Founder(s): Ashley Friedlein & Matthew O’Riordan
Guild is a platform for professional groups, networks, organisations, and communities who want the advantages of messaging – ease of use, immediacy, intimacy, engagement – but who also care about proper privacy, quality, legal compliance, and professional standards of support and service. It is as easy to use as WhatsApp but is GDPR compliant.
Guild was co-founded by Ashley Friedlein and Matthew O’Riordan. They realised that none of the messaging apps or social media platforms (Facebook-owned WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook and LinkedIn Groups being most common in the West) offer the right kind of environments for professionals to connect and collaborate. Their focus is instead on harvesting behavioural data to sell more ads.
Ashley and Matthew wanted to create a new kind of ad-free, private, professional digital communications platform. A safe space to communicate, connect and collaborate for people who value their professional networks and their personal data.
The National Education Union (NEU) has launched a community on Guild for its members to support educators and their pupils across the UK. Over 1,300 NEU members have shared their ideas and resources on remote education with their peers, and the network is growing quickly as teachers identify new, imaginative, and creative ways to engage and motivate children learning outside of a school environment.
Guild also offers its platform to charities to build communities free of charge. Some of the organisations who have benefited from hosting their community on Guild include:
- The Access Project (TAP), a charity that supports students from disadvantaged backgrounds to access top universities through a unique combination of tuition and in-school mentoring uses Guild as an internal comms tool to collaborate and share ideas.
- Spotlight YOPD, a charity that shines a light on the fact that Parkinson’s is not just a condition of the elderly; many are diagnosed under 50, mid-career with young families. It uses Guild primarily to simplify board communications.
- The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action used Guild to bring its annual conference attendees together.
- Bookmark, a child literacy charity coordinates its volunteers with a Guild community.
In addition to supporting organisations with setting up and running their communities, when the pandemic struck last year, Guild began hosting a group for professionals who have been released or furloughed from digital, marketing, creative, comms and PR roles or contracts called Furloughed or Released Talent (FORT). The community continues to grow, with members actively sharing job opportunities, tips, experiences, support and advice. Several members have secured employment from being a part of this group.
Another Guild managed group is Corona Response for Event Organisers (CREO). This group has provided a support network for event organisers, helping them transition from in-person events to online/hybrid events. This group shares feedback on technology platforms, engagement tips, and discusses format styles that generate the best results.