5 Ways to Connect in Uncertain Times

Every election season is a barrier to connection, with people overwhelmed by 24/7 messages from multiple campaigns via multiple channels. But connecting this fall—through the noise of so many contentious midterm races—is particularly tough. That’s a real concern as we plunge into Giving Tuesday and Year-End.

Pile on the chaos we face on so many fronts—from the mass murder at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue to constitutional threats and the refugee crisis—and it’s almost impossible to get attention, much less motivate action. We can’t fight it, nor can we sit it out.

Here’s how to get (and stay) close to your people right now:

1) Show your people you get them. The fast-moving shifting of norms we face is unnerving. People are feeling vulnerable, and the candidates’ fear mongering fuels our anxiety and sense of powerlessness.

Acknowledge that this is a tough time for all of us. Emphasize that your organization cares about your people and their families and friends.

2) Connect with what’s top of mind. I urge you to reframe the midterm elections as a fantastic community-building opportunity, highlighting so many crucial issues.

Identify how your organization’s work touches top-of-mind issues. Connect there—on the issue, not the candidates’ take—at the moment it’s hot. That means being ready to roll with relevant outreach on your core issues and causes.

Caveat: Stay out of discussions on issues that aren’t your organization’s sweet spot, even if that’s all people are talking about.

3) Illustrate your impact with concrete details and stories.  Convey how your organization helps SOLVE problems emphasized in campaigns and headlines. Demonstrate your impact via specific details and stories to increase the probability people will remember and repeat them to their networks.

4) Stay clear and consistent. When candidates and other world leaders change their minds and rhetoric on a daily basis, and practices and people we’ve depended on turn out to be unreliable, consistency is more important than ever. When you communicate clearly and consistently, you make it easy for your people to recognize a communication from or about your organization, digest it, be reassured by the known, and spread the word.

5) Offer hope. Show your people they can count on your organization to build the kind of country and community in which they want to live. We need that now, more than ever.

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Nancy Schwartz in Strategy | 0 comments
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