Success Stories

Success stories are a type of content within the ACF website. They are a chance for your program to talk about the good things that are happening with your initiatives.

Tips for Writing a Good Success Story:

Make sure it’s newsworthy

The topic should be timely (in that it happened recently or is connected to a recent event).

Identify the 5 W’s — Who, What, Where, When, and Why 

Who: Identify the subject of the story — a ACF employee, a caseworker or client. Use their title or location

John Smith of Alexandria, Virginia, said….

What: Fully name the ACF program/grantee and how it benefits the community and/or taxpayer. Make sure to establish the ACF connection.

When: Identify the time period of the story (either season “Fall 2016,” month “November 2016” or actual date “Nov. 7, 2016”) and how long will the project be funded.

Where: Where does the story take place?

Why: Wrap up the story with an ending that explains why this program helps society and how it contributes to ACF/program mission.

Include a Photo

A picture is worth a thousand words. It also needs to be a high-resolution image (preferably JPEG), and don’t forget to include “alt text” or a description of the photo for 508 compliance.

Have a Call to Action

Once someone has finished reading the success story, what should they do now? Link to more information about the program, or provide a contact for further details.

Other Requirements

  • Provide context: Stories should be written to give contextual meaning and something that your users understand and value
  • Word count: No more than one page or 1000 words (preferred length is 4-5 paragraphs, each with 1-3 clear and concise sentences)
  • Should be written in the third person, from an ACF perspective (we).
  • Make sure you’re using Plain Language, and following all ACF Style guidelines.

Getting Permission

As with any piece of content, if you are telling the story of someone who is outside of ACF or U.S. government — particularly quoting them or using their image — you must have a waiver on file before the piece can be published.

ACF Waiver Form

September 28, 2016

If directly quoting or using a photo of someone who is not a government employee or affiliated with ACF, you must have them sign a waiver release form to keep on file before you use their words or images.

Read ACF Waiver Form

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