This area of the Partnership Toolkit offers ideas for partners to engage with ongoing and future NPS communications initiatives.
During the NPS Centennial, the National Park Service and partners across the country successfully aligned our communications and messaging across the broad parks community. Previous servicewide initiatives such as Civil War to Civil Rights and the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act are similar examples. Each offered the NPS and partners the opportunity to bring broad public attention to important stories and places.
We invite our partners to join us in the initiatives below and share content ideas with us.
NPS Servicewide Themes
Generally organized by month, the servicewide themes bring together the parks community to highlight compelling aspects of our work.
Other helpful information:
- In the NPS News area, there is in-depth information about key hot topics and general information with NPS facts and figures.
- See NPS news releases.
- See DOI news releases.
- Feel free to reach out to your park, a regional office, or the Washington Office of Communications if you have questions or need more information.
Online Introductory Training for NPS Communicators and Partners
While communicating on behalf of a public agency such as the National Park Service has many similarities with private sector practices, the roles and responsibilities can differ, especially with regard to transparency and accountability and the reasons why we communicate. Working with the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Land at Indiana University, the NPS developed a basic overview of public affairs and digital communications for NPS employees which may be useful for employees of other public agencies as well as the partners who work with us. This survey course is designed to introduce new communicators to topics such as message development, communications planning, writing and editing, working with news media, digital and technical media, intellectual property, branding and graphic identity, and the authorities, responsibilities, and policies governing our public communications. The series includes five courses, each of which will take several hours to complete. It is available for partners on Eppley's Provalens Platform and for NPS employees via the NPS Communications Community (interal link).
Course 1 -- Communications Policy and Practices (3 hours)
This course covers why your agency needs to communicate, basic tools and terms for communicators, and how to apply policy to communications. You'll also get an overview of accessibility laws and policies, an understanding of obtaining permissions for informational use, and information about communicating agency priorities.
Course 2 -- Communications Tools (3 hours)
This course explores commonly used tools such as digital media, social media, and multimedia, among others.
Course 3 -- Media Relations (3 hours)
This course will cover basic media relations tools and terms and guidance on how to interact with the media and provide information accurately and consistently.
Course 4 -- Topics in Communications (3 hours)
This course will cover basic tools and terms, an overview on communicating crisis and special events for the public, information on branding and graphic identity and working with partners on communications efforts.
Course 5 -- Planning Your Communications Strategy (5 hours)
This course will cover best practices and elements of a communications plan, help you identify goals and key audiences, craft messages, and how to bring these elements together to creation a communications plan. It also offers concepts for evaluating the success of your communications plans and products.
Last updated: June 7, 2022