Monday, February 17, 2014

Turn the question upside down

After any time I speak to a group and we have a discussion in the session about Cooperative Extension's online presence, I spend a lot of time reflecting on the conversations.

Consider this information from Pew Internet: "15% of American adults do not use the internet at all, and another 9% of adults use the internet but not at home."

In the session last Wednesday, someone brought up the point that we cannot forget our current clients and it's difficult to do both--use the traditional methods and learn new methods. He went on to say "It's a real challenge."

I admitted it is a challenge.

Let's ask an upside down question.

Pretend that we have been and are connecting with those people who expected us to be online. We had always been online. Now, we are getting pressure to meet the needs of those people who are not online. 

I think the response would -- "We don't want to forget our current clients and it's a challenge."

One difference is that the number of reach would be flipped as well. We would have to work really hard to reach a few people who are not online.  

I am not advocating that we forget our current clients. Nor am I saying all of our current clients are not online. I am saying that we need to give a lot more attention and effort to reach those people we don't know us.