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Extension > Ripple Effects Mapping > Communicating using the results

Communicating using the results

Step 1: Mine the maps

Step 2: Share the good news


Step 1: Mine the maps
Find the stories

  • Do you see instances where your intervention created very practical benefits or solved real, everyday problems?
  • What changes are seeable and touchable? Which changes or outcomes can you take a picture of?
  • Find "How one thing led to another" stories. How did relationships foster economic development? How did they create more community volunteerism?
  • What types of outcomes do you see repeated in more than one place? Could they be clustered by topic or type of outcome?
  • What outcomes or relationships or people do you see that have a "cool factor?"
  • Have outsiders help you identify the content that really "pops". Perhaps choose people who can represent your target audiences well – a trusted funder, board member, etc.
  • Find "odd couple" stories that show how people who are very different can make a difference together.
  • Find examples of "midstream" outcomes, too. Don't wait for final outcomes. Early reports will give you a clue to what to look for later, and can predict future outcomes.

Quantify

  • When coding the data, code for private vs. public value. Then, you will have a simple count of how many actions or outcomes had a public value.
  • How many outcomes do you see and in what areas? Or affecting which community capitals? Quantify the results.
  • Identify the "branches" that touch on the most community capitals.

Connect
Consider who would be interested in this outcome, or cluster of outcomes, or the entire map.

  • Policy makers at the city, county, state or federal level
  • Local media outlets
  • Future participants or project sponsors
  • Past sponsors or funders
  • Future sponsors
  • People in your community
  • Program participants
  • Program volunteers

Step 2: Share the good news

POSSIBLE AUDIENCES
  • Internal Stakeholders (Boards and Committees)
  • Program participants and sponsors (past and future)
  • Funders
  • The general public
IDEAS

Ideas for telling stories

  • When your map tells a good story (e.g., a community center got built), try telling the story backward to demonstrate that the seeds planted by your project created big things.
  • When you discover key players or people affected by the program, interview them so they can share their story.
  • Did you discover one really big, visible outcome? Give that outcome its own social media outlet. Let the outcome (e.g., a building, a clean street, a new business) "talk" and "tweet" about its presence in the community.
  • Highlight unexpected partnerships resulting from your project.
  • Tell stories that exemplify the community capitals, thus educating others about the importance of community capitals to communities as well as relating the stories themselves. Use your program/project as an example.
  • Feature "heroes" of your story in videos, on your website, or in social media.
  • Take pictures of visual/tangible outcomes. You can use these for visual infographics, still photo images in carousel presentations with narratives, and more.
  • Animate your outcomes using software such as Sparkol, or VideoScribe. Create short narrated presentations that can be easily shared on websites, blogs, with local media and more.
  • Embed short snippets of video into the map to highlight a story.
  • Give presentations based on your map at a local meeting of a town council, city council or other government entity.
  • Encourage citizen journalism from the stories on your map. Have volunteers or participants write personal essays or thought pieces; publish these through the media, on your website, blogs or other venues. Community leaders might also write opinion/editorial pieces for local media.

Ideas for featuring people

  • Create a photo journal of volunteers or community members who came up in the map.
  • When you discover key players or people affected by a program, interview them so that they can share their story.
  • Highlight unexpected partnerships resulting from your project.
  • Feature "heroes" of your story in videos, on your website, or in social media.
  • Profile people who benefited from your program/project, or who volunteered for it. Place these profiles on plaques or kiosks in key community spots.
  • Encourage citizen journalism from the stories on your map. Have volunteers or participants write personal essays or thought pieces, publish these through the media, on your website, blogs or other venues.
  • Engage the people who were part of your REM meeting to communicate outcomes to target audiences.
  • Use the map to give awards. As you look over the map, who would you consider "employee of the year"? "Outstanding volunteer?" "Local business partner of the year?" The buzz generated by the award will also be a buzz about your program/project.

Ideas for sharing the map

  • When your map tells a good story (e.g., a community center got built), try telling the story backward to demonstrate that the seeds planted by your project created big things.
  • Use the map to present information about your program to key groups. Break out the most relevant branches for the audience you are trying to reach.
  • Embed short snippets of video into the map to tell a story.
  • Revisit the map with participants and generate their ideas for communication.
  • Create a 5-minute summary video (either carousel or real video) walking people through the entire map, or through highlights of it. Embed pictures or outcome videos within the summary.
  • For those who like "nitty-gritty" descriptions, create a final map in Prezi and let people zoom in and out for more details.
  • Incorporate art into the final design of the maps so that they are more visually appealing (e.g., a tree for gardens, people for relationships). Do you have local artists who can do this? Local children?
  • Give presentations based on your map at a local meeting of a town council, city council or other local government entities.

