I may be dating myself with the title reference, but I grew up on the classics – Sesame Street, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, pretty much anything channel 11 “WTTW Chicago” had to offer. So much so that I think the “WTTW Chicago” litany has become reflexive when I say channel 11 …
I’m sure those of you who remember our cardigan and sweater vest donning show host will remember his trademark line of, “won’t you be my neighbor.” I don’t think I ever thought much of the line’s meaning and when I did I assumed he just wanted me to watch his show, or move into the flat next to his. But this morning as I’m rereading my copy of groundswell I began to reconsider the meaning of “Please, Won’t you be my neighbor.”
In the Groundswell, Li and Bernoff Discuss the AFOL community online and how Lego has encouraged and nurtured the community’s presence. This Makes sense doesn’t it find the people who like what you do and develop a relationship with them. But what about those people who are over in left field; They like writing, and rock climbing, and video games and they aren’t toting what your company is all about?
Here’s where the tag line comes in. You’re already in the community, your company has a web presence, articles about you are being posted at dig, you come up on the Google News feeds (hopefully), and sometimes people you don’t know are talking about you (for better or worse). Your house is just down the street, and it may be time to start being a neighbor, a good neighbor; the kind that waves to others while walking the dog – the one that shows interest in the left fielders. But how do we do this?
Well is there someone in your organization who handles you social presence? Are there people in your organization who like video games, and rock climbing, and writing who you are willing to let get involved in those conversations while still representing you company? You don’t need to offer these left fielders anything, you don’t need to finance their next rock climbing trip, or sponsor them, you don’t need them to talk about you either. Being a good neighbor means showing interest in people other than yourself. Be involved. Please, won’t you be their neighbor.