CULTIVATE AN ENGAGEMENT ETHOSCommunity Engagement means: working collaboratively to discover, understand, and address community needs and aspirations. Deeply engaged organizations tend to act in certain ways. They have interactions that are authentic, meaningful and responsive to their community's needs.
Organizations that Shift Their Thinking:Turn outward and reorient themselves toward the community.Are open to change.Innovate and experiment with new ways of working internally and externally.Focus on community needs rather than the organization.
Organizations that Start Listening:Learn how to listen appreciatively without an agenda.Keep the focus on the community rather than the organization.Bring together leaders and diverse cross sections of the community for productive dialogue.Commit to continually discovering and understanding the community'sneeds and aspirations.
Organizations that Know Their Value:Review their mission and vision relative to the organization's strategic role in the community.Intentionally leverage their assets to best serve the community.Identify the unique value they offer as a partner, community stakeholder and media outlet.Define success for the organization in terms of shared benefit to the community that can be measured, demonstrated, improved and sustained.Constantly gather information and feedback about how they can make their workmore relevant and effective.
Organizations that Build Relationships:Understand that authentic relationships are rooted in trust and shared experiences that build social capital.Tap into community networks by attending community functions and creating a consistent, in-person presence beyond promoting the organization.Constantly engage other organizations and individuals in conversations.Stretch their comfort zone by pursuing opportunities to understand the community through the lens of diverse citizens and organizations.
Organizations that Collaborate:Seek partners whose strengths complement their own.Build collaborations through established relationships that have grown over time.Identify and respect mutual organizational needs, goals and aspirations.Integrate their work with others rather than working in parallel.Clearly articulate and safeguard their editorial integrity.Actively seek opportunities to sustain the work over time.
Community Engagement 101
Community Engagement: A Mindset for Reaching Your Goals
About NCME:We help stations engage theircommunities.We are funded by the Corporationfor Public Broadcasting to design,develop, and deploy print, digital,online, and other resources that:
• You and your colleagues can use to initiate or enhance a two-way conversation with community members.• Help tell your community and potential funders about your value as an essential local institution.• Identify opportunities that can help you find partners and funding for your work. For more information: Visit our website at mediaengage.org Call us at 866-234-2016 Email us at email@example.com
Establish common understanding:What do we mean by…• Engagement• Outreach• Promotion
Community engagement means working collaboratively to discover, understand and address community needs and aspirations.
Outreach Engagement• Extension of an • Integrated with an organization’s core organization’s culture, service (value-added) strategy and practices• One to many • Builds a pathway for dialogue• Talking to people • Listening to people• Approaches audience • Works with the with answers community to identify solutions.
If the focus is on you, yourstation or what you do, it’s probably promotion.(and that’s important, too)
Engaging requires a completelydifferent orientation frombroadcasting or outreach orpromotion. ANDEngaging informs all of thoseactivities.
“Part of the work is makingchanges, listening andadjusting.–Ariana Hall, WWOZ, New Orleans
Cultivate an Engagement Ethos Deeply engaged organizations have community interactionsthat are authentic, meaningful and responsive to community needs
Turn outward toward yourcommunityFocus on possibilities not problems
Listen actively to seek insightfrom the diverse voices in yourcommunity
Understand your strengthsand apply them strategicallyto address what you learnthrough listening
Constantly cultivate andsustain relationships in everylevel of the community
Work closely with others to develop shared goals Create shared value for the community