Creating authentic audience engagement can be challenging. It helps to identify what your goals are and what issues your organization faces. Once you have the basics written down, you can ask yourself whether your communication and engagement initiatives are performing well enough, or if you need to refocus your resources or seek outside help.
What was the first thing you did this morning when you woke up? If you are like 80% of smartphone users you likely checked your phone before you even brushed your teeth (IDC Research). Over the last several years mobile has aggressively grown. As of January 2014, 90% of American adults own a cell phone (Pew Research, 2014). This might explain why a 2014 Forbes article was entitled Mobile is the Future of Everything.
I won’t lie to you, I listened to Pat Benatar’s song before writing this piece just for kicks. Alas, to my own surprise I was actually able to draw a metaphor between the 80’s hit song and the concept of competitive advantage in business! Organizations, young and old, are all competing for attention online. It’s a constantly evolving battle for attention with the growth of technology and plethora of channels to communicate on. A quintessential part of creating meaningful audience engagement for an organization is allowing yourself to be authentic and transparent… in personal relationships we call it vulnerability. However, in this day and age, any organization that masters the art of open, authentic, personally relevant communication with their audience is still on the losing end of the battle for attention if they don’t optimize their efforts on mobile.
Most people don’t know the real history of St.Valentine’s day. At a time when an oppressive ruler prohibited marriage St.Valentine would wed couples in secret. It was a daring action that put the needs of those he served ahead of his own welfare. He recognized the human need for long term satisfying relationships based on love, and he did something about it. But today, in our fast paced world of instant gratification many people can’t tell the difference between a love and a crush. For me the difference is simple: substantive versus superficial, and like St. Valentine, worth taking daring action to protect. It lead me to think about how we treat all of our relationships including our business relationships. Are we striving for love or settling for a crush? Let’s look more closely at the differences.
Ever feel like you and your significant other are speaking completely different languages? Like no matter what, you just don’t understand each other? A misunderstood conversation might end up with you arriving on Valentine’s Day and presenting them with a closet organizer instead of the personalized gift they actually wanted. Well, this same scenario happens in business too.
Trust. It is the foundation that enables you to gain more volunteers and secure donors as if they were your own friends and family. Have you established this foundation within your organization? Here are five things you must do if you want to build the kind of trust that lasts with your supporters.
(Photo orginally posted via NPR news / Cred: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)