Reassess & Re-Engage: Listening Leads

Updated April 20
Now that the manhunt for the suspect in the Boston bombings is over, it’s time to reassess when and how to re-engage with your base. Listen to them, closely and carefully, and analyze what they want in the context of your organization’s goals, personality and voice

But most importantly—make sure you have people, processes and decision-making criteria in place to you can reassess your approach the moment things change in the next unexpected situation. More to come on that.

Please share your take, questions and/or how your org is moving forward now here.


That’s my #1 recommendation for your nonprofit right now, as responders chase down the second bombing suspect.

We’re all too tense (at least now, at least the people I know) to absorb anything much right now. And if you try to spark engagement on non-related or non-essential issues right now, you’ll fail.

In fact, if you do so you’re likely to alienate folks who may otherwise support your org’s work—irrelevant messages make people feel you don’t get them at all. That’s the quickest way to chase a prospect or supporter away.

Pause, and just listen close to your network, till the manhunt is over.

That’s what folks at Feeding America  and the Environmental Defense Fund decided. They made considered decisions this morning to pause.

And they’re ready to reassess that this afternoon, as things continue to shift. Nothing stays constant in our world of constant change.

Consider doing the same to 1) respect your base (listen close, especially today) and 2) stay relevant. Nothing is more important.

But mobilize while you pause—Get people, processes and decision-making criteria in place right now so you can re-tune your communications approach the moment things change, and when the next unexpected thing comes around. That’s a must for relevancy today and always.

Please share this recommendation with your nonprofit network—we all need some help at a moment like this.

If you don’t agree, I welcome your point of view and the opportunity to discuss it with you. Please share your thoughts here.

Also—Refer to this 9-point checklist for communicating in the midst of the unexpected and the guidance added by your peers in the field.

P.S. Stay on top of time-sensitive guidance like this with our Getting Attention e-update.

Nancy Schwartz in Relevance Rules | 30 comments

<< Back to Main