11.55.2  Wage and Investment Communications and Liaison (Cont. 1)

11.55.2.9 
Creating W&I Communication Products

11.55.2.9.1  (09-12-2008)
Communication Product Development Overview

  1. W&I C&L attempts to meet all client requests. Management considers/assigns product requests based on an issue’s sensitivity, visibility, number of taxpayers or employees affected, and the anticipated return on communication investment.

11.55.2.9.1.1  (09-12-2008)
Source of Communication Product Requests

  1. W&I clients come to W&I C&L with requests for many different products. Clients make requests for products in several different ways. For example, they might:

    1. Work with an assigned W&I C&L communicator to develop a communication strategy or plan calling for specific products. See IRM 11.55.2.6., Communication Planning.

    2. Contact a W&I C&L staff member with an ad hoc request for similar support.

    3. Contact a W&I C&L manager directly with a request.

11.55.2.9.1.2  (09-12-2008)
Fulfilling Product Requests

  1. Unless specified in an approved communication plan, the W&I C&L communicator and the manager must take several steps before beginning product development, including:

    1. Prioritizing the request against other requests, taking into account W&I objectives, project visibility, existing workload, etc.

    2. Identifying the audience

    3. Determining the client’s desired outcome

    4. Proposing and confirming key messages designed to deliver the desired outcome

    5. Determining when the client needs the product

    6. Recommending products that best meet the client’s needs

    Example:

    If a business unit needs to communicate quickly with a broad W&I audience, the W&I C&L communicator may determine the most effective product is an article on the W&I Insider or other vehicle. See IRM 11.55.2.7., W&I Corporate-Owned Communications Vehicles.

  2. The communicator completes these steps and contacts the manager to request assignment of product creation and design assistance by appropriate staff. While most requests are fulfilled quickly by W&I C&L, if resident expertise does not exist within W&I C&L, or if workload limits additional tasks, the manager may direct the W&I communicator to complete a Form 1767, Publishing Service Requisition, or an electronic Publishing Services Request (PSR) and ask Publishing Services for assistance.

11.55.2.9.1.3  (09-12-2008)
Types of W&I C&L Communication Products

  1. W&I C&L has the capability to produce or design a number of products to achieve the client’s desired outcome. These include:

    • New products designed for unique needs, such as brochures, flyers, posters, Web pages, graphics, etc.

    • Electronic products, such as e-mail templates, voice mail scripts or PowerPoint presentations

11.55.2.9.1.4  (09-12-2008)
Creating New Communication Products

  1. The W&I C&L communicator who designs the product delivers one or more sample products or proofs to the W&I C&L project lead communicator who confirms acceptance or forwards comments or changes from the client.

  2. If the final product requires outside printing, the W&I C&L communicator works with the client and Publishing Services to submit the specifications and Form 1767 or Publishing Services Request (PSR) to a vendor. The client is generally responsible for funding any printing costs.

  3. The client should approve content for any product before design and layout begins. W&I C&L staff edits all content to conform to AP style, including grammar, punctuation, clarity, etc. See IRM 11.55.2.8., Publication Standards.

11.55.2.9.2  (09-12-2008)
W&I C&L Communication Product Clearance and Approval Process

  1. The W&I C&L communication product clearance and approval process ensures that all stakeholders (client, communicator, management, etc.) are involved in each step of the product creation and delivery process. See Exhibit 11.55.2-5, Product/Message Sample with Contact and Approving Office, which lists various communication products and the appropriate reviewers.

11.55.2.9.2.1  (09-12-2008)
Communication Product Clearance and Approval Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The client has ultimate responsibility for the technical accuracy of communications products including any necessary Counsel review. W&I C&L clients should assign a subject matter expert (SME) to play an active role in each phase of the product development process, from pre-production through the final clearance stage. All approvals must include reviews from within the appropriate organization and other interested functions prior to W&I C&L implementation.

  2. The W&I C&L communicator will guide the client through the clearance and review process, ensuring all stakeholders are identified and included in the approval process. The W&I C&L communicator also keeps the client and management informed of any issues that may impact the final product.

  3. W&I C&L management ensures the assigned communicator has completed the client review and clearance process. Management also alerts W&I C&L communicators to any issues that may impact product delivery, such as the need for additional reviews from a higher level in the organization or from additional offices with a stake in the product’s outcome.

11.55.2.9.2.2  (09-12-2008)
Additional Communication Product Clearance and Approval Considerations

  1. The W&I C&L communicator, editor, client and management will play an active role in the review of all internal communication products. Any changes made following client approval will be discussed with the originating author/client prior to publication.

  2. In addition to management, client, and SME approvals, W&I C&L communicators will consult with outside functions such as Media and Publications, Media Relations and NPL, to ensure external communication products meet their specific publication and policy specifications. See IRM 11.55.2.8., W&I Publication Standards, for additional changes to conform to publication standards.

