Being in Day 3 of this fabulously energizing week, I have had little time to blog. I did, however, want to share an observation I have noted perhaps every single hour of this week:
There is a huge difference between “outreach / marketing” and “engagement.” And given the choice between them, I’ll take engagement any day.
Outreach and marketing rely on what we have come to call the “Tell and Hope” method of communications: I tell you my story, and I hope you will do what I want you to do.
Engagement, however, means just what it means in real life.
If I told you I was engaged to be married, would you picture my beloved sitting next to me with a brochure of all his great qualities pasted to his forehead? Would you picture him spending all our time together prattling on and on about how amazing he is, in an ongoing nonstop effort to convince me to do what he wants me to do? (And if you do picture that, are you also picturing how soon the divorce will follow?)
Or would you instead envision that we have together realized we care about the same things and care about each other? Would you picture us excitedly talking about all the things we want to do together, our plans for our future together, our intentions to spend our lives supporting each other in good times and bad, as we pursue together the things we both dream about?
That’s what engagement is all about. Whether you are meeting people on Twitter or Facebook, at a blog or in real life, none of us wants to spend time with a walking brochure. None of us likes to be with someone who is always trying to convince us to do what they want us to do.
But if you engage me as a person who cares passionately about my community and my world, I will do whatever I can, both for you and with you. Because I care.
Just about every hour of this week has reminded me and reinforced for me the power of that engagement. That is because so many of the people who are making this launch-week possible are people I have met in my virtual life – some of whom I have never met in person! I have known some of these wonderful people since way back in the hey-day of listservs. I met others more recently, through Facebook and Twitter.
None of these amazing people are helping with this launch because I handed them a brochure about the book or told them my story. In each case, they are helping because we engaged each other in what we both care about.
And now, through the launch, not just of The Pollyanna Principles but of this whole movement for changing this sector’s work – we are about to begin to kick butt. Together.