Why Theory of Change matters for comms campaigns

Earlier this month we had social value consultant, Nicola Lynch from LynchPin Support, teach us about Theory of Change: what it is, why it’s so important and how to put it into practice.

We say we are a purposeful PR and communications agency – and we want that to be more than just words. It needs to mean something. We want to bring about positive change and support our clients to maximise their impact – especially as our clients include national and regional charities, social enterprises and more. 

But whilst I had heard of Theory of Change, I had not spent long enough on it to be able to put it into practice.

So, the training was really useful and here are some of the things I learned on the day. 

Communications and the Theory of Change

Put simply, a Theory of Change is thinking about the change you want to see and working backwards in a methodical way to set out what you need to do to make it happen.

For example, you may have a project on a homeless hostel with an aim of getting those in that hostel into long-term accommodation and into meaningful and long-term work. 

How would you go about doing that? Well, a Theory of Change will help you devise a plan which should put you on the right path.

It won’t give you the answers, but it will help you structure your thinking and test assumptions. 

So for the hostel example, it will make sure you involve the right stakeholders including people who may have already been through the journey. It will also help you see if there are partners who can help you achieve your aims more easily. 

Outcomes may include improving the educational and work skills of homeless people who come to the hostel so they are more likely to keep long-term accommodation and so on.

How is High-Rise Communications using Theory of Change principles?

As well as helping our clients devise their own Theories of Change, we want to look at our own mission too.

Last week, we sat down and went through what we could do. Without going into too much detail as we finalise our own Theory of Change, the exercise helped us think about how we do things differently and what else we need to do to create positive change through our own work, who we work with and how we do things.

If you want to find out more about the Theory of Change and how it can help you achieve your strategic objectives, get in touch with the High-Rise team today.