Patrick Hanlon takes a broad view of ritual. He sees any repeated process, whether it’s settling an insurance claim, getting married, or using an ATM as a ritual.
So what does this have to do with Primal Branding and making an emotional connection with your audience?
If you take a thought approach to these many repeated interactions, you have the ability to create a powerful, positive, and remarkable experience for your audience.
Here are some examples:
- Aveda salons have made their “welcome the customer” ritual include giving them herbal tea and a scalp massage,
- Progressive Insurance has made their “accident claim response” ritual involve sending an agent to the accident scene to write a check on the spot,
- Lego made their “welcome toy professionals” ritual that reminded the adults what life is like for kids from birth through adolescence.
I can fully see how these rituals would make the customers build stronger connections to the companies.
What does this mean for a community organizer?
Think about some of the rituals you have with your members, volunteers, and activists:
- What are your rituals for thanking volunteers? For thanking donors?
- What are your rituals for welcoming new members?
- What are your rituals for starting meetings? For ending meetings?
- What are your rituals for starting presentations?
How can you make these experience special and pleasant for people?
Here are a few ways to implement this that come to mind for ICPJ:
- Begin all our events with something for spiritual grounding. We often do this already. It can be tricky, since “interfaith” isn’t a religion, but offering something to ground our events in a sense that peacemaking is a spiritual act is a way to make a meaningful ritual.
- Enthusiastically welcome new members. How can we create a process where new people immediately feel warmly welcomed, connected to the community, and invited to get more involved?
What are your rituals? How can you make them more positive for your audience?