Publishing for Extension & Writing Effective Success Stories

What is a Numbered
Research-based publications
that support ACES programs,
communications, and marketing
Most are written by a specialist
Common Numbered
Fact Sheets
Manuals or booklets
Getting Started
Complete publication – list
references in APA style
Major research-based publications
are to undergo a peer review by
3 subject matter experts (SMEs)
Getting Started
Authors that
write extensive
should complete
Form T: Manuscript
Review Request
Getting Started at AAMU
UNP-Form A
Getting Started at Auburn
Request Form
UNP-Form A
 Need Supervisor’s Signature
(Must be relevant to program area)
 Key Words: Words used for Internet
 Synopsis: Short paragraph that
describes publication content
UNP-Form A: Key Words
Always use the title
Think about your audience –
who will use your publication?
Use key words that will help your
audience to find your publication
Publication is Approved
Supervisor submits UNP-Form A
to the communications specialist
for technical editing (CSTE)
Author sends electronic copy
of your publication to the CSTE
via e-mail
Process Begins…
CSTE assigns number and edits
publication – manages publication
progress from start to finish
Lengthy and highly technical
publications are sent to Auburn
for a preliminary review
(quality assurance)
Process Begins…
 If sent to Auburn, then please allow
a minimum of two weeks to review
 When a publication is e-mailed to
an editor at Auburn, a copy also
goes to the database manager
along with the synopsis & key words
Publication Returned
from Auburn
Author & CSTE reviews the
publication again…
Once approved, then text is sent
to communications specialist for
electronic design (CSED)
Publication Returned
from Auburn
 CSED formats (designs) publication
 Returns formatted publication to
author and CSTE
 If approved by author, then final draft
is printed, pub goes online as a Web
only publication
 Average process time: 1-2 months
Publication Delays
Length of publication & schedule of
CSTE/CSED or auburn editor
If author does not return pub in a
timely fashion after being formatted
Printing is outsourced
Procedures & UNP-Form A are
online at
Other forms – found at
Scroll down to Communications
and click on Forms
Usually written for our online
newsletter Metro News or for an
ACES Web page like the home
page or the Family website
Should be 700 words or less
Metro News Articles
 Metro News is published quarterly
 Research-based articles are accepted,
success stories are not
 Articles with at least 3 references are
due one month prior to publishing
Metro News Articles
 October: Anniversary issue that focuses
on community, youth & family
development & consumer education
 January: Health & wellness
 April: Urban gardening, wildlife, the
environment, & disaster management
 July: Animal management &
nontraditional Extension
Metro News Articles
 Publishing guidelines can be found
online under “General Information”
 Browse the site to become familiar
with content
Other Articles
 For websites: Home page has rotating
banners about programs, events, or other
newsworthy topics
 Alabama Families First (Look at Alabama
Families) website: in development (will
contain all program areas, including info
on disaster preparedness)
Definition of Success Story
A success story is the successful –
favorable or desired result or
outcome of a program.
 In other words, you want to paint a
picture of how Extension makes a
positive difference in the lives of the
people it serves.
Success Story
Consider these factors when you
write a success story:
 Pretend the reader knows nothing
whatsoever about your program.
Don’t assume anything!
 Remember… You are telling a short story
about what you want to achieve and
what you have achieved in a program.
Success Story
 Tell the reader why and how your
program was implemented
 Define measurable results and/or
how program success was achieved
 Define the public value of a program
Types of Success Stories
 A single event such as a program, meeting,
or conference – Green Living Expo
 Series of activities with varying participants
– Economic Development Conference
 A program with a predetermined length of
time – Urban Nutrition Education Program
Types of Success Stories
 A comprehensive program that
partners with outside organizations
to influence state or national policy.
 A comprehensive program that
includes a needs assessment, fund
raising or marketing strategies, or
applied research that lasts 6 months
or longer.
(Iowa State Extension, 2007)
Why Write Success Stories?
 To document how and why ACES
uses public funds
 Ultimate Goal: Make positive and
lasting impacts in the lives of
Alabama citizens
Success Story
 To share program ideas and to
determine the effectiveness of
your program.
 To market Extension
(Purdue Extension, 2007)
When to Write a Success Story
 When you have something important
to report and you have impact data to
back up your work
 When you’re proud of a program
 Ongoing: Don’t wait until you’re told
to write a story by your supervisor
or to write one at the end of the year
(Purdue Extension, 2007)
How Stories are Used
 ACES administrators and public officials
use success stories for planning and
reporting, which translates into $$$.
 We want the public to know that we do
good & valuable work that positively
impacts the lives of Alabama citizens.
 AND we want to keep doing what we do.
Success Story Outline
Although you are writing a STORY,
the following categories can serve
to outline your story.
