Communicators’ Toolkit

Belonging at Yale logo

For campus communicators, unit plan leaders and points of contact, affinity group leaders, and others who promote Belonging at Yale associated events and diversity, equity, and inclusion activities.

Use Belonging at Yale Marketing Assets

Signage and digital assets including identity guidelines to support various aspects of Belonging at Yale are available to communicators to support unit and department activities and other diversity, equity, and inclusion activities.

Belonging at Yale logo

The University invites all Yale entities engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to display the Belonging at Yale logo as a visual reminder of our ongoing work to create a vibrant community where all are welcomed, respected, and able to pursue excellence in their work, scholarship, research, and practice.

Yale retains all rights in the usage of the logo. The Belonging at Yale logo should not be altered by any means of reproduction or presentation. When displaying the logo, please follow the established identity guidelines.

Log into the Belonging at Yale marketing folder to access the digital assets that periodically become available.

  • Consider adding the Belonging at Yale logo and/or wordmark to your diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) and belonging webpage or web content.  
  • Include the Belonging at Yale URL belong.yale.edu  on your webpage, in publications, emails, and other materials when writing about DEI and belonging unit plan accomplishments.  
  • Assets are scaled for printing and digital signage.
  • Use the Belonging presentation template to inform your team about the campaign and highlight your unit plan and areas of focus.

 

Communicate Effectively

Effective communications can influence and reinforce individual and university-wide behaviors and create a more welcoming community. Using centrally provided signage and digital assets will provide a consistent look and feel throughout the campus and ensure that all members of the community have access to the same information and resources.
 

Know your audiences

Understand your audience’s point of view, preferred modes of communication (social media, face-to-face etc.), interests, and the best ways to engage them to act.

  • Prepare a 30-second elevator speech so that team members have a clear understanding of the university’s vision for Belonging at Yale and how they can help the university achieve this vision within your school or unit.
  • Reach out to new team members to engage them and to encourage them to get involved.
  • Ensure your senior leaders and supervisors have the necessary information to support and communicate the university’s vision for Belonging at Yale as well as your school or unit’s plan.
  • Coordinating with your senior leaders and unit plan leader, share your school or administrative division’s Belonging at Yale unit plan in town meetings, messages, or other communications platforms.
  • Be mindful of those who regularly work on campus as well as those who work remotely and adjust your messaging and outreach accordingly.

Find the right rhythm and flow

When your department communications are sporadic it becomes more difficult to keep your audience engaged and interested. Establish a regular cadence to report your progress, elicit feedback, and share updates.

  • Be brief and specific about the progress you are making; include data whenever possible.
  • Use a variety of channels and formats: town hall meetings, online discussions, local publications, social media channels, and digital signage.
  • Ask what impressions your audience may have or information they may need.

When you add events through the Yale Calendar of Events, check the “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging” box, under Event Category, to automatically post your activity to the Belonging at Yale Calendar page.

Use the “know, feel, do” framework

These days, everyone creates and consumes content in some form or other. The know, feel, do framework is not a new concept, but it can help cut through messaging that is competing for your audience’s attention and motivate them to act.

  • Know: what do you want your audience to know? If it’s a written message, be brief, be clear, and be done.
  • Feel: how do you want your audience to feel as a recipients of your message (respected, encouraged, etc.)? Effective communication is not necessarily what we deliver but how our audience perceives the messaging.
  • Do: what actions do you want people to take next?

Create compelling copy

In this era of “information snacking,” and Zoom fatigue, competition for our attention stands at an all-time high. Using subheadings and concise and actionable writing in your written communications allows the reader to quickly scan your message. Words matter. Use inclusive language.

  • Use Belonging signage and digital assets to support your communications.
  • Promote your milestones and achievements through your school or unit’s social media channels. Use the #BelongingAtYale hashtag to spread your news, generate interest, and support Yale’s commitment to Belonging at Yale.

