NPS Communications Toolkit for Partners

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.

A woman stands next to a sign that says Manzanar War Relocation Center

2023 Servicewide Messaging

Join in the year-long messaging theme: #YourParkStory

illustration of a mountain, trees, and an elk with the words recreate responsibly above

Recreate Responsibly

Whether it's a visit to a wide-open space or a historic urban neighborhood, we're sharing tips for how to #RecreateResponsibly.

screenshot of the Green & Gray Report

The NPS Green & Gray Report

Send us your content ideas for the Green & Gray Report, the NPS weekly communications e-newsletter!

Other helpful 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: December 5, 2022