NPS Communications Toolkit for Partners

This area of the Partnership Toolkit offers ideas for partners to engage with NPS communications initiatives as well as resources for communications staff at partner organizations.

Communications Messaging and Initiatives

From the NPS Centennial and Find Your Park to Plan Like a Park Ranger and the National Trails and Wild & Scenic Rivers 50th Anniversary, the NPS and partners across the country have worked to align our communications and messaging across the broad parks community and bring broad public attention to important stories and places.

As we go forward, we invite our partners to join us in the initiatives below and share content ideas with us.

a wide trail leads through a deeply wooded area of tall trees
Plan Like A Park Ranger Campaign

Join the campaign to provide insider tips for planning a safe and happy park visit this summer.

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

Partners: help us find and share your stories!

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: February 6, 2024