At Vanguard, we are passionate about righting wrongs, fighting injustice and achieving social change. We’re also pretty fond of … purple. As we set out to help broaden the knowledge of fellow communicators who are working toward the same societal goals, we knew that we had to package this advice with our special brand of purple passion. Our Purple Paper™ isn’t intended to be an in-depth report or a compendium of research. Purple Papers are a simple tool for sharing knowledge, seeding innovation and empowering change makers. Read more about our take on evaluating social change.
Interested in reading our Purple Paper™ from start to finish? Download the complete PDF here.
So, now that you’ve caught the evaluation bug, you may be hungry for a little more information about the principles that guide evaluation process and practice in communications. Here are some resources to get you going and the reference list for the Purple Paper™.
Evaluation – The Starting Point
It can certainly be daunting to know where to start. We’ve been taught that a real evaluation takes lots of money and many, many millennia to truly measure change. But if you do your research, you’ll find that in practice, evaluation can be quite straight-forward and might even become your new BFF.
There’s no avoiding it now. After successfully laying the groundwork for evaluation by establishing goals and objectives and creating a logic model, you are on your way to really implementing a communication evaluation plan.
Evaluation at Work
Now you have a whole lot of information, but it’s only useful if you put it to work. Here are examples of how others have put evaluation to work for them.
Well, first, because you can’t celebrate communication success until you know that you’ve, in fact, had success. And second, because you can’t learn from the experience of what didn’t work so well until you KNOW what didn’t work so well. Evaluation informs best practices.