Creating a space to exchange and expand our expertise


The Impact Communications Institute (ICI) is a registered nonprofit on a mission to use the tools of communications to drive positive systemic change. The global network of 1,200+ communicators are committed to responsible, purpose-led practices. The ICI sets new industry standards by illuminating actionable best practices for using strategic communications and impactful storytelling for good.


The opportunity

In 2015, Melissa Orozco, Yulu’s founder and CEO, recognized the Impact Communications sector had a PR problem: outside of the niche industry, no one really knew what it meant or why it mattered. The solution? Convene expert practitioners from across the globe to develop a shared and accessible narrative for Impact Communications, along with best practices for purpose-driven storytelling.

Opening doors and building bridges

Melissa joined forces with leaders from Ben & Jerry’s, Sustainable Brands, KIND Snacks, and Porter Novelli, to form an executive board. Then with the help of the Yulu team and more than 20 additional board members, volunteers, and advisors, evolved the idea of an Impact Relations governing body and learning academy into what it is today: the ICI. A targeted outreach campaign and word-of-mouth quickly grew the community, underscoring the need for space dedicated to learning and advancing the practice of Impact Communications. A first-of-its-kind pledge for responsible and ethical communications was born, a promise all ICI members make when they join the community. Definitive resources, like the ICI’s strategic framework, were developed to aid members like agency associates, consultants, students, brand managers and corporate representatives center impact in their work and scale the practice across industries.

Our impact

Today, the ICI is home to over 1,200 members, spanning across the globe. The organization convenes expert communicators and those early in their careers for monthly conversations on emerging topics, and has hosted dozens of sessions, called Impact Councils, since the series started in 2020. The ICI’s resources, like its Evolving Guide to Impact Communications and strategic framework, are used by ICI members to communicate impact, amplify outcomes, enhance reach and inspire change.

The ICI’s community includes:

“Ben & Jerry’s home state of Vermont has an annual tradition where all members of the community participate in their local Town Meeting Day to connect, address collective needs and find solutions. The Impact Communications Institute serves the same role for communicators. The ICI provides a place where communicators gather to advance the critical role storytelling and communications play in shaping better businesses and a more equitable world. Spin, be gone! The ICI was designed not to call out poor practices, but rather to call in professionals from all walks of life who benefit by the rising tides of honesty, authenticity, and a commitment to responsible and ethical communications. The ICI has remained at the leading edge as a visionary and continues to be the primary source for the communications community to learn.”

Sean Greenwood, Ben & Jerry's Director and Grand Poobah of Public Relations