  3. The functional SME is responsible for any clearance through Counsel.

  4. Electronic signatures are used throughout the review and approval process to the maximum extent possible.

11.55.2.10  (09-12-2008)
Photographic Support

  1. This subsection defines consistent standards for digital photography within W&I and the level of photographic support W&I C&L provides for official events. W&I C&L’s first priority is capturing photographic images to support W&I corporate-owned communication vehicles.

11.55.2.10.1  (09-12-2008)
Minimum Requirements for Digital Still Cameras

  1. Camera specifications to handle official events should include these features:

    • Eye-level optical (or video) viewfinder

    • Built-in electronic flash hot shoe or cable connection for an auxiliary flash

    • Zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent range of 28mm – 105mm or more

  2. The camera should be capable of taking a 5 megapixel (MP) image. The MP designation is a measurement of image size, not quality, as shown by this photo size table for digital cameras:

    Megapixel image size Maximum photo size
    4 8x10 to 8.5x11 inches
    5 8.5x11 to 9x12 inches
    6 9x12 to 11x14 inches
    8 14x17 to 16x20 inches

  3. Current available memory storage card formats for digital cameras include:

    • Compact Flash I and II

    • Memory Stick

    • Micro Drive

    • Mini-CDs

    • Secure Digital

    • xD Picture Card

  4. W&I C&L communicators should use more than one form of storage media for more flexibility.

11.55.2.10.2  (09-12-2008)
Suggested Camera Accessory Equipment

  1. W&I C&L communicators should ensure that the camera is equipped with sufficient storage capacity before photographing important events.

    1. Memory cards are reusable, but have a limited capacity. Higher camera MP counts increase the need for higher capacity memory cards. A 256 megabyte (MB) or two 128 MB cards are adequate to support a 3-5 MP compact digital camera. When shooting high resolution TIFF or RAW files, a 512 MB or a 1 gigabyte (GB) card is a better choice.

    2. W&I C&L communicators should not save all of the photos on one memory card, which can become corrupted, lost or stolen. Switching memory cards protects valuable photographic data.

  2. Other accessories W&I C&L communicators should consider include:

    • Padded nylon case to carry the digital camera and other small attachments

    • Small but sturdy tripod with a quality fluid head and a quick release camera adaptor

    • External flash attachment that works either by synchronization cord, hot shoe, or infrared beam, to provide additional lighting in dark rooms

    • Multiple storage media card reader with a Universal Serial Bus (USB) cable that plugs into any computer USB connector

    • Ultraviolet (UV) and polarizing lens filters to protect the camera lenses and eliminate glare

11.55.2.10.3  (09-12-2008)
Guidelines for Taking Digital Still Photographs

  1. W&I C&L photographers should follow these photography guidelines:

    1. Check the location to pre-determine background and lighting conditions

    2. Stage the photo subjects to create the best photograph possible

      Example:

      If an award ceremony is involved, ask to stage the award photos after the ceremony, in addition to capturing the action shots to ensure quality photographs.

    3. Read the camera manual carefully and practice using the camera before taking it on an assignment

    4. Shoot several pictures of the subject

    5. Reduce camera shake when shooting at slow shutter speeds by using the optical viewfinder if available.

      Note:

      Communicators can hold cameras to their foreheads and use their elbows like bipods against their chests to add camera stability.

    6. Use the camera flash appropriately.

      Reminder:

      Unless you are shooting photos for official record, try to forgo the flash. Start shooting with available light and a steady camera to create photos with depth and feeling. A solid understanding of camera settings will ensure success in this available light environment.

    7. Compose photos by using tight shots or close-ups avoiding crowd shots where no faces are discernible, and avoiding photographs of backs of heads

    8. Avoid taking pictures facing into a bright window or having subjects facing the sun

      Example:

      If forced to shoot in a backlit situation, communicators should use the electronic flash on the flash fill setting to brighten the shadow areas.

    9. Select good backgrounds, avoiding white or light colored walls, unless shooting from an elevated angle and background features such as plants, poles, or columns which could appear to be protruding from a subject’s head

    10. Avoid the cliché firing squad pose of subjects standing in a line. Try posing subjects outdoors, or with some seated, perched on a table, etc.

    11. Try to shoot action shots since photos that show action or activity tell a story within themselves

      Note:

      These shots will supplement the standard/cliché shots i.e., grip and grin; someone handing someone else an award; etc. that should also be shot.

    12. Avoid one individual in multiple shots

11.55.2.10.4  (09-12-2008)
Standards for Web-Based Photography

  1. Television and computer monitors display photos at 72 dots per inch (dpi). The following steps are the procedures for editing photos for this medium using Adobe Photoshop (the current common operating environment software):

    1. Open up the photo for editing

    2. Go to the Help menu

    3. Click on Resize Image and select Online; photo will be automatically adjusted to 72 dpi

    4. Alternatively, select Image, then click on Image Size, and make this adjustment manually

  2. At 72 dpi, Web page photos tend to be approximately 450 pixels wide, if using a horizontal format, or 300 pixels if using a vertical format.

