Four Ways Comms Pros Can Bolster and Burnish Internal DE&I Efforts


4 ways comms pros can bolster and burnish internal DE&I efforts


A content strategist for WilmerHale shares guidance on crafting more inclusive messaging.

Katie Hunt, WlimerHale

I’ve recently had many conversations with colleagues and peers about how to write about diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in a firm’s internal communications. We know that generic values statements no longer do enough—our communities want to hear about the actions our leaders have taken to demonstrate these values.

As a white, mid-career woman (a robustly represented demographic across communications teams), I am always learning when I engage in the ever-shifting discussions about DE&I. But having focused a lot of time crafting internal messaging over the tumultuous past year, I have picked up a few valuable strategies.

1. First, listen.

When someone comes to me to promote a program or tell a story, I want to help quickly and efficiently. But working on internal DE&I content always reminds me to prioritize listening. People often need to share frustrations before they dive into a plan. And those frustrations help me do my job better—they help me know what my audience needs.

At my firm, the comms team is lucky to work with an engaged, full-time DE&I staff, who also help connect us with stakeholders from different backgrounds across the firm. These stakeholders help us understand what they need to hear in, say, a message from firm leadership about a particular current event. Of course, I never want to burden people with extra work just because they are part of an impacted group. But I’ve found that people usually appreciate the chance to share their insights and experience in a brief email exchange or phone call.

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