Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
REGION 8: Engaging Employees to Tell Our Story in a Wired World
California-Nevada Offices , March 19, 2009
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The FWS Journal provides Service employees with an easy to use tool that allows them to communicate their activities and accomplishments to the public.
The FWS Journal provides Service employees with an easy to use tool that allows them to communicate their activities and accomplishments to the public. - Photo Credit: n/a

Region 8 External Affairs is a small office with a big job: Communicate to the world about Service activities and accomplishments in California, Nevada and Klamath Basin. To accomplish this mission, the three-person staff looks to technology for tools, and to regional leaders and field staff for support.  In an increasingly wired world, the office employs digital tools such as Internet and Intranet websites, and the web-based Fish and Wildlife Journal as primary tools to reach a worldwide audience.  While tools are important, they don’t work without employee support. In March, External Affairs’ Scott Flaherty gave communications presentations to two regional employee audiences to encourage their continued support and engagement in regional communications efforts. 


At the Region 8 Refuge Project Leaders Meeting March 10 in San Diego, Scott provided a one-hour presentation focused on Refuge communications. The presentation provided an overview of the changing face of news media, national and regional audience demographics and changes/trends in how the public accesses news and information. The presentation also provided refuge managers a snapshot of web visitor traffic for individual refuges, Refuges pages on the Region 8 website, and other data.  The objective was to keep project leaders engaged in communications, and get them to think more about what the messages and information being communicated to visitors, not just those who come through the front door of the visitor center.  Most project leaders were surprised to learn of the thousands of monthly visits to their refuge websites, including cyber visitors from dozens of countries.  The presentation also included usage/visitation data for the web-based FWS Journal. Since adopting the Journal as a communications tool in 2006, submissions from employees has gone from 17 in 2006 to 206 in 2008.


On March 19, Flaherty provided a 90 minute presentation, including a “how-to” demonstration of the FWS Journal, to approximately 30 staff at the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office. The Stockton FWO manages Service programs focused on anadromous fish restoration, non-native invasive species and Delta smelt monitoring in California’s Central Valley and wants to increase/improve its communications and outreach efforts.  The presentation included a discussion of the importance of websites, the ongoing improvements to the Stockton website, and importance of communicating accomplishments through the Journal.

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov
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