Imagine going hiking with a group of friends. Now imagine arriving at the trailhead only to discover that each of you has a distinct destination in mind.

One of you wants to summit the mountain. One of you wants to explore the valley. And one of you prefers to get to a basecamp and park yourself there for a few days.

Looking around a conference table last week, I realized I was at that trailhead. Everyone on the client’s online engagement team was excited to be there. But friction arose because everyone had a different destination in mind.

There are an infinite number of ways organizations can use the online channel to engage audiences in a cause. But what does successful engagement look like and how can a team best get there?

If your team doesn’t have a clear understanding of their shared goal – a shared destination – than they’ll end up going nowhere. Here’s a quick checklist to help you get aligned.

(1) Identify all of your destinations. Each person on the team should share their goals and the key performance indicators they are striving for that month, quarter and year.

(2) Map out your audiences. Who are they (donors, lapsed donors, new leads, volunteers, online activists, offline activists)? What is their past behavior? What are they most likely to want to do?

(3) Map out your marketing channels and audiences reached through those channels:

Owned Channels
• Email marketing
• Web
• Other house publications

Paid Channels
• Advertising
• Co-registration

Earned Media
• PR
• Blogger outreach

Borrowed Channels
• Facebook
• Twitter
• Other social

Cause Marketing Partnerships

(4) For each campaign or initiative outline as a group:
• One or two primary goals
• Audiences targeted
• Tactics across channels
• Key performance indicators to show progress

(5) Get team agreement on the plan above.

(6) Check in on key performance indicators regularly to make sure everyone is tracking towards their goals.

I can’t assure you that you’ll have 100% agreement all the time. But having a shared and transparent destination can help mitigate a great deal of friction and keep teams in sync.