Chucking the Ladder of Engagement

I read an article this morning in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and I highly recommend you do too: The Permanent Disruption of Social Media

The gist of it: “Social media has chipped away at the foundation of traditional donor-engagement models. A new study highlights the realities of donor behavior and how organizations can redesign their outreach strategies to be more effective.”

This article clearly conveys what I think so many of us are struggling with: how do we get our heads around our communications with supporters now that social media has completely up-ended the more traditional, controlled approaches?

Take the old standby, the Ladder of Engagement. The article outlines why the model really doesn’t work so well anymore. They instead propose a vortex model. I’m not necessarily bought into that yet, but I do think it is much, much closer to the reality of communicating today than a ladder.

 

Ladder or Vortex?

I admit to being slightly obsessed with this right now because I just finished the “communications models” chapter in the new content marketing book I am writing. I wasn’t really happy with it, and this article is why — but much clearly articulated than I was able to do!

Take a few minutes to read the article. It will be good for your brain, and good for your nonprofit’s future too.

 



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  • Julie Dixon

    Kivi, thank you so much for highlighting the article & research on your blog. I’m glad to hear that it fits so well with what you’ve been thinking about. Looking forward to your new book!

    • Thank you Julie for helping to clarify thinking on this really important issue in our field!

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