Archives For Community

NO signIf you have visited my blog before, then you know I am extremely committed to helping nonprofits engage with their communities through social media. However, I sometimes encounter organizations that I know are not ready for social media, and so I advise them not to tweet a word.

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studio audiencePeople like to share their experiences, especially their entertainment experiences.

The earliest forms of entertainment were communal experiences in crowds on street corners or in theaters with an audience. When television first came along it created that same sense of audience. According to Kevin Slavin, “Television started off not as radio with pictures, but rather as theater in your home. All the shows were broadcast live in front of a real audience, not recorded and later edited.”

Eventually television did offer recorded programing that underwent editing before it was broadcasted. Interestingly, the studios noticed a decline in viewership. That’s because the human brain, specifically the limbic system, is wired to look for meaning in the meaning that other people find. People wanted to find meaning through the shared experience of watching television.

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thumbs upEarlier this week I asked in a post, “Would your community miss your church?” Meaning if your church closed it doors for good, would your community even notice?

The truth is most communities wouldn’t feel a thing if a church closed it’s doors.

That’s because many churches have adopted a purely attractional approach to interacting with the community. This approach involves having church services at publicized times and attempting to ATTRACT the community to those services. Attraction may happen through any number of methods: invitation, advertisement, special programming, etc. Because many churches have interacted so long with the community using the attractional model that’s the model they try to bring into social media.

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closed church doorsMy local electricity provider does not advertise how to contact them for service.

They assume that if you want power you will “get in touch.” It’s not that they intentionally hide their contact information, they just don’t actively engage the community with the information.

The temptation that comes with offering a product or service that is extremely valuable is that you begin to expect people to come and find you.

When I lived in Cincinnati, I patroned a pizza company who always advertised their phone number in clever ways. The number was on all their print media – napkins, pizza boxes, flyers, billboards. Their commercials rehearsed the one number to call for pizza no matter where you lived in the city. They even put the phone number in their Twitter name. Click the tweet below. They retweet!

The difference between the pizza company and the power company is the power company provides something so valuable they assume you will find them when you need them.

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