A Facts Sheet – To Keep You Focused
Sometimes it’s the simplest tools that make the biggest difference. Forget confusing gantt charts (which give me an instant headache) or 10 page plans. While they have their place and are loved by analytical/detail oriented minds, I prefer the less is more approach – a facts sheet.
When I was first introduced to a facts sheet, I remember thinking “wow this is so easy, why haven’t I been using it my whole career.” Whether or not you work in public relations, trust me, you too can use a facts sheet for just about any project.
So what is a facts sheet? It’s a sheet of facts. Yup. That’s it.
Okay, there’s a bit more involved.
It’s a one page, bullet point document that contains the KEY facts related to your project. It needs to be short, and to the point. These need to be verified facts (don’t assume because it’s on your website it’s true). Think of the facts sheet as the information a reporter would use to write a story about your particular project.
Is it clear what the key points are? Does it contain interesting information that would hook readers? How is your project relevant to your particular audience?
Now here’s the best part of a facts sheet. It can be reused as material for your website, included in a power point presentation, highlighted in an annual report, or speaking notes for a team meeting or media interview. You can also send it to the media as an attachment to your press release or include it in a press kit for a press conference.
Let me give you an example related to a fundraising campaign for a summer camp for children living below the poverty line. Your facts sheet would look something like this. Note: This is a fictional example, so the information is not current.
Did you know?
- 1 in every 6 children in Canada and 440,000 (38%) children in Ontario live in poverty.
- One hundred more families applied to have their children attend XYZ camp in 2018 than in previous years. The need is growing.
- Poverty rates for Aboriginal, visible minority and immigrant families are double the average rate
- Poverty rates are rising and affecting children in every community
- 36% of low income families where both parents work full time have children in the home
- The XYZ summer camp is a not-for-profit charitable organization and is open to all
Your gift helps
- 2,400 children ages 7-16 years old have one free week of summer camp
- Children living in poverty enjoy a safe, fun and character building experience
- Prepare 36,000 nutritious meals for campers
- Train and employ 200 previous campers as camp staff, working in food preparation, sports and as camp counselors
- Create memories and friendships that will last a lifetime
About XYZ Camp
- Founded in 1920 by the Church of ABC
- The camp was donated to C&S Foundation in 1955
- Is a not-for-profit organization run by a volunteer Board of Directors
- Focuses on employing previous campers and helping them gain value life and work experience
See how simple it is to create a fact sheet?
Now it’s your turn. Set aside 30 minutes to create a facts sheet for a project you are currently working on. What are the key points of information? Can you organize the facts under headings to make it easy to read? Where can use use the facts sheet? An update in a team meeting? Graphic on your website?
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