Often we plan program and events thinking start to finish. But the real work takes place after the finish, with the follow-up.
For example, our Disarmament Working Group recently had a movie showing. Did the event end when the last guest had left and the last dish was washed?
(Okay, you saw that one coming.)
After the event, we had thirty people who expressed an interest in nuclear disarmament. Now the real work begins. How will we follow up with them so that they stay involved in the organization and in the issue?
For us, the first step means getting a follow-up email to them within 24 hours to remind them about the issue, reinforce the message, and reiterate what actions they can take.
Getting this follow-up email out is an important development here at ICPJ. Now, just like a chess aficionado, we need to plan three steps ahead.
Take home message: Plan your follow-up just as much as you plan your publicity and your logistics. It’s in the follow-up that you win or lose new members, new donors, and new activists.