How To Share Your Success Story Without Sounding Like You Are Bragging

A great way to celebrate your achievements and capitalize on your successes is to share them with your clients, members, community leaders, and other influential decisionmakers. But how can you do that without sounding like you are bragging?

Tell the story of your success using one of these five approaches, which will work for newsletter articles, website content, and press releases.

Profile a Person Involved
Personal profiles are a great way to share good news. Instead of talking about your accomplishments directly, profile the people who worked on them or the people who benefit from them. If the profile is of a staff member, have them explain the challenges associated with the project and why the success is so meaningful to them. If you profile someone who benefits from the successful project, ask them to explain how his or her life has changed for the better as a result of the organization's achievement.

Analyze a Trend
Put your accomplishment in the context of larger trends within your community or national trends in your field. Use events and statistics from sources outside your organization to demonstrate how your success fits into a larger pattern (or bucks a trend).

Explain How You Did It
In an easy-to-follow format, provide your readers with clear directions on how to do something related to your accomplishments. What did you learn during the process that you can share with others? What can your newsletter readers do to help build upon your achievements and further your mission? Show your readers, step-by-step, how they can be a part of your success.

Create a Top Ten List
People love lists! Create a top ten list related to your accomplishment. Consider these angles: Ten Things We Learned on the Way to the Top, Ten Mistakes We Made Before We Hit It Big, and Ten Things We Do Every Day to Keep Growing. You don't need ten items, of course. You can pick any number that works.

Challenge the Conventional Wisdom
Busting a myth or challenging what most people assume is true is another great way to grab and keep your readers' attention. Being successful often involves taking risks and doing things differently than others. Talk about how you broke away from norms to accomplish something great.

It is important for you to share your successes publicly, because success breeds more success. No one likes a show off, but if you use a strong, creative angle like those described here, you can tell your positive stories and successfully cultivate more supporters, clients, donors, and volunteers.

© 2005, Kivi Leroux Miller. All Rights Reserved.

Kivi Leroux Miller is president of, which provides free writing advice, tip sheets, e-courses, and in-person workshops for people who need to write well at work. She specializes in helping nonprofit organizations improve their newsletters, annual reports, and other publications.

Visit to sign up for "Writing Tips," a free monthly e-newsletter that will help you improve your writing and your publications.

In The News:

Public Relations Manager CRVA  Charlotte Agenda
Why Not to Use a PR Agency  Business 2 Community
AI ethics guide is a PR exercise
PR School Board debates policy language  Park Rapids Enterprise

The 7 Deadly Sins of Press Releases

A press release is often your only chance to make... Read More

Promote Your Products With A Press Release

Writing an effective press release is a way to draw... Read More

Attention PR Shoppers!

As a business, non-profit or association manager, what do you... Read More

Free Radio Publicity for Marketing-Minded Financial Planners

Radio is a powerful publicity tool. Most stations offer news... Read More

So Whats Wrong With Strategic?

Some folks see the word "strategic" as a needlessly tiresome... Read More

Can Your PR Do This?

Can your PR do something positive about the behaviors of... Read More

Hispanic Media Training: How It Can Benefit You

How can media training help you create a successful Hispanic... Read More

Underestimating the Power of In-House PR

Do small-business owners always have to rely on large PR... Read More

How To Write A Killer Press Release

One of the primary tools still used by PR professionals... Read More

Creating Your Online News Room: How To Build a Site The Media Will Love

From time to time, people ask me how public relations... Read More

Financial Planning Publicity: When Talking to the Media, Dont Fake What You Dont Know

Relationships are based on trust-not just romantic relationships, or doctor/patient... Read More

Publicity: A Financial Planners Best Marketing Friend

There's an old African proverb:"If you think you are too... Read More

How to Get a Story About You or Your Business in USA Today

I am often asked by clients to target USA Today... Read More

Public Relations: The Fundamental Premise

It seems difficult to believe at the dawn of the... Read More

Your Financial Planning Clients May Hold the Key to Free Publicity

Every reporter, from the cub at the small town paper... Read More

E-Mail Media Releases

E-mail is becoming the preferred way to receive media releases.... Read More

Media Relations: Should You Pay For News Coverage, Part II

Last month, we told you about "pay for play," a... Read More

Building The Best Network

If you want to succeed, build a great team. A... Read More

What Some Pros Know About PR

They know they had better do something positive about those... Read More

How PR Makes a Managers Life Easier

Things are pleasant for many business, non-profit or association managers... Read More

8 Ways to Use Local Publicity to Drive Your Business

While scoring anice story in BusinessWeek or USA Today is... Read More

Making Great Announcements

When do you use the newspaper for publishing announcements for... Read More

Prep for a Successful Trade Show

Well, autumn is upon us and with the onset of... Read More

Mission-Critical Public Relations?

As a business, non-profit or association manager, any tool that... Read More

33 Reasons To Do A News Release

News releases are not the best way to get major... Read More