“Ten steps for political, business, and religious leaders who want to take advantage of the public’s yearning for community:
1. Clearly define your purpose. It’s what galvanizes your community.
2. Give your staff the clear sense that they’re vital to achieving a common purpose.
3. Build your organization from the bottom up, not the top down. Technology makes grassroots organizing easier than ever.
4. Give your customers/voters/worshipers a say in how the product/campaign/church is marketed. Recognize that the consumer has more control than ever.
5. Tap into existing networks when possible. Create networks where none exist.
6. Be true to your purpose. Authenticity, accountability, and trust are the keys to building a bond or a brand.
7. Join the online community of bloggers to catch the first whiff of a crisis and to make sure your message is heard in the cyberspace community.
8. Wherever possible, make your enterprise a Third Place, a community outside home and work for people in search of connection.
9. Donate time and money to community causes. Customers are inclined to support civic-minded companies such as Home Depot, according to Bridgeland, the former head of UDSA Freedom Corps.
10. Identify the community’s leaders (Navigators) and get them on your side. Better still, use the Internet and other tools to create products that draw people together in online communities.”
Applebee’s America: How Successful Political, Business, and Religious Leaders Connect with the New American Community
Douglas Sosnik, Matthew Dowd and Ron Fournier
Simon & Schuster (2006)