By David Earl
How to make engagement work for your organization
All organizations are challenged with the idea of engaging their constituencies. In this episode of Intersection, a public affairs town hall program on KBIA-FM, panelists tackled the idea of engagement for three organizations: advocacy, non-profit and news.
Engagement is a global phenomenon, it can be measured, and there are effective ways to incorporate it into your own organization’s goals.
There are two must-haves for any attempt at engagement to be effective:
1. There must be clear pathways for accessibility.
a. People need to know how to get involved, and it needs to be easy for them. No complicated
2. Everyone must listen.
a. Listen to the people you are trying to engage with. Incorporate their ideas. Let them have an
Advocacy organizations — like Columbia’s PedNet Coalition (a group focusing on transit issues) — utilize engagement best when they use it to create leaders. Engagement in a focused organization like PedNet puts people in charge of projects, and establishes and evaluates clearly defined goals.
Non-profit organizations utilize engagement best by showing donors the value and effectiveness of their donations. To truly create an engagement with donors, non-profits must turn statistics into people — they must give human stories to the numbers they provide. For non-profit organizations, face-to-face engagement is the most effective.
News organizations can best utilize engagement by involving the readers and viewers in a story before the publication process using social media. This lets news consumers have a say and stake in news coverage, it gives them public credit if needed, and it fosters community sources for the newsroom.
The people or audiences these groups wish to engage come to the table with personal motivations. Successful engagement includes identification and awareness of those motivations and needs, and rewarding those motivational needs to foster continued, deeper participation and engagement.
Watch the full episode of Intersection here.