Organizing can be summarized as “a transformational process through which participants gain the skills and expertise they need to build the power necessary to win the changes they seek.” Online-offline organizing, which the Lab also calls “blended” organizing, is organizing that engages participants using in-person and digital touches in concert with one another and mobilizes them to act both online and in-person.
Like all organizing, its power stems from relationships, so successful blended organizing intentionally creates digital spaces to complement the in-person events in which participants build trust and engage in meaningful work. Your own version of blended organizing should account for where your constituency lives (geographically and digitally), what technology you have the capacity to learn and manage, and your organization’s capacity to evaluate progress and implement what you learn.
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- Make sure you have clarity on your constituency. This means you know who they are, their identity traits, the social ties that they share, where you are likely to find them, and you have developed the narratives you want to use to engage them. Everything else depends on this clarity.
- Outline an organizing pathway or supporter's journey. Your organizing pathway is a story with a beginning, milestones, and an end.
- Associate activities with each step: For each step on your pathway, list as many types of activities you think supporters at that stage should be doing.
- Use the pathway and the activities you associated with each element to create day-to-day workplans for yourself and/or your team: You have the pathway. You have the things you want supporters to do as they move across the pathway. Now you need plans for what you, the organizer, will do to ensure their success.
- Incorporate evidence-based insights: You can maximize your conversions by incorporating insights from the Lab’s “9 Evidence-Based Insights for Galvanizing Action.” Insights around identity, efficacy, and legitimation rhetoric are especially helpful for increasing action-taking and fostering long-term relationships.
- Create connections and community: Take the time and effort to build as many spaces for creating community among your supporters as you can.
- Test and evaluate to find out what works best: Getting the right sequences to move your supporters across your pathway requires experimentation and feedback.