Communications Webinar Series

This series showcases expert written, oral and digital communication lessons that U.S. Fish and Wildlife employees can add to their communication toolbox.

Disclaimer: This webinar series is for educational purposes only. The opinions, ideas or data presented in this webinar series do not represent FWS policy or constitute endorsement by FWS. Some of the materials and images may be protected by copyright or may have been licenses to us by a third party and are restricted in their use. Mention of any product names, companies, web links, textbooks or other references does not imply Federal endorsement.


Webinar Descriptions

Anti-Lobbying (and more!)

  • Details: Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of all U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees to be acquainted with the laws, rules, and regulations that govern lobbying activities. The Service is subject to three different anti-lobbying statutes including the Anti-Lobbying Act (18 U.S.C. 1913) and annual provisions in the Treasury and General Government and Department of the Interior and Related Agencies appropriations statutes. It’s essential that all Service employees who communicate with Congress understand the prohibitions that are in place regarding lobbying. This interactive webinar includes quiz questions and case studies where you’ll learn what activities you’re allowed to do, and what’s prohibited in your interactions with Congress. In addition to anti-lobbying, we’ll also briefly discuss two other Federal laws—the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which grants the public access to information possessed by federal government agencies and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), which governs the establishment and operation of advisory committees.

  • Presenters: Jennifer Heindl (DOI)

  • Recorded: May 8, 2018

  • Duration: 75 Minutes

Digital Asset Management System: Image Management & Metadata

  • Details: During this session, you’ll learn about the importance of image metadata, the benefits of using the DAMS, how to prepare your image collections for submission in compliance with system requirements, and other related topics.

  • Presenters: Megan Burdi (USFWS)

  • Recorded: February 4, 2021

  • Duration: 70 Minutes

Distilling your message

  • Details: Effective science communication is necessary in fostering ongoing conversations between scientists, policy makers, and the general public, as well as promoting science literacy across all ages. The challenge is for scientists to be clear and engaging without oversimplifying the science. This interactive presentation suggests tools and examples to help scientists communicate in ways that resonate with people outside of their field about what they do and why it matters. We will cover general principles in how to craft sort, clear, conversational statements, and avoid jargon.

  • Presenters: Dr. Christine O’Connell (Stoney Brook University)

  • Recorded: June 20, 2017

  • Duration: 66 Minutes

Elevating Place-based Social Media Accounts

  • Details: Storytelling is one of the most engaging ways to connect the American people with our conservation mission. Learn how to develop stories that are visual, relevant, and evergreen so that we can share and re-purpose them again and again for different audiences and throughout the year.

  • Presenters: Keith Shannon (host), Wingyi Kung, Melissa Conte, Julia Pinnix, Amanda Walker, Kimberly Fraser, Melissa Gonzalez, Michael D'Agostino, and Katie Goodwin

  • Recorded: May 25, 2021

  • Duration: 93 Minutes

Engaging Audiences

  • Details: Two years ago, Flisa Stevenson and Chantel Jimenez shared their insights on engaging urban audiences during our Human Dimensions in Natural Resources Conservation Broadcast Series. Since that broadcast, the Urban Refuge Initiative Team has been at work, evolving into the Urban Refuge Program; funding has been identified to form urban refuge partnerships; and, standards have been developed to provide guidance on successfully reaching audiences who may not be connected with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our mission. Join us as we look at where we are, two years later. Find out what’s working on the ground and how what we learn about connecting with urban audiences can benefit anyone working to reach an underserved audience - urban or rural.

  • Presenters: Marcia Pradines, Danielle Ross-Winslow, Chantel Jimenez and Flisa Stevenson

  • Recorded: July 31, 2014

  • Duration: 83 Minutes

Field Photography How-to: Sharing Our Story through Stunning Photography

  • Details: Discover best practices for capturing stunning images to share our agency’s conservation story and engage online audiences. This webinar will cover photography, photo editing, contributing to the digital asset management system, and time management. Strong visuals are the foundation of a strong digital media presence – whether web or social media – and the skills covered in this session will help you better connect the American people with our mission. 

  • Presenters: Lisa Hupp, Tom Koerner, and Sam Sturkel. Host(s): Megan Burdi, Michael D'Agostino.

  • Recorded: April 13, 2021

  • Duration: 82 Minutes

How the Fish and Wildlife Service Works with Congress

  • Details: Maintaining good relationships with members of Congress is imperative to our work in the Fish and Wildlife Service. The Division of Congressional and Legislative Affairs (CLA) and your regional congressional affairs liaisons are experienced in working with Congressional offices both on Capitol Hill and in their home states and districts. In this webinar, you’ll learn how the agency works with Capitol Hill through established Departmental and agency processes and guidelines and what you should know about working with the legislative branch.

  • Presenters: Marty Kodis and Christine Eustis

  • Recorded: February 13, 2018

  • Duration: 73 Minutes

Google Tools That Will Rock Your World

  • Details: When most of us imagined what our careers would look like, we saw ourselves spending time outdoors, managing and working on the habitats we love. Instead, we find a large part of our work-time has us connecting more with the internet and less to nature. Join Ryan Simons and Rob Ball on Wednesday, September 21st at 3:00 pm ET as they offer ways to use the full potential of Gmail, Calendar, Chat, Google docs and more. This webinar is geared toward the intermediate user who knows the basics, but wants to discover some best practices and shortcuts you can use to be more efficient with your time spent in the office. Are you ready to take it to the next level?

