Youth programs need to communicate with many kinds of stakeholders — people with different kinds of interests in the program, such as parents, staff, and board members. Communication needs in your program might include sharing information internally with staff to get everyone on the same page and help make program improvements; sharing information with young people’s families, program host sites, and local communities about program activities and community impact; and sharing information with boards of directors or funding agencies about program outcomes to secure funding and plan longer-term program goals.

We’ve gathered some helpful resources that describe the basics of communication planning and review effective ways to display and discuss data. As you read, think about your different groups of stakeholders and the kinds of information they need.

Communications to Promote Interest | Community Toolbox
A strong communications plan is key to recruiting young people and engaging communities, but what if you don’t have a marketing team or expertise? This well organized chapter gets you up to speed on all elements of a communication plan including press releases, editorials, flyers, emails, and more. We love this toolkit because it’s easy to find key points and all of the contact is substantive and straightforward.

Making Data Meaningful (PDF) | United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Collecting data is only half the battle; next, you have to get the people invested in your organization to read and understand it. This guide helps users create text, tables, and graphics that bring statistics to life on a page. We love how brief, clear and practical this tool is: You’ll get a whole host of new practices for engaging readers with data!

Intentional Reporting & Data Visualization | Evergreen Data
Using examples from thought leaders in the field can really help you think through impressive ways to show your data. Stephanie Evergreen’s blog is a gold mine of these kinds of examples, with thorough explanation of her choices. She includes posts about best practices in data visualization, as well as gallery collections of examples for displaying qualitative and quantitative data. Our absolute favorite resource is her interactive guide to rate your data visualizations based on research-based design guidelines--she does most of the hard work for us!

A Social Justice Communications Toolkit | The Opportunity Agenda
Any program with a Social Justice focus should grab this free toolkit and use it with their young people to guide their strategy. It is designed to support anyone’s ability to be a voice of change in America. We love how clearly the toolkit guides you through identifying goals and crafting messages, including best practices for communicating about tough topics like race and immigration in a respectful, effective, and justice-oriented way.