It is important to monitor your social media channels—especially when it comes to DEI and belonging issues—for bigoted speech that might appear. If you think you might need additional guidance on how to handle sensitive issues, contact OPAC Social Media.

Encourage two-way communication

Feedback is important to measure progress towards our Belonging goals and make changes to strategy, as necessary. Encouraging two-way communication reassures people that they are seen and heard—and can influence meaningful change.

  • Provide a unified hub (Teams, Slack, etc.,) for your team to share feedback, provide relevant information and updates and track milestones.
  • A central communications hub can also keep your remote-working team members engaged and up to date on your activities.
  • Develop an outreach plan for non-desk workers and consider employees who may not check Yale email regularly because of the nature of their work.
  • Share insights with the Belonging team.

Choose your media and tell a story

Passing along information about Belonging at Yale is just one part of the communication equation. Our challenge is to move from awareness into action, and stories not only inform but also inspire new behaviors.

  • Storytelling allows people to share their lived experience, strength in overcoming challenges, and future hopes; take advantage of the range of multi-media resources.
  • Actions under the unit-level plans for DEI and belonging offer great opportunities for storytelling and shared learning. Plan ahead of time what you want your audience to remember and any follow-up actions to take.
  • Leverage your unit plan stories and activities at townhalls and through broader campus channels.
  • No story is too small to share; small victories often lead to greater ones.

Get creative

Words can only go so far. Engaging hearts and minds and creating “aha!” moments often come through a range of experiences. Find creative ways to engage your team.

  • Encourage your team members to attend a Yale Affinity Group event. All Yale staff and faculty are welcome to attend any events sponsored by Yale Affinity Groups. Then host a learning exchange.
  • Supplement your communications with interactive activities (e.g., Kahoot, Polleverywhere), but use sparingly and with intention.
  • Host a discussion group on a select book, video, or other media. Visit the Resources page on the Belonging site for suggestions.
  • Invite a speaker to share their lived experiences.
  • Celebrate your unit plan milestones.

The Belonging at Yale Calendar provides multiple opportunities to engage in activities for self-reflection and learning.

Elevate Work and Achievements

To support DEI work and Belonging at Yale, consider opportunities to amplify the efforts of Yale’s diverse staff communities, highlight student scholarship, and showcase faculty (or alumni) who contribute to world knowledge, research, and practice for the benefit of humanity.

Many of us already do this through our own unit and digital channels. The tips below explain how to extend the reach of your efforts through the Office of Public Affairs and Communications (OPAC), and Internal Communications.

  • Submit links to your department news or activities through Contact Us for consideration for posting to It is Your Yale, the University’s staff news portal.
  • Connect with YaleNews. Submit a request to link from YaleNews to content on your web site.
  • Share links to faculty media mentions with the OPAC Media Relations team, who will consider them for the Yale Daily Clips Newsletter or the “In the Media” section of Yale Today.
  • Collaborate with OPAC media relations officers and writers to pitch your experts to targeted media outlets.
  • Use the Experts Submission Form to add your faculty members to the OPAC Media Relations team Experts Guide

General Guidance

We develop a sense of belonging when we can be ourselves in a community where we feel welcomed, respected and connected, and can thrive in all aspects of our lives. To fulfil its mission, Yale requires the highest level of excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, practice, and preservation of knowledge. By creating a culture of inclusion and sense of belonging we foster a more productive, diverse, creative, and collaborative community of inspired members, dedicated to improving the world today—and for future generations.

Together with Belonging at Yale, we can go beyond the sharing of information and persuade our colleagues and community members to become involved in the numerous opportunities for engagement, self-reflection, and other activities to bring our ideals to life.

Although the suggestions presented in this guide may be familiar to you, it is hoped they will serve as helpful reminders. This toolkit provides digital assets, writing tips, and ways to amplify your own unit and department efforts while taking advantage of new campus-wide Belonging at Yale e-resources to promote your efforts.