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How do you define sustained engagement?
- user-generated content as a campaign, instead of just sending out a press release
- feedback cycle for software: supporters able to report bugs in user-friendly way, the iterate on software
- hosting regular events that are driven by participants
- helpfulness of having physical space where people can feel co-ownership
- inter-network solidarity and amplification (don't just talk about your own work, feature other similar orgs.) builds trust
- consistent material creation and dissemination
- intentional content creation: culturally-relevant, informative, accessible, language-appropriate, etc.
- thinking about what the expectations are
- impact -> engagement leading to action? or not?
- ensuring that engagement and each connection leads to steps up the ladder of engagement (relationship growth)
- loyalty -> volunteering, donating, advertising
- internal giving back to your community (volunteers, donors) -> incentive (e.g. potluck, free food) -> events
- ensuring an open feedback loop -> giving a voice to those engaging
- honesty (about success or failure of campaign)
- have an ask or actionable item, not just donation pitch
- having a visible space for a project online where the dialogue is transparent and participatory
- be clear about organizational goals and how the website supports those goals
- online space mirroring offline spaces -- hosting in-person events and then providing an online space for continued engagement/discussion
How to change the culture of top-down communications
- One example:
- Seth Godin, "Flipping the Funnel: Give Your Fans the Power to Speak Up"
- A little dated, but has a good justification for switching from "billboard mode" to "engagement mode."
- Working across departments in your organization. Shared space where projects are posted -- whiteboard in a hallway or regular standup meetings. Consider Agile-style daily but BRIEF standup meetings where everyone checks in about what they worked on, what they're working on, and what's blocking them.
- Stop pushing the entire website/comms project onto one person, but see it as a collaborative process that all departments have a stake in.