Guidelines on Making Communications Products and Activities Diverse and Inclusive

Aims to help Government of Canada employees create diverse and inclusive communications products and activities.
Date modified: 2023-12-20

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1. About these guidelines

  • 1.1These guidelines support the Government of Canada’s efforts to promote inclusion and respect for diversity and are intended to support departments when planning and developing communications products and activities. A communications product is any product produced by or on behalf of the Government of Canada that informs the public about policies, programs, services and initiatives, as well as dangers or risks to health, safety or the environment. Communications products can also aim to explain the rights, entitlements and obligations of individuals.

2. Application

3. Context

  • 3.1These guidelines support the Government of Canada’s commitment to implement Gender-based Analysis (GBA) Plus across federal departments and agencies. GBA Plus helps to ensure that federal government policies, programs and other initiatives are responsive, inclusive and reflective of diverse experiences and realities in order to address inequities and barriers.
  • 3.2These guidelines apply to communications products and activities for both internal and external audiences.

4. Guidelines

These guidelines outline considerations related to sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, religion or any other identity factors, and are intended to help departments create diverse and inclusive communications products and activities.


Departments are strongly encouraged to:

  • 4.1Use a variety of research sources to examine the barriers and inequalities of diverse populations in order to help inform the development of communications products;
  • 4.2Consult media monitoring and/or public environment analysis teams to obtain relevant media scans on target audiences; and
  • 4.3Consult with departmental or government-wide working groups with expertise in diversity and inclusion.


Departments are strongly encouraged to:

  • 4.4Consult with internal resources with relevant expertise to ensure content accurately reflects diverse perspectives and lived experiences; and
  • 4.5Apply the principles of plain language writing and inclusive communication.


Departments are strongly encouraged to:

  • 4.6

    Ensure diversity is considered when showcasing various audiences by:

    • 4.6.1Using a range of images/illustrations that are reflective of Canada’s diverse population;
    • 4.6.2Using accurate images and avoiding stereotypes;
    • 4.6.3Balancing representation of groups based on race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, age, etc.;
    • 4.6.4Using images that represent different types of family units, people with physical differences and disabilities;
  • 4.7Consult with internal resources with relevant expertise to ensure images are culturally appropriate and reflect the intended audiences;
  • 4.8Build an inventory of photos and images that reflect a diverse population and consider sharing it with other communications teams across the Government of Canada; and
  • 4.9Ensure accurate representation of target audiences when using stock imagery.


Departments are strongly encouraged to:

  • 4.10Evaluate the effectiveness of communications products and activities and share relevant findings with the broader communications community.

5. References

6. Enquiries

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the President of the Treasury Board, 2023,

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