Step One: Defining Your Goals

In this page

  • Setting the Stage for Your Project’s Success
  • Audience and Messaging
  • Budget and Timeline
  • Your Team
  • Dissemination Plan

Setting the Stage for Your Project’s Success

The first key step to ensuring your project’s ultimate success is to have a rough idea of the end result. As Lewis Carroll wrote, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

From the beginning, you will need to know who you want to reach and with what messages. You also will need to consider your budget and timeframe. Be sure to factor in the time needed to get the necessary approvals, as spelled out in your contract and in the CTCP Administrative and Policy Manual (pdf). And although disseminating your materials is the final step in completing your project, you need to decide early on how you will get your materials in front of your audience.

Before you can effectively begin developing your educational materials, be sure you know the answer to these basic questions that will make the rest of the process more focused and productive:

Audience and Messaging

  • What target population do you hope to reach?
  • What do you want your materials to accomplish?
  • What key messages do you want your audience to remember?
  • What action steps do you want your audience to take?

Budget and Timeline

  • What is your available budget?
  • When do you need to have the materials in hand?
  • Will your materials have a short or long “shelf life”?

Your Team

  • Who will make up your project team?
  • Who will take the lead in seeing the materials from the development stage to completion?
  • What creative resources (graphic artists, photographers, writers, translators, printers, web designers, etc.) can you draw upon?

Dissemination Plan

  • How will you deliver your materials to your audience? (A few options include: mailings, advertisements, local media, websites, electronic newsletters or email blasts, social media, blogs, text messaging, distribution at events or through community organizations, businesses or government offices.)
  • The way you plan to distribute your materials will, of course, shape the form your materials take, so this needs to be an early consideration as you plan your project.