or tweet me @TwinHits with your thoughts, ideas, and stories about guilds, communities, and leadership in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

  1. Lady Republic says:

    Nice post! (And thanks for the compliments – I’ll have to try and live up to being talented now?) :)

    I definitely think having a mission statement is very key – it’s really what helps define and differentiate successful groups (be they companies, clubs, or whatever) from chaotic ones. Ideally, I’ve always tried to boil it down to a one-line statement about a guild (or group, etc). You can always develop and expand on it later, but having a one sentence mission statement that captures the heart of what you do is very helpful for prospective members.

    Looking forward to the series and reading more!

  2. Xavier Morgan says:

    Thanks for this. We have a guild, Banhammer, that we are wrestling with growth / no growth. 28 members in line now from friends and family. We have been together since Star Wars Galaxies in various forms and components. Good food for thought. Appreciate the style and content.

  3. Just having a mission statement that goes beyond “Yeah, we are PvE social” will put you head and antlers above the dross that any prospective guild seeker trawls through. I would add that it shouldn’t be an essay on how and when you expect to accomplish whatever the mission is: a paragraph is good enough if it is precise.

    The mission statement should be the first entry into what will eventually be your Guild Charter: the document that outlines how your guild operates such that those seeking entry can inform themselves about what they get into, and those already in can refer back to it if the leadership loses direction down the line.
    A charter is the contract between the guild and each member: We operate like this, do these things, and if you agree to that we will help you accomplish those things and get these benefits.

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