Friday, May 29, 2009

It is our pleasure to introduce Joann Minder as our guest blogger from June 1st – June 5th. Joann serves as the health communications coordinator within the Division of Obesity Prevention & Control and is experienced in the success story writing process.

Title: Showcasing your Successes --“How to Prepare for Your Presentation”

With the growing demand for positive outcomes and the competition for funding dollars, it is more important than ever to let others know about your accomplishments. A success story is a wonderful way to highlight the accomplishments of your school garden.
You cannot always rely on the media to communicate the great things you are doing within your schools and communities. It is up to you.

A success story is a concise one-page story that is used to highlight your program or project’s accomplishments. Simple straightforward language and bullets are used to make the story reader-friendly and appealing to a wider audience. The framework for success stories is outlined below. The bulleted questions are to help guide your thinking as you determine what to write. Some questions may or may not be applicable.

Why do we need Success Stories?
Success stories are a tool that can be used as a way to:
Share your triumphs with the public, community, decision makers and the media
Show accountability to stakeholders, the public, and funders
Present the framework for a report on your project/program
Prepare talking points for presentations

What are the components of a Success Story?
Your success story framework should contain four components; issue, intervention, impact, and lessons learned.

Issue-What is the problem? Why did you start the school garden?
Create an emotional hook painting a picture of the problem using personal situations.
Who was at risk?

Intervention-What were the solutions or the ways you addressed the problem?
Who carried out the project/program?
When did it occur?
Where did it take place?
Who was served?
How was it carried out?

Impact-What were the specific outcomes?
What differences did it make?
How many people did the intervention impact?
What changes occurred?

Lessons Learned -What are the lessons learned from your program or project?
What were your challenges and how did you address?
What advice would you give others who want to replicate?

F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” A success story is a great way to say what you have to say.

Please post any comments or questions to let me know how I can help you to showcase your school garden success!