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Evaluating Your Outreach Efforts

Sodexo Foundation Summer Meals Outreach Toolkit

After all the work is done, it's time to go back and see how effective your efforts were. It's tempting to skip this and go off to tackle the next big issue, however, your funders and partners will be pleased to learn about your results. These results might also help you recruit new funders and partners in the future and will help you fine tune media outreach.

  • Get a copy of the coverage. If a reporter showed up or said he or she would cover the story, request a copy of the coverage. The Internet makes this job much easier than it used to be, but getting copies of print articles to share is also important.
  • Keep the copies of coverage clips together for future presentation purposes.
  • Research the circulation, readership, viewership or listenership of the media outlets that covered the event. These can be found on the publication or on the outlet's website. Sometimes, one may need to place a discreet call to the ad sales department to gain the information. Add all these numbers together to find the total possible number of media impressions. Not everyone will have seen or heard your story. This number reflects the number of times the information was presented.
  • Examine where the story was picked up, who covered it and what was covered. Were the facts presented correctly? Was broadcast stronger than print, or vice versa? Ask yourself and colleagues what can be changed or enhanced in the future to assure the story you want to be told is widely covered. If everything worked beautifully, then repeat it next year. Many media outlets enjoy reporting on timely, cyclical stories, such as the end of the school year.
  • Keep track of all the outreach materials you disseminate so you can share the total number of materials distributed.

Template:

Evaluating your media outreach efforts template