Few foundation communicators claim they regularly – if at all – formally evaluate their work.
To help, the Communications Network has published Are We There Yet? A Communications Evaluation Guide. Created by Asibey Consulting, and made possible by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the guide walks users through a nine-step process for creating plans for monitoring and measuring their communications.
Among the reasons stressed for evaluating communications efforts are these:
- Evaluation improves the effectiveness of communications.
- Evaluation can help organizations more effectively engage with intended audiences.
- Situations change - strategies and tactics may need to change as well.
- Evaluation ensures wise allocation of resources.
Once evaluation is underway, the guide suggests you communicate your findings to people who may benefit from what you are learning, such as your team, your board or colleagues and peers.
The guide, complete with a worksheet to chart your strategy, encourages readers to follow nine steps in creating an evaluation plan:
Step 1: Determine What You Will Evaluate
Step 2: Define Your Goal
Step 3: State Your Objective
Step 4: Identify Your Audience
Step 5: Establish Your Baseline
Step 6: Pose Your Evaluation Questions
Step 7: Draft Your Measurements
Step 8: Select Your Evaluation Techniques
Step 9: Estimate Your Budget
The guide also shows communicators how to step back and regroup when their evaluation indicates less progress towards objectives or milestones than they had anticipated.
The report was written by Edith Asibey, Toni Parras and Justin van Fleet of Asibey Consulting with support from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.