Inclusive Communications Guide: Best Practices & Broad Guidelines

As more and more outreach and education moves online, it’s critical to ensure that our communications practices are accessible, ethical, and welcoming to all users and audiences – but sometimes, it’s also hard to know where to begin. In our 2022 State of the Network Survey, where we asked the network to identify areas we can provide more support, 90% of respondents shared that they need more communications support, and 84% of respondents told us they need more Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) support. This guide is our first step in delivering this specific support—and combining these two important topics for river, justice, and water organizations—to the network.

Inside, you’ll find tips and best practices about a wide range of topics, from digital accessibility to ethical storytelling to inclusive language. Some of these tips are direct recommendations from leaders speaking on these topics; others are observations of what’s been working for organizations similar to groups in the network. We took a wide-sweeping approach and researched communications practices via a variety of platforms, creators, and resources, all of which are credited in the guide.

And finally, we recognize that the tips outlined here will inevitably need updating as we improve our collective understanding of inclusive and accessible communications practices. We enthusiastically invite further dialogue and encourage you to  with any additional questions, tips, or feedback! 

Resource Materials