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(M11) Communications and Outreach
Contractor Assurance

Management System Owner:  Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer

Revision Number:   1.2          Date:   September 2, 2019

1.0   Pur​pose

Communications and Outreach Management System policies, procedures and processes assure that Fermilab effectively communicates with stakeholders and the public and that the laboratory's communications and outreach activities are accurate and effective, meet any applicable DOE guidelines and requirements, and help the laboratory function efficiently. The system assures FRA that all measures are being taken to maintain and enhance support for the laboratory's mission as described in the FNAL prime contract.

2.0   Roles and Respo​​​​nsibilities

Title Responsibilities
​Chief Strategic Partnerships Office
  • Ensures that the Communications and Outreach management system is in place and functioning.
Head of the Office of Communication
  • Executes activities related to communication between the laboratory and key external audiences such as the public, physics community, and media; internal communication; and relations between the laboratory and the local community (supporting the Education and Public Outreach office).
  • Maintains laboratory communications policies and procedures and ensures training across the laboratory.
  • Ensures communications are coordinated with and approved by DOE where appropriate.
  • Engages with other organizations within Fermilab to provide communications support for matters that may impact the lab's reputation or in the event of a crisis.
Head of the Office of Education and Public Outreach
  • Executes activities related to education and outreach activities, tours, and communications with the public and relations between the laboratory and the local community.
Laboratory Director
  • Has oversight for relations with all stakeholders.
Deputy Director for Research
  • Manages relations with the scientific community.
Chief Laboratory Officers
  • Ensure good communication with employees in their respective sectors, and between sectors and the rest of the laboratory.
  • Coordinate with the Office of Communication on information related to their sectors and compliance with laboratory communications procedures.
Chief Safety Officer
  • Reviews safety associated with outreach activities at the laboratory.

3.0   Primary Requ​​irements

3.1   M&O Contract

  • DOE Prime Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359 for the Management and Operation of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)
  • C.3.1.2 – Program Development and Mission Accomplishment
  • C.3.1.3(f)—Build a positive, supportive relationship founded on openness and trust with the community and region in which the Laboratory is located.
  • C.3.2(b)—Contractor Leadership/Stewardship
  • C.4(c)(3) – Community Involvement
  • C.4(b)(5) University and Science Education Program
  • I.72—DEAR 952.204-75 Public Affairs
  • I.92 (PRINTING)

Fermilab maintains robust communications and education and outreach programs that serve to communicate the activities of the laboratory to stakeholders and the public, as well as internal communications.  Fermilab also offers a wide variety of activities that invite members of the community and region in which the Laboratory is located to engage with and visit the lab, including maintaining a Community Advisory Board and a diverse suite of educational programs for students and the public.  Fermilab also communicates with the public via its website, videos, and social media platform.  Fermilab's communications and outreach activities are evaluated for compliance, reach, effectiveness, and lessons learned.

4.0   Management System Description

4.1   Publications and External Media

This segment includes activities that disseminate information about Laboratory activities and programs to the public, including the local community, and to the news media via print and electronic publications, public speaking and press releases and interviews. The Head of the Office of Communication provides oversight over these activities.

Supporting processes:

  • Editorial and review processes for print and electronic publications, including press releases
  • DOE Public Affairs and Fermilab Office of Communication processes for review or approval of certain communications and advance notice where appropriate
  • Reviewing and updating Fermilab's key external communication vehicles, such as, to ensure they include up to date information on the lab, its mission and key activities.
  • Procedures for biweekly reporting of media activities to DOE, unless process dictates real time updates
  • Periodic self-assessments of individual activities
  • Updating laboratory communications policy and procedures and providing periodic training to employees on the policy and procedures through various methods, including online ITNA training
  • Regularly scheduled in-person and phone meetings with DOE FSO contact(s); DOE HQ and Office of Science Public Affairs personnel
  • Guidelines and editorial workflows for public information websites including
  • Crisis communication process

4.2    Internal Communication

This segment covers activities related to communication within the laboratory community. The Head of the Office of Communication provides oversight over lab-wide internal communication efforts, including support activities such as audiovisual and printing services. Chief Laboratory Officers provide oversight for internal communication activities within their organizations. The Head of the Office of Communication and Chief Laboratory Officers are responsible for the development and implementation of activities that assure that their internal communication procedures are timely, accurate, and effective.