11.55.2.10.5  (09-12-2008)
Resolution Standards for Print-Based Photography Using Digital Cameras

  1. Using the Image section on the Adobe Photoshop bar, any image can be re-sized, up or down.

    Example:

    A 16x20 photo at 50 dpi would become an 8x10 photo at 100 dpi.

    Print publications require a 300 dpi image, so keep this in mind when re-sizing and storing images.

11.55.2.10.6  (09-12-2008)
Guidelines for Storing Digital Photographs

  1. The most common format is the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) file format. This format provides good picture quality and reasonable file size. JPEG is a compressed format that throws away some image data to shrink the file to a smaller size. Most digital cameras offer two or three levels of compression. Cameras with lower compression ratios tend to have cleaner images.

  2. Storing a JPEG image at its highest quality level results in little degradation. Saving files with maximum compression settings can produce a 90 percent reduction in file size. This flexibility and the universal support for the JPEG standard in Microsoft Windows and on the Web make the JPEG format suitable for almost all applications.

  3. The format in which images are saved can directly affect picture quality. Using an uncompressed TIFF (Tag Image File Format) file provides the highest picture quality possible at a given resolution because this format stores full-color information for every captured pixel; however, uncompressed images require a large amount of storage space, almost 10 MB for a single photograph. This significantly reduces the number of images that will fit on a flash memory card or CD. Large files make photos more cumbersome to edit, and increases the time it takes to transfer them to a PC or even upload them to the Web.

11.55.2.10.7  (09-12-2008)
Sharing/Naming Digital Photographs

  1. W&I C&L communicators store and share digital photos on the national shared drive: CHM0010CPSHR1HQ\/Digital Photos.

  2. When storing on national shared drive, communicators should remember to create a file name, label all of the photos, and store photos in their original size. Anyone needing these photos can then download them and create the proper resolution for their specific needs.

  3. See IRM 11.55.2.4.1., Shared Drive, for additional information on this type of storage.

11.55.2.10.8  (09-12-2008)
Supporting W&I Photography Needs

  1. Guidelines for photography services provided by Headquarters, Campus or field offices in IRS publications or other communications vehicles include, but are not limited to:

    • Employee engagement events

    • Official award presentation ceremonies

    • Continuing Education Programs/training events

    • Official photos

11.55.2.10.9  (09-12-2008)
Scheduling On-Site Photo Services

  1. Photo services scheduled in advance receive priority consideration, except in the event of official executive events.

  2. Official executive events always have first priority. All other events/requests are scheduled as time and resources permit.

11.55.2.10.10  (09-12-2008)
Scheduling Off-Site Photo Services

  1. W&I C&L has limited field photographic support. If photos are needed of executive visits or other official programs at remote sites, W&I C&L may contact local SB/SE or SPEC office(s) for assistance.

11.55.2.10.11  (09-12-2008)
Archiving Photos

  1. W&I C&L communicators are required to retain and archive photographs of senior IRS officials and important events that document the agency’s mission. See IRM 11.55.2.4.4.1., Record Retention Responsibilities, for W&I C&L record retention responsibilities.

11.55.2.10.12  (09-12-2008)
Requesting Copies Of Digital and Hard Copy Photographs from Archives

  1. Requests for copies of digital and hard copy photographs for official purposes receive priority consideration. Unofficial requests are honored on a case-by-case basis.

    1. Digital photo copy requests require advance notice

    2. Archived photos require a two-week minimum notice, unless the requestor arranges to research archives him/herself

    3. Copies of archived photos will not be released without the consent of the local W&I C&L communicator.

      Note:

      At that time, a determination will be made as to whether the photo(s) will be scanned for the requestor or the original photo can be permanently released.

11.55.2.11  (09-12-2008)
Filing Season Planning

  1. Wage and Investment is a key member of the cross-functional Filing Season Readiness Executive Steering Committee (FSR ESC). The FSR ESC provides executive oversight and certifies that IRS operations are in a state of readiness for the upcoming filing season. Because W&I customers comprise the majority of the taxpaying public and are integral to the filing season, W&I C&L takes a leading role in filing season planning and implementation, ensuring cross functional integration and support of current year objectives.

  2. Filing season planning begins in May of each year, ending the following January. This subsection identifies the W&I C&L filing season planning process, stakeholders and roles.

