Engagement Perspective

Monday Buzz: Flipping Your Engagement Perspective

A new way of thinking could entirely reverse your association's perspective on the relationships fueling member engagement. Plus: How well do you speak emoji?

Go back into your memory and recall a time you were truly, actively engaged with something—a work project, a hobby, whatever it may be.

As Anna Caraveli, managing partner at The Demand Networks, and Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CAE, the CEO and chief strategist at Spark Consulting, note in a post on MemberClicks’ blog, chances are, you weren’t earnestly engaged because you were lured in by a marketing proposal.

“What compelled you to commit your precious and limited time and resources and convert from passive observer to enthusiastic champion? Was it because the person, community, or organization that touched a chord took the time to discover what is meaningful to you and how you define value?” the authors ask. “In other words, were they seeing the world through your eyes, taking your perspective, putting you at the center of their endeavors, and creating an authentic connection with you?”

What Caraveli and Engel propose is not thinking about engagement from the perspective of your organization.

“The truth is that associations cannot create engagement for our members,” they declare. “Rather, the members choose to become engaged because they perceive and experience value they need to succeed. Engagement is not about you. It does not depend on your achievements, ‘engagement’ strategies, communications, benefits, or powers of persuasion.”

If you head is already beginning to spin as you reconsider some conventional association wisdom, take a breather, then explore Caraveli and Engel’s extensive white paper: “Leading Engagement from the Outside In: Become an Indispensable Partner in Your Members’ Success” [PDF]. You can also read more in Joe Rominiecki’s blog post from last month.

Study of the Day


For some insights into what journalism and publishing may look like in 10 years, check out this intriguing report from the Dutch Journalism Fund. As Madeline Welsh, a Google Journalism Fellow at Nieman Lab, notes: “[W]hile the study looks specifically at the future of media in the Netherlands, the visions they describe are easily transferable to wherever you live.”

Other Good Reads

For better or worse, this experiment in emoji usage by Chevy, to promote the launch of a new car, is at least interesting, not to mention a good litmus test of how fluent you are in the strange, image-centric pseudo-dialect.

We usually keep things positive in our daily Buzz features, but just to dip into the role of devil’s advocate for a second, event professional and Event Manager Blog contributor Holly Barker has “5 Signs Event Planning Is Not Your Cup of Tea.”

If you’ve ever gotten cold feet about embracing a new social platform, check out how authors and publishers learned to embrace Tumblr’s Reblog Book Club. The article, by The Millions writer Elizabeth Minkel, is from early this year, but the insights within are well worth resurfacing.

(Evgeny Sergeev/ThinkStock)

Morgan Little

By Morgan Little

Morgan Little is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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