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Communicating Network Results

Because networks are composed of multiple organizations and partners, there is the potential for lack of agreement on how network successes are communicated to the public. It is for this reason many networks develop communications plans that account for any concerns from network members (for example, attributing achievements and successes to the network versus individual member organizations) as well as encourage transparency.

A communications plan lays out:

  • The network's goals for dissemination
  • Strategies for dissemination
  • How the network's messages should be developed and for which audiences and venues
  • How changes should be made to messages being disseminated

Generally, a network's communication plan should begin with regularly scheduled check-ins with the network's board and/or leadership group as well as the network's member organizations. The check-ins will serve the purpose of reporting updates to leadership on evaluation and/or outputs.

When communicating with external stakeholders (for example, the general public or peer organizations), networks should focus on:

  • The mission and vision of the network, and how well the network and its activities advance them
  • How effective the network has been at achieving its successes
  • How network programming has affected or changed members of the targeted populations and/or the organizations that service these clients
  • How well the network's programs can be sustained

Resources to Learn More

Creating an Effective Dissemination Plan
Presentation Slides
Discusses considerations when developing a plan for communicating lessons learned and accomplishments. Identifies communication methods to make findings accessible to a broad audience.
Author(s): Elsberry, L. & Mirambeau, A.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Date: 2015