Supporting processes:

  • Employee Advisory Group meetings and feedback received via EAG website
  • Lab-wide and division-specific all hands meetings and supporting communications
  • Employee Concerns program
  • Procedures for publication of internal electronic newsletter to employees
  • Employee feedback received via Q&As on internal websites
  • Communication to employees on important labwide events or changes to operations, such as changes due to inclement weather
  • Communication to employees on labwide policy changes, as appropriate
  • Procedures for duplicating
  • Crisis communication process

 4.3   Education and Outreach

This segment ensures active community involvement consistent with the FRA contract.  It includes formal and informal education and outreach programs, engagement with the local communities as well as education and outreach materials advancing Fermilab and its science that are accessible nationally and internationally.  The Head of the Office of Education and Outreach provides oversight over these activities.

Supporting processes:

  • Community Advisory Board meetings, including feedback received from members
  • Community feedback received via Q&A on community website
  • Providing the general public website and other key stakeholders with comprehensive information on Fermilab, its activities and the benefits of the work conducted by the lab, via, social media, and speaking engagements.
  • Training and evaluation of public tour guides
  • Self-assessments following large public events

4.4   Management System Integration

Communications and Outreach management system processes interface with the processes of other management systems through regular face-to-face meetings among the relevant system owners, including weekly senior management meetings, individual meetings with various management system owners, and monthly Assurance Council meetings.

5.0   Policies

6.0   Key Processes, Procedures, and Manuals

Office of Communication processes, procedures and supporting materials are available at the following locations:

Education Office processes and procedures are stored on a shared drive for internal access. Key policies and procedures include those related to the laboratory's field trip and tour programs and its procedures for reporting to the Illinois State Board of Education to retain the laboratory's status as a State-approved professional development provider.

7.0    Approach to Collaboration and Communication

The Office of Communication policies and procedures are available on the Fermilab policies page. The Office provides training and conducts briefings across the lab to inform employees of appropriate communication practices and procedures.  Employees can also submit concerns or questions to the Office of Communications at X3351 or

8.0   Contractor Assurance Requirements

8.1   Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Metrics for the Office of Education and Public Outreach include numbers of people participating in programs and attending events. These are tracked for all programs and compared on a year-to-year basis to assess program growth and key priorities.  An annual report of participation in events focused on diversity and inclusion is also incorporated into the laboratory's annual Diversity and Inclusion Plan.  

Metrics for the Office of Communication include tracking the reach of the laboratory's communications as well as its effectiveness, as well as participation in training on the laboratory's Communication Policy.  Metrics include:

  • Participation in training on the laboratory's Communication Policy
  • Compliance with laboratory's Communication Policy
  • Media mentions
  • Website visitors
  • Social Media:  YouTube views; Facebook engagement; Facebook reach; Twitter Impressions

8.2   Assessments, Issues Management, and Lessons Learned

  • Quarterly risk review meetings

  • Discussion of lessons learned at monthly staff meetings
  • External review of Education and Outreach program (Frequency: Every 5-7 years)
  • Assessment of communications policy effectiveness across line organizations, including compliance with policy (annual)
  • Participation in training on communications policy
  • Analysis of distribution of communications across topic areas

8.3   Risk Management

  • Labwide training on communications policies and procedures
  • Quarterly risk review meetings
  • Corrective Action Plans – in iTrack
  • Periodic safety assessments

9.0   Required Reports and Records

  • To DOE:  Bi-weekly Science News dashboard update and weekly planned social media activity update

10.0   Extension of Management System to SDSTA (SURF)

Communications and Outreach at SDSD follow Fermilab policies and procedures.  The Office of Communication head of media is the primary point of contact for media relating to the LBNF Project and SDSD.    Fermilab and SDSTA interface regularly on communications and have established a joint agreement for stakeholder relations and communications. This includes required approval processes, including steps to comply with FRA M&O contractual requirements. 


M11 internal supporting documents (login required).aspx
9/23/2015 10:52 AMMatt Crawford