Have a success story you would like to share with a national audience?
The National Behavioral Health Network (NBHN) values the work being done by our members to improve tobacco cessation & cancer control efforts for people with mental illnesses and addictions. NBHN is soliciting stories from the field highlighting the incredible work being done across the country related to tobacco and cancer control. Story submissions may be shared via BHtheChange.org and/or other multimedia outlets. Due to the high volume of submissions, the NBHN team is unable to guarantee that all success stories will be posted. Additionally, please note that NBHN may contact the individual contact person provided below in order to gather further information.
Questions? Please contact Krystle Canare at KrystleC@thenationalcouncil.org
Can't come up with the perfect title? Come up with as many as you can off the top of your head but don’t worry about quality. Try for at least five. Then look at your list. Which words grab your attention? Try changing all the titles to present tense. Help them convey action by putting the subject first. You might find that by combining some of the stronger candidates, you’ll have the most effective title for your Success Story!
An example of a strong title is, "Springville Citizens Enjoy Smoke-free Parks".This example focuses on the solution - not the problem.
Tip: Use Active Voice where possible
Active Voice- Walkers found the trails made walking more enjoyable.
Passive Voice- The trails were found to be more enjoyable by the walkers.
If you use numbers or quotes, make sure that you include the report, website, article or other source for the information. The Writer's Resource Center has help for citing sources if you’d like some guidance.
TIP: Include how the public influenced your public health solution.
Did stakeholders help you prioritize your goals or get your message out? Make sure to share how community members helped to reach your solution.
TIP: Elevator Speech
Could you give a clear, concise description of your strategy quickly enough to finish by the end of a short elevator ride? It's usually a good idea to have a quick summary of your initiative, but your “elevator speech” can also help you write your summary. Ask a friend or co-worker to listen to you tell your Success Story in 60 seconds or less. You'll have your Summary for your Success Story almost written.
Spell Out Acronyms
The first time an acronym is used in a story, the full phrase or name should be spelled out followed by the abbreviation or acronym in parentheses. For example, Happy, Healthy Kids (HHK) can be HHK after it first appears in the Summary and in the rest of the Success Story. Regardless of what order you write the sections of your story, your Summary will be the first section the reader sees in your published Success Story. Acronyms you might have used throughout your story should be spelled out in your Summary because it is the first time they will appear in the story.
TIP: Sustaining Success
Don't be afraid to set the bar high. Remember your Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound (SMART) objectives, but aim for real change rather than safe goals. It can be hard to put concrete steps and outcomes in writing, especially when it can take time to see results, and it can be difficult to show that changes are due to your strategy. SMART objectives that can be achieved with your resources give your coalition focus and direction and also help you track your efforts. It also helps to keep moving your initiative forward. Be sure to build in objectives that enable your organization or coalition to continue to move forward after the initial funding stream expires.
TIP: Know Your Audience
Different aspects of your public health initiative might mean more to some people than others. For example, reduced behavior problems in the classroom might be the most important benefit for educators, but reduced behavior problems in the home appeals more to parents. Consider creating multiple versions of your Success Story - modifying the Title, Results and Get Involved sections for different audiences.
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