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United States Department of the Interior 
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669
December 14, 2011
1550/1120 (MT912) P
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2012-023
Expires: 09/30/2013
To:                   All Employees
From:               Chief, Office of Communications

Subject:           BLM Montana/Dakotas Publication Procedures

Program Area: All programs
Purpose: This instruction memorandum provides guidance for producing publications within the BLM Montana/Dakotas.
Publications that will be distributed externally require completion of the official publications approval form 1550-8 before work is started. The term “publication” includes all published materials including videos and posters containing the BLM name, emblem/logo, or message. The approval process applies to exhibits, interpretive signs, kiosk panels, and informational and promotional items, including all electronic publishing formats, as well as materials produced by Federal and external partners. Publications as described above and/or that incur an expenditure of BLM funds or work-months require approval from the chief of the Office of Communications (MT-912) prior to development, production, and release. Publications that exceed $20,000 that cover areas beyond our three-state area, or that are national in scope, require additional approvals from the Washington Public Affairs Office (WO-610).
Please note that all published NEPA documents, including resource management plans, newsletters, and maps, do not require a 1550-8 but need to follow BLM design standards. It is highly recommended these items be reviewed by a public affairs specialist prior to publishing.
The process for publication approval is identified below.
Prior to submitting form 1550-8 to the Office of Communications for approval, originators should coordinate with their respective public affairs specialist to fully develop the concept. Below is an outline of the recommended process:
  1. Present concept to local public affairs specialist.
  2. Initiate BLM form 1550-8.
  3. Indicate whether the project is a new concept or a revision of a previously printed publication. Typically, reprint work with minor changes that meets publication standards will be automatically approved if funding is available. Future reprints with no changes do not require the completion of a new 1550-8. New concepts, including interagency and partnership efforts, will be reviewed by the Publications Management Committee to ensure proposals meet bureau and department requirements.
  4. Obtain the appropriate signatures in the “Concept Approvals” section. Send the form, along with a mock-up or outline, to the state printing specialist (MT-912).
  5. Before the publication/exhibit is published, the “Final Approvals” section of form 1550-8 must be completed.
Depending on the project, members of the Publications Management Committee will include representatives from the following areas:
  • Printing specialist (core member)
  • Office of Communications public affairs specialist
  • District public affairs specialist
  • Originator of the request/project
  • Interpretive/accessibility specialist, when needed
  • National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) state office lead, when publication deals with any NLCS unit, including national monuments, wilderness areas, wilderness study areas, wild and scenic rivers, and national and historic trails
  • Webmaster, if proposal is related to the external web site
Informational and Promotional Items
This IM also applies to the development of messages associated with informational and promotional items, including key chains, mugs, pens, pencils, shirts, jackets, and note pads. All items must be approved by the Office of Communications for state-specific items and by WO Public Affairs for national items. Every effort should be made to purchase practical, cost-effective items made in the USA.
Web and Social Media Sites
Web sites/pages used as stand-alone products are also considered publications; however, completion of a 1550-8 is not required. The approval process for information conveyed to the public electronically via the Internet is described in IM No. 2008-060, Web Governance–Revised Internet Clearance Policy. Working closely with employees, the Office of Communications is also responsible for developing and posting content to social media sites, such as Facebook. For bureau and departmental policy on social media, go to http://web.blm.gov/internal/wo-600/web/socnet.html.
As a BLM employee, you must abide by all applicable laws, presidential executive orders, governing rules, regulations, and policies issued by the BLM, Department of Interior, Government Printing Office, Joint Committee on Printing, and Office of Management and Budget. All publications, whether funded all or in part by the BLM, are subject to these policies.
For additional information on publishing standards and Bureau policies, review the BLM’s design standards web site.
Time Frame: Effective upon receipt.
Budget Impact: Implementing this IM has minimal budget implications.
Background: Regardless of the publishing method used (printed or electronic), our goal is to make the Montana/Dakotas shine; therefore a professional image must be maintained at all times and enhanced at every opportunity. The Office of Communications is committed to working with you to bring positive awareness to BLM Montana/Dakotas.
Manual/Handbook Sections affected: None
Coordination: Office of Communications in coordination with Washington Office of Communications and Public Affairs.
Contact: Ann Boucher at (406) 896-5255.

Signed by:                                                       Authenticated by:
Melodie A. Lloyd                                           Ann Boucher (MT912)
2 Attachments

Last updated: 06-28-2012