11.55.2.11.1  (09-12-2008)
Role of W&I C&L Filing Season Lead

  1. W&I C&L appoints a Filing Season Lead to direct the filing season efforts. The Lead meets with the W&I C&L Director and senior managers to identify the W&I C&L Filing Season Team. The W&I C&L Lead also:

    1. Provides direction to the filing season team

    2. Provides updates for the FSR ESC meetings and briefings to other officials when necessary

    3. Coordinates responses for ad-hoc requests or follow-up information

    4. Conducts periodic meetings with internal stakeholders, or the cross functional filing season team

    5. Certifies to the W&I C&L Director that W&I C&L is in a state of readiness for the upcoming filing season

11.55.2.11.2  (09-12-2008)
Role of W&I Filing Season Core Team

  1. The W&I C&L Filing Season Core Team is composed of W&I C&L Communicators, who are assigned to key areas including, but not limited to, ETA, Field Assistance and CAS. Other W&I C&L communicators receive filing season assignments on an as-needed basis.

  2. The W&I C&L Filing Season Core Team:

    1. Identifies Servicewide functional stakeholders and a Point of Contact (POC) for each; a cross-functional filing season team is created from this list

      Note:

      See Exhibit 11.55.2-4., Illustrative Listing of Functional Stakeholders and Cross-Functional Team Members.

    2. Assigns team members to specific functions or operating divisions, through the W&I C&L Lead or senior management, for product/message development and executive concurrence

      Note:

      See Exhibit 11.55.2-5., Product/message Sample with Contact and Approving Office, for examples of prior year messages and concurrence points.

    3. Identifies and inventories existing W&I C&L strategic communication plans containing messages/objectives for filing season delivery

    4. Works with POCs to identify other stakeholder issues and concerns.

      Example:

      (i.e. those that could give rise to possible filing season messages even though not related to an existing W&I C&L strategic communication plan) such as voluntary compliance, SB/SE concerns related to Schedule C filers, or e-services enhancements

    5. Works closely with POCs to gather and develop final filing season messages and products, and attains executive concurrence

    6. Identifies internal and external communication vehicles

      Example:

      Each message/product is labeled for specific or multiple communication vehicles based primarily on the intended audience(s); such vehicles include: IRWeb, internal e-mail, IRS.gov, media, and other external stakeholder channels.

    7. Reassesses the Individual IRS.gov web page and prioritization of messages and features

      Note:

      The team may create a communication subgroup to determine page content and prioritize according to new law(s) or feature(s) with wide appeal and client interest based upon web hits from previous years.

    8. Plans and implements filing season communications on the IRS Intranet.

    9. Updates the W&I C&L portion of the Filing Season Action Plan (FSAP). A W&I C&L representative may be assigned to update the plan by entering and monitoring action items for completion or modifications. Access FSAP at: http://fsr.web.irs.gov/

11.55.2.11.3  (09-12-2008)
Role of W&I C&L Clients

  1. To facilitate accurate, timely and targeted publication and dissemination of filing season messages and products, internal organizational stakeholders through their assigned communicator or the W&I C&L filing season lead, identify and approve filing season messages and products based on Operating Division (OD) or functional business objectives. To streamline the process, each OD and function contributes:

    • Point of Contact and/or Subject Matter Expert

    • Technical content for products

    • Technical review and approval of products/messages

11.55.2.11.4  (09-12-2008)
Filing Season Readiness Certification

  1. The W&I C&L Filing Season Lead certifies to the Director, W&I C&L, that the organization is ready for the filing season. The certification date is determined by the Filing Season Readiness Executive Steering Committee, usually a December date, prior to the upcoming filing season.

  2. The filing season readiness certification includes:

    1. Verifying all W&I C&L action items in the Filing Season Readiness Action Plan are complete or will be completed by their respective due dates

    2. Sending the Certificate of Readiness to the Director, Wage and Investment Communications and Liaison

  3. The Director, W&I C&L, signs and forwards the certification to the Commissioner, Wage and Investment Division. See Exhibit 11.55.2-6., Filing Season Readiness Certificate, for an example of this certificate.

11.55.2.12  (09-12-2008)
Incident Management Communications

  1. W&I C&L supports Crisis Communications and all local Business Continuity Plans by serving as on-site internal and external communications experts, as appropriate. The suite of Business Continuity Plans includes:

    • Occupant Emergency Plan (OEP)

    • Business Resumption Plan (BRP)

    • Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

    • Incident Management Plan (IMP)

    Note:

    There may be other local plans in addition to those listed above.

11.55.2.12.1  (09-12-2008)
Incident Management Responsibilities of W&I C&L Communicators

  1. All W&I C&L staff located in the W&I Headquarters office, post-of-duty offices, or campuses follow and adhere to the duties identified in local plans for incident management communications.

  2. All W&I C&L staff should have copies of plans for their local area and be familiar with the communicator’s roles and responsibilities.

  3. The specific roles and responsibilities vary, depending on location of incident and availability of communicators from other divisions and functions.

