Training for Public Agency Communicators and Partners: Communications Tools

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Obtain a background understanding of importance pertaining to the various communication tools available to and used by public agency communicators.





Training for Public Agency Communicators and Partners: Communications Tools

This is the first unit on Communication Tools, where we explore commonly used tools such as digital media, social media, and multimedia, among others. This unit will provide the introductory concepts needed for the other units on communication tools. Learners will gain an important background understanding pertaining to the need for communication and how it plays an essential role in agency success.

Course Schedule

Elements of the course:

  • Interactive practice activities
  • Learn More opportunities
  • Supplemental reference materials
  • Information assessment quizzes
  • Final assessment
Following each unit, you will complete an assessment that requires you to demonstrate your understanding of key course concepts.
The units included in this certificate program are:
  • Unit 1 - Basic Tools and Terms
  • Unit 2 - Communicating Your Message to the Public
  • Unit 3 - Publishing on Agency Website and Social Media
  • Unit 4 - Navigating the Relationship Between Personal Communications and Professional Position

Learn To

  • List common communication tools that are useful to your agency.
  • Distinguish which communications tactics or products are appropriate for sharing information from the agency to the public.
  • Explain why it is important to vary communication methods.
  • Briefly describe commonly used communications tools in a context that demonstrates knowledge.
  • Differentiate between internal and external language.
  • Identify situations that are not applicable to the public.
  • Create messages for different communications tools/tactics, organizational needs, and audiences.
  • Outline at least one situation that calls for public communications.
  • Discern which tool/tactic would be used to deliver the message.
  • Identify what material is appropriate to publish on the official agency website versus social media channels.
  • Determine the appropriate digital tool (e.g., news release vs. other webpage type vs. social media post) to use to communicate information.
  • Explain the importance of storytelling in published materials.
  • Create a piece of original content that meets the standards for official website publication.
  • Distinguish between personal and professional or official communications.
  • Explain the impact that personal communications in public spheres may have on your agency.
  • Demonstrate ways to minimize the misperception of personal communications as messages from the agency.
  • Explain how personal vs. professional and official communications are guided by an agency's ethics policies.

Recommended Background:

There are a wide range of public agency communicators, their partners, and members of the public who may qualify for and benefit from this training. The primary users have been identified as National Park Service employees who, at a minimum, have collateral duty responsibilities pertaining to communications, marketing, and/or public affairs. This training is also designed for and applicable to park professionals in state, county, and municipal agencies and non-profit organizations who are responsible for communicating with the public.


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