85/365 – Evaluating the success of 365 days of myasthenia

I was on a course yesterday (at the very cool Department for International Development office on Whitehall where I’m picture above) about evaluation when it comes to communications. It provided structures for making sure you build evaluation into your communication plan from the beginning and then covered the process all the way through to the reporting stage. While considering this for my work, it also made me think what I’d like success to look like for this blog. I realised I had no idea. 

Working with the IDIA (identify, develop, implement and analyse and report) structure, I decided to put down the ideas I had when starting the blog about what I wanted to achieve with it. 

  1. Raise awareness about myasthenia gravis.
  2. Improve understanding of what it is like to live with a rare condition.
  3. Promote the good work of Myaware  (and other charities around the world) are doing.
  4. Provide support for people who have recently been diagnosed or are struggling to cope with their MG.
  5. Encourage other people with MG to take on the idea of doing #100daysofmyasthenia.

While these goals sound good, one of the first things we learned was to make targets SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound). As you can see, my aims are vague – without any clear markers of success it’s hard to know whether I am achieving these goals.

So here they are re-written:

Within the 365 days:

1. Raise awareness about myasthenia gravis by reaching 2,000 people who hadn’t heard about MG before. Of those people, 25% of them will feel comfortable talking to people about MG, particularly medical professionals they know, and take a pledge to do so.

2. Harder to make this one quantifiable – 25% of readers would be able to name 3 things that are difficult for those who live with MG. 

3. Depending on whether the Myaware website can record where traffic comes from, I will direct at least 200 people to their website and 30 new people will engage with the charity, via support or fundraising events and/or social media. 

4. Provide support for 12 different people who need it via comments/email and if they are London-based offer to meet face-to-face for a coffee. 

5. Get 5 people committed to do #100daysofmyasthenia and 5 people committed to do #50shadesofmyasthenia (for 50 days) on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to raise awareness in 2016. 

Alongside this, I will also be looking at the statistics to gauge what content is popular, where my main readership is and how traffic is being directed to my website. Yesterday I had a quick check and was delighted to see that although only 7 people reached my website via search engines in January, more than 70 had in March – a 10% increase. 

To get some results for the points above, I’ll set up a survey to run on the website and then I’ll be able to report how I’m doing with this along the way.

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