11.55.2.12.2  (09-12-2008)
National Incident Management Communications

  1. Whenever Washington, D.C., is in an emergency status and the Service requires incident management communications, the following are the primary contacts for all communication efforts:

    • Chief, Communications and Liaison

    • Deputy Chief, Communications and Liaison

    • Director, Office of Communications

  2. If none of the three listed above can be contacted, W&I Headquarters will be primary contact for Servicewide communications on behalf of Washington, D.C., in the order below:

    • Director W&I C&L

    • Chief, W&I C&L Tactical Implementation Branch

      Note:

      The Crisis Communications Plan located at http://communications.no.irs.gov/MR/resource_center/crisis/crisis_communications_index.htm is the official document to be used for official protocol steps.

11.55.2.12.3  (09-12-2008)
W&I Headquarters & Post of Duty Incident Management Communications

  1. W&I Headquarters and post-of-duty offices will generally be under the guidance of a Senior Commissioner’s Representative, who serves as the Incident Commander when an emergency occurs. The primary goal for W&I C&L is to provide communications support identified in the local plan, whether serving as primary or back-up communicator or as a member of the communication team.

    Example:

    If there is a Field Media Relations Specialist in the same Area Office as a W&I C&L communicator, the Field Media Relations Specialist has primary responsibility for external crisis communications for the states in that Area. The W&I C&L communicator may be listed as the primary or back up for internal communications. A list of Crisis Management Communication Contacts is located at: http://win.web.irs.gov/csdocs/communications/Internal_Crisis_Contacts.doc. W&I C&L communicators not included on the list can still be called upon and are expected to assist the primaries, as needed.

11.55.2.12.4  (09-12-2008)
W&I Campus Incident Management Communications

  1. W&I C&L communicators located at campus sites are often identified as the primary communicator for the site. During an emergency situation, all communication roles are delegated by the site’s Incident Commander as described in the local Business Continuity Plan. If there is more than one communicator at the site, one will be identified as the primary communicator by the Incident Commander and others may serve as back-up or work as a member of the communication team. The main focus is to provide the necessary communications expertise, advice and support for the emergency. A list of communicators available for emergency purposes at campus sites is located at http://win.web.irs.gov/csdocs/communications/Campus_Contact_List.doc.

11.55.2.12.5  (09-12-2008)
Incident Management References for W&I C&L Communicators

  1. W&I C&L communicators should be familiar with the following incident management IRM references:

    • IRM 1.16.9.17, Communications and Liaison, and IRM 1.16.9.17.1, Guidelines, provide details on the role and guidelines for Communications and Liaison staff members in general

    • IRM 1.16.10, Business Resumption, covers the details for Business Resumption and the vital role communications plays in a business resumption plan.

11.55.2.13  (09-12-2008)
Internet Support

  1. W&I C&L is responsible for content and posting to the IRS.gov pages it owns; however, W&I C&L employees have the ability to post to any W&I-owned page in an emergency, i.e. when another W&I function’s designated page steward is not available. Designated W&I C&L employees are trained in the Content Management Application (CMA)for purposes of posting content on IRS.gov.

  2. W&I C&L also provides an optional grammatical pre-posting review upon request by other W&I functions. Details for this process reside in IRM 11.55.1.13.3.1, W&I Internet Content Publishing Process (ICPP), Optional Internal Review.

11.55.2.14  (09-12-2008)
W&I Intranet Support

  1. W&I C&L provides Intranet support, including web page design, maintenance and postings, to W&I functional clients. The Insider User Group (IUG), comprised of W&I C&L webmasters, interfaces with W&I customer organizations which designate content owners as the main points of contact to coordinate postings to the W&I Insider.

11.55.2.14.1  (09-12-2008)
Insider User Group (IUG)

  1. The IUG oversees the content, style and functionality of all web pages, files and messages associated with the W&I Insider web site. Messages include the Inside the Insider weekly e-mail that promotes articles posted on the Insider home page.

  2. The IUG is responsible for:

    1. Continually analyzing and improving the Insider web site

    2. Proactively seeking news articles for the Insider home page

    3. Notifying the Director, W&I C&L, of any postings that may be sensitive

    4. Responding to user feedback received through various channels including the W&I W&I Insider e-mail box

    5. Troubleshooting technical problems through the Detroit Computing Center server technicians

  3. The IUG is facilitated by one or more lead webmasters who:

    1. Monitor, maintain and update the Insider home page by posting new articles to W&I News, Friendly Reminders, and the text-only version of the home page, and removing old articles from the home page and archiving them to the archive page

    2. Continually look for potential news articles

    3. Identify and elevate Insider Web-related issues they feel may be of concern to management

    4. Monitor and maintain folders and files on the win.web.irs.gov server, especially files in the root directory

    5. Troubleshoot all problems associated with the Insider home page and contact the Detroit server technicians as needed for help with server issues

    6. Answer questions from users, clients and webmasters and provide consultation to individuals seeking assistance with sub-webs and other Web sites

    7. Research topics as needed to answer questions and solve problems

    8. Keep abreast of emerging technology and practices that may improve the Insider web site

    9. Add and remove sub-webs and users associated with the win.web.irs.gov server. Determine the appropriate level of permissions for users

    10. Maintain W&I articles posted on the IRWeb’s News From the Business Units

    11. Lead the weekly IUG conference calls, identify topics for discussion, and solicit topics from webmasters

  4. Training requirements for webmasters include:

    • Online training for SharePoint Designer 2007 or the current equivalent Intranet page assembly program.