Ideas for using social media

  • Did you discover one really big, visible outcome? Give that outcome its own social media outlet. Let the place "talk" and "tweet" about its presence in the community.
  • Feature "heroes" of your story in videos, on your web site, or in social media.
  • Animate your outcomes using software such as Sparkol, or VideoScribe. Create short narrated presentations that can be easily shared on websites, blogs, with local media and more.
  • Use Pinterest to feature visuals about ideas that came from your program or project.
  • Did you find at least 24 outcomes? Tweet them out over a 24-hour period.
  • Encourage citizen journalism from the stories on your map. Have volunteers or participants write personal essays or thought pieces, publish these through the media, on your website, blogs or other venues.
  • Create a blog specifically to share information about past or ongoing activities. Use that blog to get input and tell stories.

Ideas for finding new stakeholders

  • If your map shows different types of impacts, feature those and target those who care about the outcomes. For example, do you see health impacts? Have you engaged health organizations before? Can they help your cause? Did you see youth leaders? Do your schools know you are involving youth? Help more types of organizations see the value of your project.
  • Engage "specialty press" – media outlets that are particularly interested in the people and places affected by your program. Examples might include neighborhood newspapers, topical newsletters, professional journals, trade press or even church bulletins.

Ideas for tapping media

  • Engage "specialty press" – media outlets that are particularly interested in the people and places affected by your program. Examples might include neighborhood newspapers, topical newsletters, professional journals, even church bulletins.
  • Invite news media (reporters) to the actual REM focus group meeting so that they hear stories, understand the program and capture images of the action the program created. Then follow up by sending them the results.
  • Encourage citizen journalism from the stories on your map. Have volunteers or participants write personal essays or thought pieces, publish these through the media, on your website, blogs or other venues.

Ideas for using community spaces

  • After finding a place or places around town that were changed because of your project, conduct site visits or tours hosting key stakeholders, funders, elected officials and others.
  • At these same sites, consider putting up a plaque that tells the story of your project. These might simply be called "How did (this site) happen?"
  • Profile people who benefitted from your program or project, or people who volunteered for it. Select key locations around town – parks, street corners, shopping centers/malls in larger communities, etc., where you could place plaques or kiosks sharing their story.
  • Using Google Maps, move information from your ripple effect map to a map of the area where the program/project took place. Put pins on locations where things happened. You could also embed video into that Google Map. Here's how: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbx6mT7me2Q

Ideas for using visuals and videos

  • Take pictures of visual outcomes. Use them for visual infographics, or still photo images in carousel form with short narratives.
  • Use the map to present information about your program. Break out the most relevant branches for specific audiences. Consider embedding visuals into the map to show outcomes.
  • Animate your outcomes using software such as Sparkol, or VideoScribe. Create short narrated presentations that can be easily shared on websites, blogs, with local media and more.
  • Show a "web" of social connections created through your project. Include interactive links or rollover buttons that detail things that happened as a result of that connection.
  • When key people are described, show an image.
  • Embed short snippets of video into the map to tell a story.
  • Incorporate art into the final design of the maps so that they are more visually appealing (e.g., a tree for gardens, people for relationships). Do you have local artists who could do this? Local children?
  • Feature your outcome on a graffiti wall somewhere in the streets of your community. Use art or "impact" words to convey what you accomplished.
  • Place an art installation in a key community location that symbolizes a key impact.
  • Display photos of outcomes and key events on Pinterest.

Ideas for engaging or educating the community

  • Tell stories that exemplify the community capitals, thus educating others about the importance of community capitals to communities. Use your program/project as an example of how communities can grow or leverage their capitals.
  • Revisit the map with participants and generate their ideas for communicating the outcomes.
  • Feature outcomes on a graffiti wall or on a city street. Use art or "impact" words to convey what you accomplished.
  • Build a community wall where people can add to the impacts you discovered, e.g., in a local coffee shop or in a community garden. For example: "This community garden strengthened my community because..." Get the conversation going by adding information from your REM map, and then let the community take over. You can use a flip chart, a whiteboard or a blackboard.
  • Engage people who were part of your REM meeting to communicate outcomes to target audiences by telling their story.

Ideas for using numbers to talk

  • Take the information you have and dig deeper. Can some of your outcomes look stronger if you pull them together and quantify them? For example, if you discovered that five community gardens were started, how many acres of green space is that? How many dollars were brought into the community through projects? How many hours were volunteered?
  • Did you find at least 24 outcomes? Tweet them out over a 24-hour period.
  • Form a sound bite after you've mined your map for outcomes. "Our project resulted in ___ contributions to our community that strengthened our economy, protected our natural resources, educated community members...."

Ideas for using awards

  • Use information from the map to nominate your community project for awards. Are there local, state or national awards available for "strong communities" or "resilient communities?" The REM map can help you prove your case.
  • Use the map to give awards. As you look over the map, who would you consider the employee of the year? The volunteer of the year? The local business of the year? The buzz generated by the award will also be a buzz about your program/project.

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