 Program Activities
 Results/Impact
 Evaluation/Evidence
Success Story Outline
This outline, structure or format can be
used for other documents, including a
Plan of Work or annual reports, or for
 Program Activities
 Results/Impact
 Evaluation/Evidence
 This is a problem statement.
 Why does the program exist in the
first place?
 What are you trying to achieve?
 Why is this program important to the
people of Alabama?
Program Activities
 What steps did you take to carry out
the program – how did you fulfill
program objectives?
 Who is your target audience?
 What were participants asked or
required to do?
 What was achieved as a result of
this program?
 Did participant behavior change/how?
 What actions are being put into place
to ensure your desired results?
 How do you determine or measure
program success?
 Did you use pre- and post-assessment
 Do you have participant testimonials?
Success Story Example
Situation/Background: America is the
largest consumer of bottled water in the
world. More than 2.4 million tons of plastic
bottles were disposed of in 2008.
Unfortunately, plastic does not break down
easily. Plastic also contains chemicals that
seep into the ground and contaminate
water sources. (, 2011)
Success Story Example
Situation/Background: To reduce water
bottle usage and to encourage recycling in
Alabama, ACES has created the “Clean Up
Your Environmental Act” program that
educates Alabama residents on how to be
Success Story Example
Program Activities: Program participants
are required to attend two 4-hour workshops
on key environmental issues such as water
and air pollution, e-waste, alternative energy
sources, and the advantages of recycling.
 Participants also have a chance to visit a local
recycling center, test the quality of water at
local ponds and creeks, and attend the
Green Living Expo at Alabama A&M.
Success Story Example
 Results/Impacts: As a result of attending
the workshop, participants learned how
humans negatively impact the
environment and what they can do to
reduce harmful “ecological footprints”
and better preserve the state’s natural
Success Story Example
Evaluation/Evidence: Participants were
given a pre- and post-assessment to
assess their knowledge of common
environmental issues and what they did
to alleviate these issues.
Success Story Example
Evaluation/Evidence: Pre-assessments
indicated that 50% were aware of
environmental issues facing their
community, but only 10% knew how to
alleviate these concerns.
Success Story Example
Evaluation/Evidence: Upon completion of
program, a post-assessment was administered
and 100% of participants were able to list at
least five major environmental concerns in
addition to what they already knew and how
to alleviate these concerns. 65% of
participants began to recycle home waste
based on a 3-month follow up survey.
Success Story Example
 Results/Impact: After attending the
Green Living Expo, participants learned more
about “green products and services”
they can use daily.
Testimonial: “I was contemplating on whether or not to
purchase a hybrid car. At the Green Living Expo I was able
to talk directly to a car salesman about the benefits and
the tax breaks I can receive from owning a hybrid vehicle.
Not only that, I was given a $500 coupon off the cost of
the vehicle just by attending the event.”
Success Story Example
Situation/Background: African-American
and low-income families are at a greater risk
for hypertension and other chronic diseases
such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
According to the American Heart Association
in 2006, hypertension killed 56,561
Americans. There’s no question that
hypertension is a deadly disease. Eliminating
high blood pressure is possible with small
lifestyle changes. (Source: Hypertension by Darlene Minniefield, ACES UREA)
Success Story Example
Program Activities: ACES partnered with the
Rose Hill Senior Center and the Midland City
Senior Center to offer the WEALTH and the
Power of Choice program for 10 weeks.
Approximately 50 seniors and youth signed
up for the program.
 Evaluation/Evidence: All groups were asked
to take a pre- and post-assessment survey.
(Source: Hypertension by Darlene Minniefield, ACES UREA)
Success Story Example
 Result/Impact: As a result of these classes, 70%
of all participants are now using the information
to eat healthy, to drink more fluids, to reduce
their salt intake, and to increase physical activity.
 Testimonial: Mrs. Lillie Smith indicated that as a
result of applying the information she learned in
the WEALTH classes, her blood pressure was
slightly lower.
(Source: Hypertension by Darlene Minniefield, ACES UREA)
Please contact Wendi at
[email protected] if you have
questions and/or need help
with your success stories.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007). Impact and value: Telling your
program’s story. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion,
Division of Oral Health. Retrieved August 9, 2011, from
D. Minniefield. (2011, February 18). Hypertension. Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
A success story for SFP232. Retrieved August 9, 2011, from
Iowa State University Extension. (2006, September 8). Success story guidelines for field
specialists and ceeds. Retrieved October 12, 2007, from
Nehiley, J. M., Dessaint, P. D., & Israel, G. University of Florida Extension. (2001, May).
The fast and easy way to write effective success stories.
Purdue Extension. (2007). Success story guidelines. Publication 11-2003.
Retrieved October 12, 2007, from

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