How Can I Help My Community Connect and Come Together?

How Can I Help My Community Connect and Come Together?
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash

Let's face it, we all want to live in a connected community, it is good for us as humans, it is good for business, for at-risk groups, and it is good for the government.

Research suggests that communities where people feel connected to each other and to a shared history have less crime and stronger economies. I am sure you believe me, but if you don’t check out these 14 Inspiring stories and real-life examples of community engagement initiatives.  

So the important question is …What is the best way to connect your audience or citizens to your community? 

Well, we may be biased, but the secret is through storytelling. Storytelling has been an essential part of human culture since the beginning of time. In today’s fast-paced world, communities often feel fragmented and disconnected, stories can be the thing that remind us of human connection and remind us all that we are connected. Stories are our way of creating a communal experience. Communal experiences help us to see ourselves in each other. 

I grew up in a small town, we moved from somewhere else and I recall never feeling like I fit in until our town did a special story for Remembrance Day / Veterans Day. Sharing stories about my ancestors and finding a classmate whose ancestors had an eerily similar story, not only helped me make a buddy for our class project but also helped remind me that I had things in common with these new kids that I didn’t think I belonged with. I was only 8, but it was the last time I felt like I didn’t belong in that class. A small but meaningful moment in my childhood.  

For community leaders, government officials, municipal staff, volunteers, and centers of history, like museums and heritage groups, your job is to connect audiences and help them thrive. 

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Top 5 ways to connect your community through story

#1 Preserve and Share the Community's Past

man wearing maroon, white, and blue stripe long-sleeved shirt lifting up baby wearing gray onesie
Photo by Johnny Cohen / Unsplash

One of the most effective ways to connect citizens is by telling stories of the community's past. 

Whether it's through oral traditions, published books, or digital archives, preserving and sharing the history of your community can create a sense of continuity and identity. Consider organizing community events where elders can share their memories, or collaborate with local historians to document important milestones. 

By celebrating the past, you can help build a stronger sense of pride and connection among residents. Using tools like Amazon self publish, to create community books, or tools like memoryKPR to capture historical images, oral records, or archiving, ensures that you not only capture and protect the stories of the past but that you share them, celebrate them, and make up funny days surrounding the historical moments. 

Have some fun, like a borough in NYC that celebrates pickle days or the town of Oxford, that celebrates big cheese days. Whether it's cheese, pickles, miniature donkeys, or Scrabble, I would be willing to bet you that there is something in your community history books that would make a great theme to connect your citizens. 

#2 Create Tangible Reminders

people near Colosseum, Italy during daytime
Photo by Patricio Giusti / Unsplash

Towns and cities around the world have found creative ways to embed stories into the fabric of their communities. 

From monuments and murals to plaques and public art installations, these physical reminders serve as constant sources of inspiration and reflection. Consider working with local artists and craftsmen to create unique pieces that capture the essence of your community's story. 

These tangible reminders can spark conversations, encourage exploration, and foster a deeper appreciation for the place we call home. Using a platform like memoryKPR or creating your websites for these exhibits and adding QR codes so everyone can see or hear the whole story is a great way to bring a community to life. Here we highlight some easy ways to add QR codes to a physical site and how to keep it relevant and engaging. 

#3 Consider the Needs of Different Generations

an older woman holding a baby's hand
Photo by Rod Long / Unsplash

When sharing stories within your community, it's important to consider the needs of different citizens and generations. 

While older residents may appreciate traditional storytelling formats such as books and lectures, younger generations may prefer interactive digital experiences or multimedia presentations. 

While all communities seem to be challenged to find technology that engages young and old audiences, memoryKPR is the perfect solution for this. It was first used by middle years schools and senior homes to capture memories. The technology is easy to use and seems to be effective in getting an older demographic to embrace technology. By embracing a variety of mediums and platforms, you can ensure that your stories resonate with a diverse audience. 

Consider hosting workshops or storytelling circles where people of all ages can share their perspectives and learn from one another. Leverage your local library or museum to help with workshops, a collaborative approach makes for a more meaningful impact. 

#4 Engage Citizens in the Storytelling Process

timelapse photo of people passing the street
Photo by mauro mora / Unsplash

Don't just tell stories to your community—invite them to participate in the storytelling process. 

Encourage residents to share their own experiences, memories, and perspectives through online community forums, social media campaigns, or storytelling competitions. By giving people a platform to express themselves, you can foster a greater sense of ownership and investment in the collective narrative of your community. 

Remember, storytelling is not a one-way street—it's a collaborative journey that requires active participation from everyone involved. 

Using a platform like memoryKPR will allow you to even accept images, videos, or oral stories right from exhibits, integrate hashtags from social media and direct sharing allows you to ensure you are not missing an audience. 

#5 Ask Questions and Listen

woman in black tank top
Photo by Elissa Garcia / Unsplash

Finally, don't underestimate the power of asking questions and listening to the stories of others. 

Sometimes, the most powerful stories are the ones that emerge from casual conversations and personal interactions. Take the time to engage with your fellow citizens, ask them about their lives, and listen to what they have to say. If you have seen the curious movement - like Curious Chicago, you will see communities coming together and sharing everyday stories about their community. 

You never know what hidden gems you might uncover or how these individual stories might contribute to the larger tapestry of your community's narrative.


people holding shoulders sitting on wall
Photo by Duy Pham / Unsplash

Storytelling has the remarkable ability to bring people together, bridge divides, and foster a sense of belonging. 

By preserving the past, creating tangible reminders, considering the needs of different generations, engaging citizens in the storytelling process, and listening to the stories of others, you can connect your community in meaningful and profound ways. 

So go ahead, pick up that proverbial pen, and start writing the next chapter of your community's story. 

If you need help, reach out to memoryKPR, we can help you build your story engagement strategy and help ensure you gather all the content needed to tell meaningful stories in your community. 

memoryKPR is a digital storytelling and content protection platform. We honor privacy and ownership, ensuring only you decide who sees your stories and only you own them. We also ensure your data (and your citizens) does not leave your site (or sight), making us a preferred solution for municipalities that care about data sovereignty and protection.

Transform Your Community's Digital Presence with memoryKPR

Schedule your free demo today and take the first step towards a more connected community.

Book a Demo