Why Focus on Results-Based Communications?
For many organizations, distributing press releases and holding ribbon cutting events are typical. However, are these and other outreach and communications efforts reaching intended audiences, and more importantly, conveying the right messages?
USAID asked these questions of us a few years ago during our implementation of the Development Outreach and Communications Training program, which we launched for the Agency in 2005 and managed for more than a decade.
As a premier provider of monitoring and evaluation services across government, we used our three decades of experience and learning from applying results-based planning to help the Agency in ultimately answering a fundamental question: Were communications and outreach activities having an impact and return on investment?
As advisors to the USAID’s Legislative and Public Affairs Bureau, we took up the challenge. We began by creating and finalizing the Agency’s first-ever results framework for communications, helping to define an overarching communications objective – and the steps needed to achieve it.
We further developed the Agency’s first communications indicators and its first performance monitoring plan, helping resource-strapped offices better track their activities on a regular basis.
Our training team incorporated these tools and approaches into several training modules, that we developed and carried out for communicators from more than 70 countries over more than a decade.
This novel approach to communications is now being widely used across USAID, ensuring that communications’ approaches focus on results and impact.