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United States Department of the Interior
Washington, D.C. 20240-0036
May 28, 2009
In Reply Refer To:
1120 (610) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2009-102, Change 1
Expires: 09/30/2010
To:                   Assistant Directors, State Directors, and Center Directors
                        Attn: External Affairs Chiefs
From:               Assistant Director, Communications
Subject:           Use of Paid Advertising
Program Area: External Affairs
Purpose: This change to Instruction Memorandum (IM) 2009-102 provides guidance regarding use of paid advertising by the Bureau of Land Management. It also includes direction regarding programs that are either subject to State Office rather than Washington Office approval, or exempt from prior approval. This IM does not apply to legally required notices. 
Policy/Action: The Department of the Interior policy, as outlined in 470 DM 1 on advertising, is as follows:
E. Paid Advertising. It is not the general policy of the Department to use paid advertising in any publication in connection with its programs and activities, except where special legal requirements and authority exist. In the event that any bureau or office believes paid advertising is necessary because of the significant benefits it affords in enhancing public participation, prior approval must be obtained from the bureau public affairs office.
The following link provides the complete text of this Chapter:
The DOI has delegated approval authority for paid advertising to the External Affairs Chiefs of each agency. Therefore, the BLM is providing the following guidance:
Consistent with existing BLM policy, the Washington Office must approve all requests for national print, TV, radio, and web-based advertising, and State External Affairs Offices can approve state and local advertisements under the following circumstances:
  • Promotion of wild horse and burro adoptions.
  • To meet specific human resource recruitment goals; e.g., positions that require exceptional technical qualifications or foster a more diverse workforce.
  • To announce important BLM actions, such as public meetings or land/road closures in rural or remote areas.
  • Public information and education on fire prevention. 
To enhance public health and safety in emergency situations, outreach related to wildland fire incidents is exempt from any approval policies required by this IM.
Expenditure of funds must comply with existing BLM procurement guidelines (http://web.blm.gov/natacq/).
If another situation presents itself as requiring use of federal funds for an advertisement, the State Office External Affairs staff should consult with the Washington Office Public Affairs Division Chief to discuss additional justification, forms, and approvals that may be necessary.
Timeframe: Effective upon issuance.
Budget Impact: None.
Background: Public understanding and discussion are essential to the effective planning, conduct, and accomplishment of Departmental and Bureau activities. The use of paid advertising, in certain circumstances, has proven valuable in the BLM’s efforts to effectively communicate with the public. With the availability of print media decreasing, especially in more rural areas, a standard press release or public service announcement does not always result in the reporting of critical information.  Thus, paid advertising may be justified.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: There are no BLM handbooks or manuals affected by this IM.
Coordination: Coordination not required for this IM.
Contact: If you have any questions regarding this IM, please contact the BLM -Washington Office Public Affairs Division Chief, at (202) 452-5128.
Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
Celia Boddington                                                         Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                        Division of IRM Governance,WO-560

Last updated: 10-20-2009