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EPA Communications Stylebook: Who's Who and Networking Through EPA Communications

Last revised 2009

All of the EPA Offices of Assistant Administrators and Regional Administrators, and most of the Offices of Associate Administrators have a staff in the immediate office that is responsible for communications policy and development. This staff should always be informed of public communications activities or public communications product development that is undertaken by any EPA staff member. They always should be consulted about undertaking such activities at the very earliest point at which such undertaking might be contemplated. In public communications, situations that present serious problems are, almost without exception, those which have been developed to some advanced stage without the involvement of the senior communications personnel. Those staffs comprise, at least, a Communications Director or Public Affairs Director, a News Media Director and a Product Review Officer, as well as additional staff.

Within the Office of The Administrator of EPA, the Office of Public Affairs has responsibility for:

  • Developing communications for the Administrator and Deputy Administrator
  • Developing and managing primary communications policy for EPA
  • Coordinating and developing cross-agency communications programs
  • Reviewing and approving public communications materials Agency-wide
  • Developing, coordinating and overseeing all procedures to implement the above

Some offices have communications staffs at the staff office or division level, as well as at the AA / RA level. Where there are such offices they should be informed of, and consulted about, any public communications undertaking.

Other EPA offices are involved with internal EPA communications and in providing communications services and support for public communication. They include Printing Management (OARM), Web Development (OEI) and Acquisition Management (OARM).

Any staff member who is, in any way, developing communications materials by working with those offices must ensure that the Offices of Public Affairs or Communications know that such work is being done. That includes implementing any contract or purchase for communications work or any task order within some more general contract.

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Coordination of Web, News and Other Media

The policies and style relating to development of communications other than Web and news are the substance of this Stylebook, but the principles that govern development of EPA communications in all media, including news and Web have more areas of overlap than divergence.

Throughout this Stylebook you have read references to, and information from, the EPA Communications Product Review process. In general this manual and that process are complementary. In most instances they are necessarily integrated and related. They comprise the policy and procedure for creating and producing communications materials in public media other than Web and news material. Review general procedures for development of Web and all other non-news public media.

Standardizing the procedures for development of information materials is a process which relates largely to communications management. Effective communications in large organizations basically requires that such procedures are established. All those who regularly develop communications materials for the Agency should know those procedures well. It is helpful for all those who do such work even occasionally.

At the core of that process to help all EPA staff communicate better are the Program and Regional Product Review Officers. When in doubt contact these officers as listed in the URL-address above. In many cases the Product Review Officer and Web Content Manager is the same person. In all cases, they coordinate and communicate regularly with each other and with their related news media staffs.

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