How to Evaluate Information Work – Part 3

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Are you reaching the right people?

In the previous article in this series we discussed how people can find out about your work. But how do you know whether your information reaches the right people – those who need your services or those who are most likely to support your cause? And are those people using your information in useful ways?

 People may subscribe to your e-bulletin but never open it, or take a printed leaflet and just recycle it. Hopefully your eye catching design and compelling text means that this doesn’t happen, but how can you find out?

 If your services are in demand, and you have an ever increasing subscription list and a pool of regular donors and volunteers then your communications are probably working! On the other hand if no-one seems to be interested then you may need to improve your communications.

 The statistics about your website and e-mail campaigns can give you a feel for how many people actually read what you write. It’s useful also to take every opportunity to ask people how they found out about your work. You can ask ‘how did you find out about our services/events/newsletter?’ on booking forms, evaluation forms and subscription forms. You can then analyse how people find out about you and use this to refine how you market your work. If some information channels aren’t working for you, ask yourself whether you are using them to their full potential or whether in fact they’re not the right channels for you.

If you are asking people to take action you need to be able to find out whether your communications are helping them to take those actions! Many charities now ask their supporters to feedback using postcards or emails to say wehn they have taken action. It is relatively easy to see how much influence you have on Twitter and Facebook by watching what your supporters do with your information and how often they share your posts.

You should research which forms of communication might best suit your work before leaping in and making the commitment. Online communication can take a lot of time to use effectively. You may find it useful to read some of the articles on Beth’s Blog: How Non Profit Organisations can Use Social Media; the NCVO Marketing Blog and the Ask Charity Blog to start your thinking about how to use online marketing for the best impact. Just because a lot of charities are using Twitter, doesn’t mean you need to!

For a more in depth guide to evaluating information work, try Issue Lab’s Are We There Yet? A Communications Evaluation Guide.

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One Response to “How to Evaluate Information Work – Part 3”

  1. Tweets that mention How to Evaluate Information Work – Part 3 « Information Officers' Support -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Juliet Wilson. Juliet Wilson said: Last in my series evaluating nonprofit information work https://iosgblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/how-to-evaluate-information-work-part-3/ […]

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