The last thing in developing your communication plan is deciding when to share results with your stakeholders. Consider the following as you make your decision:
Ensuring timeliness and relevance: It is important to share findings while the data are still relevant and those who participated will see the results of their participation. While you want to allow enough time to adequately analyze and interpret your data, don't let too much time to elapse so that your findings are no longer relevant.
Maximizing usefulness and impact: Knowing when the information might be most useful to your stakeholders will help maximize its usefulness and impact. For example, your board of directors could benefit from seeing the evaluation results before it begins a strategic planning process. Staff could benefit from evaluation findings before they apply for future funding or create their workplan for the next year.
Coordinating with other events: Coordinating the presentation or release of your results with other upcoming events or functions in the community can be another way to maximize usefulness and impact. For example, say a smoke-free campaign will be occurring in your community and you have just evaluated a successful smoking cessation program; you could join a community meeting on the smoke-free campaign and share your results. If your evaluation findings are related to a topic being discussed in the media, you might time your release with a big news story to reach additional audiences and maximize the impact of your findings.
Frequency and sequence: Typically, if you want your evaluation findings to be useful, one written report is not enough. You may want to plan to get the message out several times in a variety of ways to get your evaluation findings heard. This does not mean that you need to create multiple comprehensive reports – rather, you may want to present your findings in smaller, more easily digestible pieces. Additionally, it is important to think about the sequencing of sharing findings, taking care to inform your stakeholders of the results before moving on to the general public.
ERC Worksheet 7: Communicating Results
The final step is to determine how you will communicate the results of your evaluation. Worksheet 7 walks you through the questions introduced in this section to develop a communication plan to share your findings with important stakeholders.
Click on the PDF documents in the sidebar to see examples of how this step was completed for our case study sites.