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

Report
Writing Effective
Success Stories
Kimberly Keller, Ph.D., CFLE
Evaluation Coordinator
College of Human Environmental Sciences
University of Missouri Extension
[email protected]
Objectives
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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?
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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?
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A simple description of a program’s:
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Progress
Achievements
Lessons learned
A request for action
A Success Story is NOT:
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Surveillance report
Complete evaluation picture
Un-biased
Why you want a Success Story
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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
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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
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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
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Related to grant objectives:
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Dietary quality and physical activity
Food safety
Food resource management
Related to site access
Related to delivery methods
2. Know your audience
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Activity:
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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:
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Participating program
sites
Potential program
sites
Parents
Extension councils
Supervisors
Colleagues
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Partnering agencies
Funders
Media
Legislators and other
policymakers
… etc.!
3. Know to tailor your message
to your audience
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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
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Elevator story
Paragraph spotlight
One-pager
Full brief
Published article
Using one basic Success Story with
multiple audiences
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Good idea!
Ideas for creating different stories using the
same information:
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Quotes
Emphasizing different details of the same event
Use of pictures or illustrations
Reading level, key words (jargon)
Constructing the story:
Before you begin
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Before you get started, ask:
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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
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Always show a benefit
Memorable fact/truth
Emotional hook
Paint a picture
Sense of immediacy
The ASK
Typical Outline
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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:
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Elevator statement
Paragraph spotlight
4. Know your story
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And let others know about it!
Practice your Success Stories and share
them with others
Final tips:
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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

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