PATHWAY TO SUCCESS
The term ‘community’ is often thought of as a collection of individuals united by shared interests, values or goals. When looking into promoting the Foundation as an organisation on the Web it is, in this day and age, an ideal communications platform. Before anything else, however, it will have to exert extra efforts to learn more about what it takes to engage and get to know our community of constituents better.
Publishing information is good. You may have also noticed that there is today a prevalence of websites on the Web and that many rely on user participation and interaction through user-generated content. After all, humans are social beings and the urge to communicate is strong. They tell their stories and listen to what others have to say. They have conversations. These online networks contrast markedly from an unbelievable number of websites that still contain a collection of hyperbole, artificial branding and pro-corporate content. But decisions are now being made in other trusted locations on the Internet. We aim to make this one of them.
AND THE SURVEY SAYS …
Research tells us that the highest degree of trust comes from those ‘like me’. Most people shop around for ideas before making decisions – mostly from their peers or from websites they trust. So how do we build up the most trust?
You do that only by listening, reading and understanding the points-of-view of others and what clicks with them. Undertaking this exercise helps us better understand how to serve them with valuable information, one that reflects who and what we are and what we stand for. It is only then that we can develop meaningful relationships, resonate ideas, create trust and build influence. In essence, this is what the Foundation’s stakeholder relationship management programme rests on.
We submit that the cornerstone of any communications strategy is content, or the substance and quality of it at the very least. If we get this component wrong, it doesn’t matter if all other elements are perfect. So it pays to do our research on what could possibly constitute an important topic to publish for the community and using that to find unique perspectives to fit what people already like.
Once content is published on this website we’ll make it engage. We’ll take pains for it to inform; for it to be interesting, sometimes entertaining and most of all, through appropriate calls to action, for it to work and modify the behaviour of persons reading it – like wanting to come back to our site often enough to find out more, for instance.
Website copy isn’t just there to fill up space. It has a job to do; it’s there to get things done for us. Loud and overtly hard-selling copy fails most times. Why so? It’s because people abhor feeling like they’re being pushed. They immediately see the warning signals and will find ways to avoid any intrusive sales pitches. For all our efforts it’ll all be just hasta la vista for us, baby.
IT’S PEOPLE WHO REALLY COUNT
Developing relevant content for the Web isn’t about trying to force ourselves on others, because it’s always about the reader – the only reason why copy even exists in the first place. It’s their needs, their interests, desires and motivations which really good content works at to engage.
We understand that people generally might read but don’t want to talk about lofty purposes; a litany of vision, mission and objectives statements; or, the problems we face. What they do want to talk about are our stories and points-of-view in the arena we find ourselves working in; the common mistakes we see or make; and, what the emerging trends are and how these may upset ‘business as usual’.
Points-of-view jump start meaningful conversations. And because we relish that, it will distinguish the Foundation more and particularly so through the programmes, projects, services or events it will provide; and, that’s where we’re going to need you because word-of-mouth comes in very handy at times. It is a potent key and its DNA is as viral as a rumour doing its rounds. So we invite you all to join us in these conversations whether here on our Community website or in our Facebook Community Page.
We don’t ever think for a moment that if you have a website or a social networking page, they’ll all come. Not all vehicles traversing through a road system pass through the same billboard. Therefore, talking to others like you about something is by far more effective than just having stuff published hoping that it manages to attract a beeline of followers all by itself.
FOLLOWERS, SUPPORTERS AND ADMIRERS
Reputation management is not about what things you have to say about yourself but what others have to say about you. We can also learn a thing or two about why celebrities become famous? It’s because they pan to the audience and give them what they want again and again and again. So, as people like you get to talk with other people about us – anything for that matter really, they will pick up quickly what they think is curious, interesting and informative, or something they like which is good enough to pass along to friends not because you’ve asked them to, but because they WANT to.
If they find something on this website that catches their attention, they’ll want to book-mark it, share or even link to it. That’s the point where the Foundation starts building up a real community of followers, supporters and admirers. And the Foundation is prepared to engage them all.
WHAT WE’RE GOING TO DO
One thing is absolutely certain. Our audiences and stakeholders – they are all more important than ourselves. They are the ones who are going to interact with us in one or other ways, not search engines. Search engines are just there to display only the information we supply.
Listening, writing good copy, publishing it and bringing ideas back into the marketplace of dis-course through engagement with you. This is what the Foundation is now geared up to do going for-ward.
So join our network today because that’s one of the ways you can help us build a multi-purpose cultural and community centre all can use and enjoy.
Bulwagan Foundation Trust. Community development in Wellington.
That is who we are. This is what we’re going to do. Join us!