    • W&I C&L Webmaster Training (classroom)

11.55.2.14.1.1  (09-12-2008)
Role of Webmaster

  1. The webmaster establishes and maintains positive relationships with content owners. It is important that all W&I C&L webmasters interact with all clients in a supportive manner that facilitates the best Intranet experience for site visitors. The assigned W&I C&L webmaster:

    1. Enters into active dialogue with the client at the beginning of the relationship to discover the content owner’s vision for their Web page

    2. Balances content owner expectations with the services that webmasters can reasonably deliver. It is important that roles and responsibilities be clarified at the beginning of the relationship to expedite task completion and minimize confusion

      Example:

      Webmasters must ensure that content owners understand their responsibility to validate the technical accuracy of all information submitted for posting, just as webmasters are responsible for proper posting of information.

    3. Acts as a consultant

      Note:

      Webmasters must be knowledgeable in a variety of communications media and use that knowledge as a consultative skill to benefit their client. W&I C&L webmasters strive to deliver the client’s message via the most appropriate communications medium and language. Thus, webmasters should not hesitate to recommend a change in language or delivery method, etc., to improve the communication process, even if that recommendation excludes Intranet use.

  2. The webmaster recommends possible web page improvements to clients. Webmasters must always keep content-owner interest and reader usability as primary considerations when reviewing web pages. As a consultant, it is appropriate for a webmaster to offer a solution for identified problems. The agreed upon solution should be in alignment with the client’s interests and W&I C&L’s professional responsibilities.

  3. The webmaster analyzes and interprets web posting requests from clients and:

    1. Provides feedback to the client as needed during the feedback process; webmasters should recommend appropriate improvements such as the insertion of related hyperlinks, editing of documents, and reformatting of pages

    2. Requests additional information from client as needed

    3. Forwards misdirected content owner requests to the appropriate webmaster

  4. The webmaster executes web posting requests from clients as follows:

    1. Determine appropriate format

    2. Add exit scripts to all non-IRS links

    3. Ensure all links to IRS forms, publications, etc. go through the IRS Publishing repository

    4. Replace or delete obsolete files as appropriate

    5. Establish "breadcrumb" trail (a textual record of the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) path taken to arrive at a given page)

    6. Create "Send to" links

    7. Use template pages

    8. Create appropriate bookmarks

    9. Add comments on all articles when using FrontPage web page software; include name of author, reviewer, analyst who submitted the article, name of client or client POC, and name of webmaster posting/amending the article

    10. Adhere to Section 508 Compliance guidelines

  5. The webmaster notifies the client of completion of web posting requests by e-mail. In special circumstances a follow up telephone call may be warranted. The webmaster also performs ongoing maintenance on web pages in the assigned program areas including:

    1. Identify broken links and report them to client. Repair or delete broken links as requested

    2. Identify orphaned files and pages and report them to client. Re-link or delete orphaned files as requested

    3. Recommend deletions and archive documents as appropriate

  6. The webmaster maintains the style and format (look and feel) of Insider web pages using the templates provided on the staging server. The webmaster notifies their manager and other appropriate individuals regarding web posting requests that may involve high-profile and sensitive issues. This ensures the request is appropriate and the material is cleared for posting. The webmaster consults and collaborates with others in W&I C&L, in the W&I Operating Division and in other organizations outside of W&I, to maximize accuracy and effectiveness of materials posted to the W&I web site.

  7. The webmaster supports their assigned W&I functional program area(s). Each program area has an assigned primary backup webmaster, and sometimes a secondary backup. The current list of backups can be found on the W&I C&L Tool Box Web page. The webmaster shares requests to create or modify a web page, when received from someone other than a content owner, with the appropriate webmaster and/or content owner prior to posting.


11.55.2.14.2  (09-12-2008)
Role of Content Owners and Content Providers

  1. Content owners and other content providers for the W&I Operating Division should produce and maintain effective Intranet web sites that support the strategies of the W&I organization following the guidelines in this subsection including technical accuracy, timeliness, maintenance and sensitive issues.

11.55.2.14.2.1  (09-12-2008)
Technical Accuracy

  1. Content owners and providers should work with W&I C&L webmasters to ensure the technical accuracy of all web page information. Several sources can provide web page content through a designated content owner.

