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Berkeley Lab Media Interactions and External Communications Policy

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    Title:

    Berkeley Lab Media Interactions and External Communications Policy

    Publication date:

    7/29/2020

    Effective date:

    7/29/2020

    BRIEF

    Policy Summary

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's (Berkeley Lab's) relationships and reputation depend on careful interactions with the public and the news media. This policy details Berkeley Lab employees' responsibilities to coordinate with the Lab's Strategic Communications Department and organization communicators in interacting with these groups.

    Who Should Read This Policy

    This policy applies to all personnel.

    To Read the Full Policy, Go To:

    The POLICY tab on this wiki page

    Contact Information

    Strategic Communications
    communications@lbl.gov

    Resources


    Title:

    Berkeley Lab Media Interactions and External Communications Policy

    Publication date:

    7/29/2020

    Effective date:

    7/29/2020

    POLICY

    A. Purpose

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's (Berkeley Lab's) stakeholder relationships and its reputation for scientific excellence and institutional integrity depend on careful interactions with the public and the news media. It is every employee's responsibility to ensure that external communications that may impact the Lab's reputation be collaboratively considered before such interactions take place.
    This policy describes how employee interactions with the news media and other public communications are coordinated with the Lab's Strategic Communications Department to ensure accurate and consistent representation of Berkeley Lab; compliance and coordination with DOE, the University of California, the DOE-UC management and operating contract for the Lab, and other agency public affairs regulations and requirements; and minimization of the risks of misrepresentation of the Lab and its programs.

    B. Persons Affected

    This policy applies to all personnel.

    C. Exceptions

    Not applicable

    D. Policy Statement

    1. Sharing of scientific results and expertise 
      1. Lab personnel are encouraged to discuss their research openly, whether in a scientific forum or public forum, or with reporters, in accordance with DOE and Lab policies and in coordination with Strategic Communications. For social media guidelines, see here.
      2. In general, employees are encouraged to provide to the news media scientific information, research results that have been peer reviewed or approved for public release, and perspectives based on their scientific expertise, in coordination with Strategic Communications.
      3. Employees must not, as representatives of the Laboratory, provide opinions or statements on policy or budgetary matters unless they have received prior authorization from Strategic Communications.
      4. When employees do provide opinions on scientific, policy, or budgetary matters, they must state or write clearly that their views are their own and are not the views of the Laboratory or the University of California.
    2. Responsibility for coordinating news media interactions
      1. Strategic Communications manages all Lab interactions with the news media in coordination with Lab leadership and area, user facility, and division leadership and communicators. 
      2. Lab personnel are responsible for coordinating all Lab-related media interactions with Strategic Communications. Employees must refer all media inquiries to Strategic Communications for approval, coordination, and advice prior to interacting with the news media, if possible. Alternatively, Lab personnel may notify area, user facility, or division leadership or communicators, who will coordinate the response with Strategic Communications. This includes, but is not limited to, requests for interviews, comment, or information regarding:
        1. Scientific results, including those that have been published or approved for public release.
        2. Requests for information or expert perspectives on a Lab-related scientific or technical topic.
        3. Lab operations.
        4. Official statements or other official communications to the news media on behalf of the Lab or in an official Lab capacity.
      3. Lab personnel should notify Strategic Communications as soon as possible following unplanned interactions with the news media (such as, but not limited to, interactions at conferences at which news media are present).
      4. Faculty scientists (employees with faculty appointments) are welcome to interact with the news media in their non-Lab, university capacity per university policy, but if the research to be discussed is conducted at the Lab or involves DOE or Lab funding, they are responsible for consulting with Lab Strategic Communications before doing so.
      5. Affiliates asked to discuss Lab research or activities with the news media should consult with Strategic Communications before doing so.
      6. Advance approval is required from Strategic Communications for all visits by members of the news media to Lab sites.
      7. Strategic Communications authorizes spokespeople for public announcements on behalf of the Lab.
      8. Strategic Communications may arrange for media representatives to interview Laboratory staff directly. Specialists from Strategic Communications are available to assist in preparation and training for news interviews.
      9. The Lab adheres to the DOE Scientific Integrity Policy.
    3. Prepared information for the news media
      1. All prepared information intended for release to the news media must be developed in coordination with, and approved by, Strategic Communications. This includes news releases and official public statements. 
      2. Strategic Communications coordinates the external review and approval process for news releases originating from the Lab. For more information, see the Standard Operating Procedure for News Releases or contact a communications specialist at communications@lbl.gov.

    E. Roles and Responsibilities

    All personnel, including managers, supervisors, employees, faculty scientists, faculty engineers, and affiliates, have the responsibility to adhere to the provisions of this policy. When contacted by members of the media, personnel should notify Strategic Communications, or the designated leads in their area. The designated area, user facility, division leadership or communications leads are responsible for notifying Strategic Communications. 

    F. Definitions/Acronyms

    Term

    Definition

    News Media

    News media includes, but is not limited to, print, broadcast, online media, and news and views sections of scientific journals. 

    G. Recordkeeping Requirements

    None

    H. Implementing Documents 

    None

    I. Contact Information

    Strategic Communications
    communications@lbl.gov

    J. Resources

    K. Revision History

    Date

    Revision

    By whom

    Revision Description

    Section(s) affected

    Change Type

    7/29/2020

    0

    J. German

    New policy

    all



    DOCUMENT INFORMATION

    Title:

    Berkeley Lab Media Interactions and External Communications Policy

    Document number

    10.07.005.000

    Revision number

    0

    Publication date:

    7/29/2020

    Effective date:

    7/29/2020

    Next review date:

    7/29/2023

    Policy Area:

    Public Info/External Relations

    RPM Section (home)

    Info Management

    RPM Section (cross-reference)


    Functional Division

    Strategic Communications

    Prior reference information (optional)


    Source Requirements Documents

    Contract 31, Clause I.64, DEAR 952.204-75, Public Affairs

    Implementing Documents

    Document number

    Title

    Type




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