Best practices for group communication in Gmail

The integrated Gmail experience is rolling out to Google Workspace customers over the next few weeks. If you don’t see certain features, check back later or contact your administrator.

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In the integrated Gmail experience, you can connect any way you want. Send an email, chat one-on-one or in groups, use rooms for team projects, and start or join video meetings—all from Gmail. This article helps you choose the right channels for communicating and collaborating with your groups.

Communication channels in the integrated Gmail experience

Email, chat, collaborate in virtual rooms, and meet or present over video

Communication use cases

Wondering which communication channel to use? See the use cases below for recommended best practices.



Get quick answers to questions

  • Group size—Very small. 5 people or fewer.
  • Longevity—Short. Conversations are quick and to the point.
  • Interactivity—Low. Typically minimal discussion.
  • Connectedness—Low. No solid group identity, but participants likely to know one another.
  • Moderation—None.
  • Privacy—Only open to people you add when you start the chat.
     
Best practice

Use Chat in Gmail for one-on-one or informal group conversations. Learn how to use Chat in Gmail.

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Collaborate on short-term projects

  • Group size—Small. Fewer than 15 people.
  • Longevity—Medium. Only lasts the duration of the project.
  • Interactivity—High. Collaboration is crucial. Engagement is expected.
  • Connectedness—High. Solid group identity.
  • Moderation—None, or project leaders serve as moderators.
  • Privacy—Closed. Only open to members.

Best practice

Create a room for the team to collaborate on documents and manage task assignments. Learn how to create a room.

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Collaborate with formal teams

  • Group size—Medium. More than 15 people.
  • Longevity—Long. Team members can change and they can create subteams.
  • Interactivity—High. Participation is encouraged.
  • Connectedness—High. Strong team identity and connection with teammates.
  • Moderation—Low. Team leaders guide discussion and tone.
  • Privacy—Closed. Only open to team members.

Best practice

Create a room for the team and share documents and tasks in the room. Learn how to create a room.

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Share information with social groups

  • Group size—Large. 50–100 people or more.
  • Longevity—Long. Groups continue indefinitely.
  • Interactivity—Medium. Informal nature leads to discussion.
  • Connectedness—Medium. Personal interest leads to tighter bonds with others.
  • Moderation—Medium. Guidance and gentle redirection if topics become sensitive.
  • Privacy—Open to others who are interested in the same topics.

Best practice

Use Google Groups to create a group with moderation controls. Learn how to moderate group messages.

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Share information with professional groups

  • Group size—Large, 50–100 people or more.
  • Longevity—Long. Groups continue indefinitely.
  • Interactivity—Low. Goal is to build knowledge repositories. Discussion not always required. 
  • Connectedness—Low. Less identity with larger groups or topics.
  • Moderation—Guidance and gentle redirection if topics become sensitive.
  • Privacy—Open to others who are learning relevant skills or products.

Best practice

Use Google Groups to create a group with moderation controls, and send information to the group email address. Or, use Google Meet for video meetings. Learn how to moderate group messages or use Google Meet for video meetings.

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Make announcements or communicate with everyone in an organization

  • Group size—Extra large. An entire organization or site.
  • Longevity—Long. Groups continue indefinitely.
  • Interactivity—None. Responses are not expected or frequently allowed.
  • Connectedness—Low. Loose connection with others receiving communications.
  • Moderation—High. One-way communication from leadership.
  • Privacy—Open to organization.

Best practice

Send email to an organization-wide Google Groups mailing list. Or, use Google Meet to live stream video meetings. Learn how to create an organization-wide group or live stream a video meeting.

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