  2. Subject matter experts (SMEs) such as analysts, project/team leads or management officials can provide web page content. Content owners should develop and maintain regular communications with these individuals to secure and ensure accurate web page information. SMEs may want to include content owners in meetings so they are aware of new business strategies and initiatives.

  3. Client needs, such as new business measures, programs or reorganizations, provide opportunities for a new page or to revise an existing Web page.

    Example:

    Hurricane disasters and changing tax law surrounding the storms required a new web page to communicate and address these issues.

  4. Content owners should clearly define their request by providing guidance such as:

    • Page title

    • Link names

    • Supporting link information

    • Header names

    • Technically accurate text (content)

11.55.2.14.2.2  (09-12-2008)
Timeliness

  1. Both content owners and webmasters should have a clear indication of when web page content is needed. Content owners must specify their due date expectations in their requests. The webmaster will respond accordingly.

11.55.2.14.2.3  (09-12-2008)
Maintenance

  1. In addition to the assigned W&I C&L webmaster, W&I communicators and content owners should all regularly check to make sure posted information is current, accurate and a reflection of the W&I organization. All should regularly check the following items:

    • Usefulness of content and layout – If there are new business measures/strategies, reorganize the page so that the newest items are more prominent and easily accessible

    • Broken links – Correct with new information or remove the link if it is not needed. If the link is duplicated on another page, make sure it is also removed

    • Old data – If data is old but still useful as a reference tool, archive it by placing it on a new page linked to the original page

    • Obsolete and orphaned data - When the content owner identifies data that is obsolete, they should request that the webmaster remove it from the page and either delete it or place it in a folder on a shared drive

      Note:

      If the webmaster identifies obsolete or orphaned data, they should consult with the content owner before deleting or moving it.

    Example:

    Reports for prior years can be labeled as "Past Reports" and shown on the page underneath the current reports.

  2. Assigned W&I communicators and webmasters (through the assigned W&I communicator if there is one) may suggest new topics, especially when a new business measure or strategy applies to the organization or the majority of the users.

  3. Content owners are responsible for the technical accuracy of information. However, the webmaster can make changes that do not change the technical meaning or accuracy to accommodate the look and feel of postings to Insider Web pages.

  4. W&I C&L webmasters should consult and collaborate with their peers to maximize accuracy and effectiveness in areas such as:

    • Proofing

    • Content and layout

    • Topic appropriateness

    • Page usability

11.55.2.14.2.4  (09-12-2008)
Sensitive Issues

  1. If a content owner wants to post information related to a high profile topic or sensitive issue, webmasters should first notify a lead webmaster who will then notify their manager or other appropriate management officials before posting.

Exhibit 11.55.2-1  (09-12-2008)
Measures
W&I Communications and Liaison

Communication Measure Method Application to and Use(s) by W&I C&L
Inclusion of key messages in all communication products "100 percent" coverage and delivery rate for key messages Application:
• All communication products listed in the strategy
Use(s):
• Include key messages in all communication products
• Reinforce key messages via cascading translations
Number of media hits • Count the air time for TV and radio hits and the news clips for print media
• Track this data over time
Application:
News releases
Use(s):
• Compile audience size for the identified media outlets and calculate the audience size
• Track this data over time to identify audience trends, communication vehicle preferences, etc.
Content of media hits • Count the number of times the key message was mentioned (or paraphrased) in each media item
• Compare this number, as a percentage, to the total number of media items
Application:
• News releases
• Articles (all types)
• Web stories
Use(s):
• Count the number of times the key message is mentioned
• Calculate the audience size
• Total this data
• Compare this number, as a percentage, to the total number of media items
Starch Test –
The creator of this concept (CommToolbox.com) markets a software package that performs the perception tabulation work for you after you input the data.
• Input articles (products) into an online spreadsheet that can be printed for users without online access.
• Ask users to identify items they’ve skimmed, skipped, read thoroughly, used, didn’t use, and why.

Note:

The spreadsheet would also include a checklist that identifies content, format techniques used (e.g. color and subheads), photos, etc. for each article

Application:
• SPEC Publicity Templates
• Fact Sheet
• Talk Points
• Speeches to Go
Use(s):
Similar to a customer (reader) survey. See the survey item below for more detail
Placement of web counters on Intranet sites for electronic products • Count the number of site visitors, but provides no insight on how many downloaded products, how products were used, if the products met the users’ needs, and expectations, etc. Application:
IRS, Field Assistance (FA), SPEC, partner and coalition events (e.g. Filing Season kick-off, EITC Awareness Days), etc.
Use(s):
• Contact a member of the Insider User Group
• IUG representative will establish and monitor counter and provide data in pre-determined intervals
Tie specific PR events to projected and actual results via surveys (Survey Manager) . Use pre- and post-surveys and in-house data to measure and compare projected and actual results Application:
W&I C&L Strategic Communication Plans – all.
Use(s):
• Contact W&I C&L Survey Manager administrator
• Survey Manager administrator helps develop survey format
• Survey Manager administrator will provide data at pre-determined intervals
Tie specific business objectives into results • Assess the change in a quantitative measure
• Track this data over time
Application:
W&I C&L full time equivalents (FTE), Budget
Use(s):
• Count the increase in the number of new SPEC partnerships (or coalitions) and track over time
• Count the increase in the number of new volunteers and track over time

Note:

A corollary to this would be to track the increase in the number of PCs and equipmentprovidedby partners and by the IRS. Both of these relate to SPEC’s goal of partner self-sufficiency.


