In case you haven’t already read it, there’s an excellent article up at Guerrillamerica regarding how to leverage something called soft power through influence and persuasion.
For individuals and communities preparing for a future that incorporates violence and morally ambiguous situations, to omit developing soft power is an unwise move. We can imagine lots of realistic scenarios in which soft power will enable us to achieve or maintain security: gaining the trust of community members to contribute to the security effort, working with local authorities to fight known threats, sharing information with neighboring communities and security groups, and persuading at-risk segments of a community to not support threat elements.
How can we develop soft power as a part of community defense? First, focus on your reputation. There are militias, security teams and prepper groups that have poor reputations, stemming from poor leadership, unrealistic, unethical or immoral goals, past indiscretions, and incompetence. When cooperation is a necessity for community defense, these groups are going to have a much more difficult time finding partners to push in the same direction. You don’t want to be a security partner of last resort with a team reluctant to work with you.