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Know Thy Community

January 12, 2010

Today I was in an intern meeting for My Eugene. The creator, Jaculynn Peterson discussed how, in the social media age, our concept of promotion/outreach is shifting from “know your audience” to “know your community.”

This phrase really sparked a connection for me. It’s easy to talk about reaching out to communities and building a stronger network, but who are these people? Long gone are the days of media-gurus concocting strategies to appeal to certain subgroups. That just doesn’t work. We – community organizers, leaders, and educators – are level with the people we reach out to. The role that our institutions and organizations play within our community is just as important as any promotional release we could invent.

So what is your community? How do you fit into it, on a personal and professional level? Who is the person sitting at the next table? Know your community; know yourself.

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