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FORBES: Six Principles: Networked Community Strategy

May 31, 2016

Forbes’ Brooke Manville turns to Context Partners CEO, Charlie Brown, and Frontier Communications executives to explain how to design a networked strategy that improves communities alongside brands. Check out an excerpt…

…My conversation with Frontier executives and Charlie Brown surfaced six general principles, helpful for any leader developing a networked community strategy.

1.Don’t over-emphasize technology.
Charlie warned of a familiar pitfall. “Technology is only an enabler. You can’t build and leverage a networked virtual community by just deploying some new social media. Or running a hashtag contest about your product. That won’t create meaningful long-term relationships critical to strategy.”

2. First engage the community about opportunity.
Maggie Wilderotter began ABC with “a listening tour”—talking to employees, customers and other leaders in rural areas and cities. She was “uplifted by how much work was underway by people collaborating to improve their local lives.” Context Partners built on that effort, as Charlie Brown noted, by “analyzing who these people really were, what they cared about, and how the existing efforts could be taken to greater scale. ‘Community’ starts with that understanding—by talking to the people themselves.”

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