As PREP grantees, you do important work to serve youth in the community every day, but are you also communicating about the work you are doing and sharing your successes to ensure that others know about your efforts? The good news is you have a strong story to tell. Sharing your story with a variety of stakeholders [such as parents, the media, school officials, community leaders, and other decision makers] is a way to build awareness, support, and sustainability for your program and PREP.
There is broad public support for PREP—a new poll Visit disclaimer page indicates that 79% of adults believe teens should receive more information about abstinence and contraceptive education versus one or the other and 85% of adults favor maintaining federal funding for the program. But, numbers are not enough. It is also critical to share the voices and experiences of the youth you serve as well as highlight key partners who have seen and contributed to your success. There are many ways to share your story. Below are a few ideas:
- Develop a news release to inform local press about your program and the great work that is taking place in the community. You can also invite them to visit the program to learn more.
- Create short, visually-appealing documents that demonstrate the scope of your project, how much funding is going to the area and how many youth are being served.
- Ask youth participants to lend their voice—they can write letters to the editor or create short videos.
To increase the impact of your storytelling, keep these tips in mind for effective communication:
- Know your audience and tailor your message so that it resonates with their interests or concerns. How you tell your story to the media may be different from how you tell it to private or public funders, community leaders or school officials.
- Focus on the positive. Highlight the progress that has been made on preventing teen pregnancy, but do not forget to note the work that still needs to be done in the community—and how PREP is part of the ongoing solution.
- Make your story “real” by using photos and quotes. Take photos or video of youth engaging in activities. Include testimonials from youth, their parents, program facilitators, and anyone else that can lend an authentic voice on how your program has made an impact on them or the community.
For more tips on telling your story visit the Create Visit disclaimer page tab on the Exchange or view the Storytelling for Sustainability webinar Visit disclaimer page . Additional polling data and infographics can be found at The National Campaign’s website.