July 31, 2012
MEMORANDUM FOR All Rock Island District Employees
SUBJECT: Policy Memorandum # 41 - Media Contacts
1. This memorandum provides Rock Island District policy on employee interaction with media representatives throughout the District’s area of responsibility. This policy ensures timely, accurate, consistent and complete representation of District policies, missions and issues.
2. In an environment where the government is continually scrutinized by the media and the public, it is important that all District employees use the same guidance when talking with reporters. As the amount of media interest and requests for information increase, the potential for greater misinterpretation or misinformation will also increase. Such instances result in an inaccurate, inconsistent or incomplete representation of District policy, missions or issues.
3. It is the policy of the Rock Island District to candidly respond to all requests for information from all media sources. District employees are reliable sources of information and are depended upon as subject matter experts to answer public and media inquiries.
4. District employees must realize that providing replies and/or opinions to questions outside the realm of their official duties can result in a distortion of District and Corps policies, missions or issues. At no time should an employee officially discuss matters outside their area of expertise. Employees providing personal opinions to media representatives should ensure they state they are speaking as private citizens -- not as a Corps official.
5. To ensure all responses are accurate and consistent, media requests regarding controversial issues or information outside the employee’s area of expertise, will be forwarded to the Corporate Communications Office for response.
6. If an employee is a subject matter expert in the area of question, the employee should provide a timely and accurate response to the reporter. In such instances, notification should be made to the Corporate Communications Office as soon as possible following the contact.
7. Point of contact for this memorandum is Mr. Ron Fournier, (309) 794-5274, e-mail: Ronald.F.Fournier@usace.army.mil.
MARK J. DESCHENES
Note - If this policy is outdated, all Rock Island District Policy Statements are available on the Intranet under Policy Statements.