Groups can be easily disturbed by forces in the environment that at first can appear beyond our control. When wanting to help keep people connected what is important is that we look for ways to keep in touch and ensure that those important to us know that we care. When doing this, it is important to use technology that everyone understands.
"Catching up with everyone is so important to me and I very much appreciate your phone call. I am very much looking forward to receiving a letter with instructions for how to be involved in our next group meeting using my phone. Thank you so much for making the time to call." - actual feedback from a member who doesn't have an internet connection, but enjoys actively participating in-person in group events.
We chatted some more and was a great opportunity to connect. Personally I love receiving feedback like this because I know it is making a difference. Key takeaway - always focus on connecting first and use electronic digital technology that is accessible to everyone. For this group scheduled meetings using a video conferencing service that allows people to connect via computer or to dial-in like Google Hangouts was very helpful. Note that at the time of writing dialling into a Google Hangout is a feature only possible on a paid Google account.
Suggestions for how to keep in touch with your community group
- Make sure you have a list of everyone with all their contact details, including email, phone and postal address.
- Have a plan for connecting using technology that is accessible to everyone.
- Reach out to all group members using technology that you know they will understand. Share with them what is happening now and what will happen next. When connecting ask that they acknowledge receipt of email or mail, and be ready to follow up.
- Test the technology for connecting with a small group.
- Schedule meetings using the new technology.
- Once again, reach out to everyone and share how they can remain connected.
Have your say ...
How has your community group used email, social media, website, phone and/or a letter in the mail to keep in touch and connected with membership?
Does this sound like a conversation that you would like to help share?
If it is, then feel very welcome to make a comment about how your community group keeps connected.
Thanks for reading along and reach out with any questions.
Your group dynamics will be different and very interested in examples and observations. Leave a comment and share your answers. You don't need to be a group leader to share a comment. Looking forward to some interesting comments, because the more we all share, the more we all learn.