DEI Guidelines for Marketing and Communication

All communications and marketing materials produced by OVPR and its units should reflect the vision for diversity, equity, and inclusion. This means that materials should strive to include people of all ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, religious affiliations, abilities, and ages, for example, in a way that makes no assumptions about the receiver of the communications. Below are some suggestions on how to achieve that goal:

  • These guidelines apply to all modes of communication, including websites, video, newsletters, social media, reports, press releases, internal communications, promotional materials, advertisements, photography, presentations, opinion pieces, legislative testimony, meetings of all kinds, and speeches.
  • All websites should be accessible as defined by university standards, as outlined at 
  • Videos should include the option for captions.
  • Check all materials for language that may be perceived as biased. New tools are emerging to assist this process. In the interim, here is a brief piece that underscores the challenge:
  • Monitor the choice of photos and video subjects to reflect diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community.
  • When writing about research and other activities, consider story angles that implicitly or explicitly reinforce the benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Weigh the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in selecting individuals for quotes and other appearances in the media
  • Consider the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion when planning symposia, focus groups, and other meetings and activities. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) has a helpful resource here:
  • Ask the OVPR Communications Group for feedback on materials and approaches under development at your unit. This will serve to heighten awareness and ensure best practices for all of us.
  • Keep the OVPR Communications Group aware of emerging best practices you find at U-M and elsewhere.
  • Follow the recommendations and metrics under development at the Office of the Vice President for Communications.
  • Be prepared to summarize progress toward the goals of DEI in communications and marketing on an annual basis as part of the annual unit review.