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United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669
November 10, 2011
1120 (MT912)P
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2012-011
Expires: 9/30/2013
To:                   All Montana/Dakotas Employees
From:               State Director
Subject:           Introducing the Office of Communications
Program Area: External Affairs, Communications
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) announces the official name change of LLMT912000 (External Affairs) to Office of Communications.
Policy/Action: Changes are being made to reflect the new name of Office of Communications in such national applications as FBMS, GIS, and FPPS. The new name better captures the essence of what MT-912 staff performs on a daily basis. Whether it’s labeled external, internal, or public affairs, it’s under the overarching umbrella of communications. Staff responsibilities cover a broad range – including but not limited to working with myriad media outlets and stakeholders, our Resource Advisory Councils, and Congressional offices; advising line managers; developing talking points and communication strategies on important and high-profile issues; assisting with crisis management; disseminating internal information to employees; developing outreach materials for the public; and overseeing social media and web design and content. As you revise and update documents, lists, addresses, etc., please begin to transition reference to the Office of Communications rather than External Affairs. Public Affairs Specialists in the district offices are not affected by this IM.
Timeframe: The name change was effective on October 1, 2011. This IM is effective immediately.
Budget Impact: Minimal.
Background: My goal as State Director is to make the Montana/Dakotas shine. We will do this internally by strengthening the pride and stewardship for the lands we manage and by communicating our successes throughout the BLM. Together, let’s all tell our story externally to all who may or may not yet recognize the value public lands contribute to our nation and its people. Remember, public outreach and communicating about the BLM isn’t just the responsibility of one program or division, it’s up to each of us. From everything we do, from start to finish, I’m asking each of you to make the commitment to strengthen communications in the Montana/Dakotas and to help make us shine.
External Affairs has evolved through the years and expanded to meet the demands of managing the National System of Public Lands in the 21st century, thus the change to Office of Communications. Our complex multiple-use mission provides us with many challenges and opportunities as we strive to effectively communicate with diverse – and often passionate – active publics. Employees and programs in the BLM Montana/Dakotas continue to be resilient in accomplishing a growing list of priorities while wearing multiple hats, and Office of Communications staff is no different.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: Any future references to External Affairs should be changed to Office of Communications.
Coordination: Coordination and collaboration occurred among the Washington Office, National Operations Center, and the Montana/Dakotas State Office.
Contact: Associate State Director Kate Kitchell, at kkitchell@blm.gov, or by telephone at (406) 896-5012; or Chief of Communications Melodie Lloyd at malloyd@blm.gov, or by telephone at (406) 896-5260 if you have questions.
Signed by:                                                       Authenticated by:
Jamie E. Connell                                             Ann Boucher (MT912)
cc: Assistant Director, Communications (WO-600)

Last updated: 06-28-2012