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Step Five

Put your communication activities into action.

 

Monitoring and evaluating your efforts is critical for ongoing improvement and to assess any impact. Always build mechanisms for assessing what is working or not working in your communication efforts. Evaluation is a critical tool to help you know where to spend future health communication resources.

 

Monitoring

Ongoing monitoring during your promotion will help you track what you are doing and identify any problems and address them early. The kinds of information you may want to collect include the following:

  • Whether activities are being completed as planned, e.g., materials printed and disseminated, webinars conducted, classes held.
  • Whether your promotions are reaching the employees, e.g., number of people attending kickoff events, number of print materials taken, number of visitors to the wellness program website.
  • Whether some activities or materials are more successful than others, e.g., number of people enrolling after a specific promotion activity compared to another, number of materials taken.
  • Whether you are staying within your budget.

 

Outcome Evaluation

You should have started thinking about how you would evaluate your program during the early planning stages, when you were developing SMART objectives and determined how you would know whether you reached your goal. However, many times you will want to know more than just whether you reached your goal, but what worked or did not work, so you can make improvement. For example, for the objective “By the end of the 6 month promotion, 20 employees with diabetes have enrolled in the wellness program’s diabetes education classes,” you can document whether 20 people enrolled in the classes. However, you also may want to know more, such as:

  • How did they hear about the classes?
  • What motivated them to enroll?
  • How many classes did they attend?
  • What did they like, or not like, about the classes?
  • Did they change their diabetes management behavior?

 

If only 10 people with diabetes enrolled, you may want to know more about why you did not meet your goal and what you can improve.

  • Did people with diabetes not hear about the classes?
  • Did you disseminate sufficient messages and materials through multiple channels?
  • What were their attitudes toward the classes?
  • Did they have time to attend the classes?

 

The methods you choose for collecting information will depend on the questions you are asking.  Enrollment, attendance, and number of messages or materials disseminated can be measured by keeping records. Attendee’s information sources, motivation, likes or dislikes, behavior change, or barriers to behavior change likely need to be measured through asking them in a survey.  Often, you will want to use multiple data collection methods.

 



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