By Jen Wheeler, CCC, NRECA, Arlington, Va.

Dedicated to Design is a new series devoted to exploring the giant world of design. In this section, we’ll take a deeper dive into design-related topics that impact our communications.

—–Diversity is a word that can apply to many different facets of society, but have you thought about how it applies to your co-op’s communications efforts?

When you hear the word “diversity,” there are certain aspects that tend to come to mind first, like gender and ethnicity, but there are many other ways in which diversity plays a role at our co-ops. Diversity can apply to age, ethnicity, gender, geographic location, physical capability and much, much more.

Does your co-op serve only rural farms or do you have suburban and urban members in your territory? Are all your members married with children or are some retired with pets? Does your co-op serve large factories as well as small family-owned businesses? These are all questions you should ask yourself to help paint a broader picture of what your audience looks like. Keep these things in mind when making photo selections for your communication pieces and deciding how best to communicate your message. Every co-op’s demographics are different. The imagery you use to communicate with your members should be inclusive of all the people, terrain and industries you serve.