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

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Presentation on theme: "Writing Effective Success Stories Kimberly Keller, Ph.D., CFLE Evaluation Coordinator College of Human Environmental Sciences University of Missouri Extension."— Presentation transcript:

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

2 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

3 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

4 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”

5 What is a Success Story? A simple description of a program’s: Progress Achievements Lessons learned A request for action

6 A Success Story is NOT: Surveillance report Complete evaluation picture Un-biased

7 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

8 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

9 The 4 “Knows” of Success Stories: 1. Know what information you want to tell 2. Know your audience 3. Know to tailor your message to your audience 4. Know your story

10 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

11 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

12 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

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

14 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

15 Choosing the correct format Elevator story Paragraph spotlight One-pager Full brief Published article

16 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)

17 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?

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

19 Typical Outline Title with a VERB Define the problem – what is the issue? Program description Impact statement and the ASK Contact information

20 It’s your turn! Create 2 Success Stories based on the same information: Elevator statement Paragraph spotlight

21 4. Know your story And let others know about it! Practice your Success Stories and share them with others

22 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


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