  • Presenters: Rob Ball and Ryan Simons (USFWS)

  • Recorded: September 21, 2016

  • Duration: 54 Minutes

Public Communications Policy Update

  • Details: In this webinar, you’ll learn about USFWS 115 policy FW 1 and FW 2. The former deals with official communications on behalf of the Service and how employees should work with External Affairs when speaking to the media. The latter ploicy deals with how Service employees should communicate about their science/research without discussing policy or decision making.

  • Presenters: Gavin Shire (USFWS)

  • Recorded: June 20, 2018

  • Duration: 57 Minutes

Section 508 - Making Accessible Videos

  • Details: This video covers examples of how to make videos 508 compliant.

  • Presenters: Kayt Jonsson (USFWS)

  • Recorded: August 6, 2020

  • Duration: 74 Minutes

  • Resources: For more information about Policy & Video Requirements visit FWS Social Media Policies or FWS Video Requirements.

SharePoint Training Session 1: Communication and Team Sites

  • Details: An in-depth demonstration on how to use SharePoint sites and build SharePoint Team sites.

  • Presenters: Doug Burn and Jay Littleton (USFWS)

  • Recorded: September 9, 2020

  • Duration: 91 Minutes

SharePoint Training Session 2: Lists and Document Libraries Sites

  • Details: An in-depth demonstration on how to create lists and document libraries in SharePoint.

  • Presenters: Jay Littleton (USFWS)

  • Recorded: September 15, 2020

  • Duration: 75 Minutes

SharePoint Training Session 3: Modern Pages Sites

  • Details: An in-depth demonstration on how to create modern sites in SharePoint

  • Presenters: Doug Burn and Jay Littleton (USFWS)

  • Recorded: September 22, 2020

  • Duration: 91 Minutes

Story Telling: Capturing the Power of Narrative

  • Details: This webinar is part of the theme for 2014's Communications, Outreach, and Visitor Services (COVS) Webinar Series: "Telling Stories and Making Connections". Andy Goodman covers how stories are the single most powerful communication tool that you have available to use. Goodman will convince you to start telling stories, as part of your work at FWS.

  • Presenters: Andy Goodman (The Goodman Center)

  • Recorded: August 27, 2014

  • Duration: 56Minutes

Storytelling Lifecycle: Creating Engaging Evergreen Content

  • Details: Storytelling is one of the most engaging ways to connect the American people with our conservation mission. Learn how to develop stories that are visual, relevant, and evergreen so that we can share and re-purpose them again and again for different audiences and throughout the year.

  • Presenters: Abra Zobel (host), Christina Stone, Micaela Oles, Rebecca Fabbri, Tina Shaw and Courtney Celley

  • Recorded: May 11, 2021

  • Duration: 80 Minutes

The Benefits of Excellent Customer Service in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

  • Details: As part of our National Wildlife Refuge System Webinar Series, presenters Jill, Jeramie, and Jeanne introduce Service professionals to the "Ambassadors Program". A combination of customer service and leadership focused on building positive internal and external relationships, as well as increasing external awareness or support for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This session covers how customer service comes into play, from different job perspectives; how it fits into different roles or positions.

  • Presenters: Jeramie Strickland, Jeanne Latham and Jill Shannon (USFWS)

  • Recorded: October 2015

  • Duration: 73 Minutes

The Power of Your Website (new

  • Details: What’s the best way to ensure your audience finds the information they need? Your official website. Now more than ever, people expect to easily find all the information they need through a quick web search. In this session, you’ll learn how you can make the most of the new (a USFWS-wide content management system called Drupal) and how to optimize your time and efforts online to connect the American people with our conservation mission.

  • Presenters: Courtnet Celley, Abra Zobel (Host), and Blaine Eckberg (Producer)

  • Recorded: April 27, 2021

  • Duration: 95 Minutes

Video, New Media and Dynamite Imagery

  • Details: Senior video producer at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC), Brett Billings, shares secrets from the video production world, as well as techniques and strategies for using your images and videos across social media. If you have questions about making a video or how to get that perfect wildlife photograph, Brett can address your issue with two decades of video shooting and editing experience. Maybe your field station has need of modern imagery, but no staffer who has the training or equipment to capture it. Brett will offer some suggestions on partnership opportunities. Brett also has one foot firmly in emerging social media, and will give a brief overview of several new outreach tools and products.

  • Presenters: Brett Billings (USFWS)

  • Recorded: December 3, 2014

  • Duration: 73 Minutes

Video Production and Distribution Best Practices webinar

  • Details: Learn how to produce effective videos to share our agency’s conservation story and engage online audiences. This webinar will cover when and how to make a video (and when not to), best practices and legal obligations, and what kinds of videos perform well on social media.

  • Presenters: Kayt Jonnson (USFWS), Melissa Gonzalez (USFWS) and Rebecca Fabbri (USFWS)

  • Recorded: June 15, 2021

  • Duration: 94 Minutes

Writing in Plain Language

  • Details: The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires federal agencies communicate to the public using plain language. But, what is plain language? In this webinar, you’ll learn the characteristics of plain language and techniques that will make your writing easier to read, understand, and use. You’ll also learn about the book government writers should refer to when they have questions on matters of style.

  • Presenters: Linda Lufkin (USFWS)

  • Recorded: October 4, 2017

  • Duration: 53 Minutes

  • Resources: A PDF document of this webinare