Our round tables saw some lively debate around where the audiences of the diverse organisations represented were on this path. We also discussed how the knowledge of this shift from consumer to citizen should influence the way we develop strategy, represent ourselves, communicate, and consider our audience, their habits and requirements.

We have considerable experience of examining and analysing audience behaviour, be they; member, professional, customer, stakeholder or delegate. Where #citizenshift is concerned our number one recommendation is to establish and promote your purpose. Many organisations get caught up in creating the perfect value proposition in order to attract and retain their audience, whereas a solid organisational and brand purpose [especially one motivated by the ‘greater good’] is more compelling to ‘citizens’. Purpose provides those that connect with you with the ability to take ownership and gain a sense of belonging resulting in deeper and more relevant engagement for the long term. It also means that you harness the power of advocacy to a greater degree.

As a society, more than ever we are proactively participating in ‘social conscience’ crusades. For all of its well-publicised ‘inherent evils’, social media has also enabled the ‘greater good’, making joining groups, raising money and championing change increasingly accessible. We often talk about ‘growing’ our communities. One of the most powerful citizen acquisition strategies is to provide a platform for a purpose that your audience can independently become interdependent on. What do we mean by that? An individual can visit your online interface, help themselves (join, make a purchase, gain advice or guidance) and help others (donate, sign petitions, contribute to forums, provide reviews) etc.

Our knowledge of audience behaviour and appropriate engagement strategies and tools is ever evolving. You can read some accounts of how this theory has been put into practice in our client case studies, or even better, invite us for coffee, we’re better together!