So it’s a new year, and you have a list of resolutions in hand. Why did you write them down? Because it’s easier to make changes when you have a clear sense of what you’re trying to change.
That’s true about yourself. It’s doubly true when you’re trying to change other people.
When your organization communicates with other people–in writing, in person, by video, on social media–are you trying to change their minds or their behavior?
Changing minds is one thing…
If you’re trying to change their minds, it will take patience. It may take a social marketing campaign, like the kind that made smoking socially unacceptable. It may take years, like the acceptance of marriage equality.
These are big changes, and if making them happen is your mission, more power to you!
…and changing behavior is another
But many times, all you have to change is their behavior. They already agree with you: that’s how they got on your list. They already care about your cause: that’s why they’re opening your emails, or liking your posts, or coming to your events.
You want them to take action. You want to see them in the streets, or on the phone to their legislators. You want them to donate food to your pantry or money to your organization.
Changing behavior is not easy. If it were, we would all keep our New Year’s resolutions and be thin and fit! But changing specific behaviors is possible, even in a short period of time.
Are you trying to change your supporters’ behavior or their minds?
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