Daily Buzz: Boost Engagement With “Third Place” Theory

As member interaction moves online, leverage digital communities to create year-round buzz for in-person meetups, says Personify. Also: Keep your corporate partners happy.

Members count on their association to keep the community connected. As many communities turn digital, the question becomes: How can we continue to encourage engagement when the interactions aren’t face to face?

One way to do it: Look to “third place” theory.

Third place theory says that certain gathering places away from home and work are safe spaces that reinforce community connections and culture. People are happy and engaged in their third places. Although these have historically been brick-and-mortar locations (your coffee shop, for example), now more than ever, online communities can serve as digital third places. The bonus is that they have the potential to amplify and extend your physical third places, such as your annual conference and other events, year-round, community consultant Jonelle Seitz writes for Personify.

Associations have to cultivate their online spaces to make that happen. Start with making authenticity the number-one rule, identifying leaders, and ensuring that the overall user experience promotes engagement, Seitz advises.

Cultivating the Corporate Partnership

Your association’s corporate partners may have business philosophies different from your own, which can complicate a relationship that is mutually beneficial.

Treating a partnership like other professional relationships—with respect, regular communication, and transparency—is the best way to eliminate tension and ensure everyone is on the same page. Association Success contributor Bruce Rosenthal shares some scenarios that can promote a positive partnership.

Other Links of Note

Going to donors only for money will alienate them. Nonprofit Hub offers tips on how to maintain donor engagement between asks.

Work is a contributing factor in many mental health issues, which is why managers should receive basic mental health training, argues Quartz.

Need marketing advice? Here are strategies that work for Microsoft, Netflix, Walmart, and Adobe, according to Entrepreneur.

(fizkes/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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