Sharing the news and feedback from your evaluation – a reflective blog from Diane Kennedy about key messages she took away from our June Inspiring Impact network event
Last month Evaluation Support ran a networking session ‘Sharing the news and feedback from your evaluation’ (on 13th June 2018, as part of a series funded by Inspiring Impact).
Our key question was “how can you better share and make use of your evaluation report with a range of audiences?” We tried out some new materials for thinking through your audience, purpose, messages and format, based on an evaluation summary report from a fictional community play project.
Here are some messages that I took away:
- One document doesn’t work for everyone, you may need to tailor messages and formats for different audience.
- Sometimes you have to create the demand for your communications. For example, does your board know why it’s important to think about what you are learning from evaluation? Is your local health and social care partnership ready to hear how you can help with prevention? You need to make it clear why they should read on/listen and what’s in it for them.
- Think about creating a call for action. This helps you to concentrate the message. For example, we’re looking for volunteers, funding, etc.
- It’s helpful to put your service user at the centre of your story whoever the audience is. At the event we did a group exercise; we chose an audience (either local councillors, volunteers, parents or children) and then had to decide what the messages were for that audience and design how to communicate them. Each group made children’s experiences and voices central to their communication.
- Get feedback before you publish. Things can be read differently by different people. For example, a case study that I thought positively represented a child’s ability to deal with other children was read by someone else as a negative example of how it wasn’t safe for children to play in that park.
- Use communications as a method to get further feedback. For example, “This is what we found: do you agree?” One group created a game as a way for children to feedback whether they thought if football was just for boys or for both boys and girls.
- Be creative, keep it simple, less is more. For example ‘fun, friends and freedom’ is a lovely bit of alliteration that would motivate you to volunteer to support children’s play.