A few weeks ago, I watched the UPS and FedEx trucks roll out of a Pfizer shipping facility in Michigan. It could have been any other day, shipments coming out of a pharmaceutical company’s big warehouse isn’t all that unique. But now, there are essential workers being vaccinated by the day because of quick-thinking and fast-acting public health professionals.
I was glued to the image, moved to tears. I think I was just shell-shocked at the potential impact of this seemingly routine act. Something that happens every day – shipping from a warehouse – had real power because of the connection to a broader purpose.
These shipments and those people driving the trucks are saving lives.
A few hours later, I got an email from a C-Suite executive who told me that they were reviewing their budget because the vaccine will offer new opportunities that they simply couldn’t count on in 2020.
The same holds true for you: There are opportunities just waiting for you to leverage them. This year, the cultural and social shifts we have all been experiencing are an opportunity to create a renewed sense of connection to your defined organizational or community purpose.
Defining a strong organizational purpose is not a new concept by any means, but it has certainly become top of mind as we work to communicate the meaning and potential impact of hosting a virtual event or inviting a member to donate to your organization’s mission. Now more than ever, the power of consistently communicating your purpose is potentially game-changing. You can harness a moment of optimism to move your members closer together.
You need to prepare to welcome folks back to a variety of purpose filled (I don’t think you need both words here as they’re so similar! You could say “meaningful” instead?) experiences, or re-engage them as a donor, member or volunteer. That can begin today.
What should your objective be in 2021? You need members to “show up” at the collective community watering hole – association learning experiences, rituals or meetings and development opportunities – with an openness to reconnect with your organization.
To get them to show up, you have to reconnect them at every touchpoint with the “why” of their connection. What’s the “why” that transcends age, life stage, professional role or position, even gender?
The answer lies in the resilience of your purpose. The most practical and effective reason is also transcendent. Being a purposeful human as an executive and communicating the real human impact of your sisterhood/brotherhood, collegial or association membership for your organization has never been more important.
It’s time to put your purpose at the heart of what you do. Clearing out the marketing clutter and looking at purpose as the hub of your marketing wheel can offer a lot of structure and power to how you connect with people. You can and should use creative assets that family with your larger brand and organizational aesthetic.
Let’s talk about the conversations you can have RIGHT NOW to shape your year for a more purposeful impact in 2021.
- Demonstrate Curiosity and “Parrot Back” What You Find. Sit down with your team and identify ways that you can connect with your constituents. Attempt to find “themes for connection.” Finding the themes that tie folks together and then sharing those themes can be an effective way to “bring folks back” who might not have heard or seen their perspective or voice in a while. This is especially great for Facebook, where the culture can be so divisive. Your organization’s or association’s Facebook page can be seen as a warm, empathetic and purposeful space to land.
- Focusing on The Purpose Will Build Trust. Your purpose and how it shows up in every communication, every visual, every video or leadership touchpoint is comforting. Comfort and consistency build trust. Planning for consistency is the only way to get there – but the work is absolutely worth it.
At Rhyme & Reason we think about a consistent communication of purpose daily. We work with organizations to strategize, organize and then execute smart and beautiful designs with sparkling copy to support your message.
As we run into 2021, we’re here to help your team work through your organizational purpose, and find ways to help that purpose show up consistently in your marketing and communications. That can bring folks back to your events, learning and personal development experiences or back as an inspired, aware donor.
One way we might do that is by facilitating a Brand Lab at your 2021 planning retreat or “start of the year” kickoff meeting. In a few days, look for an email inviting you to book a Brand Lab for your staff.
Brand Lab can be a time to reset, reconnect and reinvigorate a staff or volunteer board that needs to feel a renewed sense of the organization’s purpose and impact. In just 90 minutes you’ll be armed with actionable items that you can do almost immediately, but which will also have a lasting effect.
We’d love to give you your own “trucks rolling out” moment. On to 2021.