Surveying Your Community? Your Findings Report Should Bolster Your Reputation as an Expert

Years ago I made a friend who hailed from rural New Hampshire. She claimed that her family exchanged balls of scrap string as holiday presents.

Not the cute kind you can now get on #Etsy

Actual lengths of string for emergency shoelaces or gate repairs – practical uses. Taken off a package she’d received, and saved from the waste bin.

I have never done this myself. But I embrace the concept of putting things to use more than once.

Recently I’ve been reviewing the work of #basebuilding groups that survey community members on their public policy preferences and social service needs.

Because these organizations have trusted relationships, language capacity, and cultural knowledge, they get input from their constituencies that other researchers can’t — and create reports that #policymakers value.

This got me thinking about how base-builders’ findings reports might be maximized – reinforcing communities’ key “asks” while positioning groups as go-to experts with media, colleagues in the field, and others.

To deploy analyses this way, a well-designed #reportlaunch is valuable.

But many smaller organizers or advocates don’t have the communications staff to mount a report launch while keeping up with daily work. Sometimes they can get help – from paid consultants or expert volunteers.

I’ve created a #resource — Questions to Ask Your Communications Consultant — for organizations receiving help with a report launch. It helps a group do preliminary planning for a findings report launch so that consultant time is spent where it’s needed the most.

It’s available on my Resources page.

I never asked my friend whether she ever gotten back a ball of string that she’d given as a gift the previous year. Or whether she’d recognize if it she had? I think it’s time to find out.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *