Module 3: Communicating Success to Stakeholders
The resource is training, registration is required.
This is the final course in the three-part series on using data. In this course you will use data to highlight your program’s success, positioning it as a vital, relevant community service and thus attracting more resources. This course will guide you in 1) assessing your community’s needs, 2) developing tailored messages to diverse stakeholders, and 3) delivering those messages in innovative and effective ways. The guiding premise of this course is that effective communication of a program’s success will enable it to attract resources to continue to improve its services and increase community impact.
This free ProLiteracy course supported by Dollar General, like ProLiteracy’s other online courses, is meticulously organized, easy to use even for first-time online students, and requires no fancy software programs. I recommend it without reservation for all directors, grant writers, PR personnel, and as a professional development project for an entire adult education team.
Lessons offer useful tools for programs to assess how well they understand and can communicate their mission and programs, the outcomes and vital connection to the community that stakeholders expect, ways that programs reach out to stakeholders to meet their needs and desires, not just the adult education center’s goals, and much more. The difference between collaboration and true partnership is explained, which can help when writing grants. Short videos of 2-3 minutes from experts on communicating needs and creating messages offer the kind of tips that are easy to remember, such as only quoting three pieces of information/statistics and no more—keeping the text extremely simple vs. overloading listeners or audiences with all that we know. Another practical idea is to create a story bank with students’ particular story and using those whenever a journalist, donor, or community leader calls needing info on the spot.
The course is germane and succinct and can yield real success whether used by a single PR person or approached as a team, which should include the student services/intake staff and teachers since they often know the students best. Lessons include "Finding Your Niche," "Creating Messages," "The Story," "The Numbers," "Packaging and Distributing Your Message," and "Being Prepared." With dwindling financial support, no adult education center can afford to miss the opportunities for keeping current donors and supporters and finding new ones. Spending a few hours taking this course truly can bring rewards.