Writing Effective Success Stories Kimberly Keller, Ph.D., CFLE Evaluation Coordinator College of Human Environmental Sciences University of Missouri Extension [email protected]

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Transcript Writing Effective Success Stories Kimberly Keller, Ph.D., CFLE Evaluation Coordinator College of Human Environmental Sciences University of Missouri Extension [email protected]

Writing Effective Success Stories

Kimberly Keller, Ph.D., CFLE Evaluation Coordinator College of Human Environmental Sciences University of Missouri Extension [email protected]

Objectives

 Define a Success Story, and the rationale for using it  Understand different types of Success Stories  Identify key audiences with whom to share Success Stories  Develop strategies for communicating Success Stories to different audiences

Which is more memorable?

    89% of Evil Witches hate Princes 71% of Princes have been turned into frogs There are only 38 Princesses in Missouri We need to stop Evil Witches from turning Princes into frogs

Success Stories are important communication tools  Provide a framework for understanding, remembering, and acting on information  Prevent your accomplishments from landing in the “circular file”

What is a Success Story?

 A simple description of a program’s:  Progress  Achievements  Lessons learned  A request for action

A Success Story is NOT:

 Surveillance report  Complete evaluation picture  Un-biased

Why you want a Success Story

 Gain visibility and credibility  Educate and promote your program  Satisfy information requests and educate stakeholders  Garner more support and resources  Accountability and evaluation

More uses for Success Stories

 Publicize early successes  Market your program to your target population  Provide a “face” to numbers  Show progress when planned outcomes will not be realized until the distant future

The 4 “Knows” of Success Stories:

1.

2.

3.

4.

Know what information you want to tell Know your audience Know to tailor your message to your audience Know your story

1. Know what information you want to tell  Stories range from an overall picture to the personal level  Meaning and depth  Triangulation of data  Used at any point in program progress

Tips for identifying content

 Related to grant objectives:  Dietary quality and physical activity  Food safety  Food resource management  Related to site access  Related to delivery methods

2. Know your audience

 Activity:  Each ITV site will be assigned to one of four groups  3 Success Stories will be presented  Rate each presentation from the viewpoint of your assigned group

Possible audiences:

 Participating program sites  Potential program sites  Parents  Extension councils  Supervisors  Colleagues  Partnering agencies  Funders  Media  Legislators and other policymakers … etc.!

3. Know to tailor your message to your audience  What is important to them?

 Hot topics, key words and phrases  Time available to hear / read your story  Consider what information you want to tell

Choosing the correct format

 Elevator story  Paragraph spotlight  One-pager  Full brief  Published article

Using one basic Success Story with multiple audiences  Good idea!

 Ideas for creating different stories using the same information:  Quotes  Emphasizing different details of the same event  Use of pictures or illustrations  Reading level, key words (jargon)

Constructing the story: Before you begin  Before you get started, ask:  Who is your audience?

 What is the goal of the story?

 Will the story be used for a chance meeting? A request for information? Other…?

 Is the story timely?

Write for your reader, not for yourself  Always show a benefit  Memorable fact/truth  Emotional hook  Paint a picture  Sense of immediacy  The ASK

Typical Outline

 Title with a VERB  Define the problem – what is the issue?

 Program description  Impact statement and the ASK  Contact information

It’s your turn!

 Create 2 Success Stories based on the same information:   Elevator statement Paragraph spotlight

4. Know your story

 And let others know about it!

 Practice your Success Stories and share them with others

Final tips:

 Be prepared  Know your audience  Be systematic and consistent  Know which issues are hot and why  Have several different types of Success Stories ready at all times  Periodically update your Success Stories