Sometimes it helps to go back to the fundamentals. Ask yourself these questions:
- Whose responsibility is it to engage the community? One person’s? One department’s? Everyone’s? Which of these will make us most effective?
- How much time do we/I spend outside our building, cultivating relationships andtruly listening to the community’s needs, worries and hopes?
- Are we collaborating with others to create content, opportunities and experiences that somehow contribute to addressing local concerns and challenges? Are we part of the community or apart from the community?
Reflect on these questions. Ask them of your colleagues and staff. Then start doing something about them. There is no step-by-step recipe for engaging. But there is a fundamental orientation toward community – core ways of thinking and acting that set you up for success over time in any environment. Here are a few ideas that have worked for stations.