The UK General Election - 4th July 2024

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Top Tips for Communicating Your Impact

Tiffany Beck OBE

Senior Account Director - Head of Education

The evaluation of initiatives and interventions plays a crucial role in supporting organisations to develop and grow. It allows them to understand what has worked well, where there are opportunities to improve and the areas in which staff can be upskilled. Evaluations should be thoroughly planned, and, crucially, the findings should be strategically communicated to relevant stakeholders to fully leverage the impact of an organisation’s hard work.

PLMR, in partnership with ImpactEd Group, recently held a webinar on ‘Communicating your impact’. I was joined by Holly Waddell, Director of Impact Partnerships at ImpactEd Evaluation. Together we explored how an organisation can measure the impact of its initiatives, interventions, and programmes; how to communicate the results of an evaluation exercise; and, most significantly, why these are important things to do. 

An evaluation can provide enormous benefit to an organisation. It can be used to secure buy-in from senior leaders, internal and external stakeholders or a board. Likewise, it can be used as part of marketing or fundraising efforts, or to inform decision-making processes. 

Here are a few important principles to remember when measuring and communicating your impact:

1. Provide structure to your evaluation 

When an organisation decides to do an evaluation, ImpactEd recommends following a four-stage cycle to provide sufficient structure:  

  • Define the scope of your evaluation and complete a theory of change to understand how you can deliver solutions to the problems you are experiencing. 
  • Have a clear plan for your evaluation. It is important to identify why you are carrying out an evaluation, the timeframe for completion and the research questions that will underpin the process. 
  • Identify how you are going to measure the effectiveness and impact of your interventions. Data should be collected and managed, including that which the organisation does not typically collect (survey data about satisfaction, for example). 
  • Finally, the organisation should report and reflect on how it intends to use the findings from the evaluation and ensure that intervention and programme design is considered when reviewing the outcomes of an evaluation.

2. Engaging with stakeholders 

Strategically communicating the findings from your evaluation is an incredibly crucial phase to leverage the time, energy and resources you’ve invested into implementing and determining the impact of your work.  

Staff, for example, will have either been directly involved in the initiative or may at least know that it was taking place. It is important for them to see the impact of their work and understand the organisation is being proactive in identifying successes and areas for improvement in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for those it serves.  

It may also be helpful for wider stakeholders to know and understand the impact you’re having, how that makes a difference for them and how you’re further adapting and innovating your approach based on learnings – so understanding what comes next and what they can expect from you. If you’re effectively and proactively engaging with your stakeholders, keeping them in the loop, making them feel valued and important to you, making them part of the journey, then they will be more supportive, engaged and better advocates for you.  

3. Be strategic when communicating your impact 

Who to communicate to, when and through what channel will really depend on who your stakeholders are for any particular initiative, what your aims for it are (as well as your wider strategic objectives) and what the outcome is. 

We support organisations to identify the right stakeholders who need to be engaged, at which stages in the evaluation process, the best channels to reach them through and the messages which will most resonate with them.  

In addition to supporting good relationships with key stakeholders, getting this communication phase right can mean you are able to create new opportunities, partnerships and income generation for your organisation that you may not have achieved otherwise.

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