Note:

Data could be compiled on a national, area and state basis.

Exhibit 11.55.2-2  (09-12-2008)
Measures – Historical Data
W&I Communications and Liaison

Communication Measure Method Application to and Use(s) by W&I C&L
Tie specific business objectives into results • Number of successful "Where’s My Refund?" responses/refunds authenticated
• FY ’03 goal: 2.7 million authentications.

Note:

This is an example of a business (client-driven) measure.


• Long-term goal: direct all refund inquiry contacts to automated self-service applications (ASSA)
Internet Refund Fact of Filing (IRFOF) – "Where’s My Refund?"
Work completed by the stated Completion Date

Note:

Communication strategy is an Excel spreadsheet that lists products, responsible parties, status, etc.

Filing Season Readiness Action Plan
Tie specific PR events to projected and actual results • Growth of Everyday Tax Solutions and account work
• Volume of taxpayer contacts during extended hours
• Customer satisfaction survey
• Practitioner/congressional support
• Field Assistance employee support
FY03 Field Assistance Customer Service Initiatives
Tie specific business objectives into results • Number of e-filed returns within targeted Electronic Return Originator (ERO)/non-ERO V-coder tax return preparer audience
• Number of online returns
IRS e-file Communication Strategy for SPEC and Electronic Tax Administration (ETA)
Tie specific business objectives into results; Tie specific PR events to projected and actual results • Number of taxpayers assisted at alternate assistance sites

Note:

The above are examples of business (client-driven) measures.


• Variety and frequency of communication mediums leveraged to promote alternate assistance sites
Field Assistance Mobile Units and Circuit Riders
Tie specific business objectives into results Decrease return prep in Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) by 20 percent.

Example:

This is an example of a business (client-driven) measure.


Note:

For the 2003 Filing Season, decreased return prep by 40 percent, twice the desired goal.

FA Concept of Operations (CONOPS)/FAOPS – Reduction in return preparation in TACs

Exhibit 11.55.2-3  (09-12-2008)
W&I Communication Vehicles

If you need to…. Then use…. Best For…. . Limitations…
Promote upcoming events or news article for W&I employees W&I Offline Presenting news or sharing campus-specific information in a formal format. Deadline for article submission is generally two weeks prior to publishing. Paper versions to W&I Campuses and e-versions to all others
Communicate fast breaking news with a broad W&I audience W&I Insider Delivering fast breaking messages to Headquarters (HQ), area office and campus employees. Many campus employees do not have Intranet access unless registered through Campus Kiosks.
Communicate broad reaching information that is not time-sensitive. Inside the Insider Pushing information directly to employees via e-mail. Delivered first work day of each week. Special editions are infrequent.
Promote articles of interest to all employees. News from Business Units (section of IRWeb) Highlighting news not otherwise featured on IRWeb. We only have one slot so items are easily bumped based on priority.
Promote awareness of important programs, deadlines, special recognition, etc. (at the executive level)

Example:

Survey message, All W&I employee e-mail message

All W & I employee (and/or all W&I Manager) e-mail message Pushing messages directly to HQ, area office and campus managers. Many campus employees do not have e-mail unless registered through Campus Kiosks.
Promote information that must be relayed quickly with minimal coordination All W&I employee voice mail message Communicating to managers in emergency situations, when personal voice inflection can add value or when explanation is needed to "translate" the message into meaningful terms for the next level. Many campus employees do not have telephone access thus reliance is on managers to verbally pass along the message.

Exhibit 11.55.2-4  (09-12-2008)
Illustrative Listing of Functional Stakeholders and Cross-Functional Team Members

Functional Stakeholders and Cross-Functional Team Member List

Wage and Investment Small Business/Self Employed

• Customer Account Services (CAS)
--- Accounts Management
--- Joint Operations Center (JOC)
--- Submission Processing
--- Notice Gatekeeper
--- Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Program Office
• Compliance
• Communications and Liaison
• Learning and Education
• Human Capital Office
• Customer Assistance, Relationships and Education (CARE)
--- SPEC
--- Field Assistance
--- Media and Publications
--- Multi-Lingual Project Office
• Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Program Office
• Electronic Tax Administration & Refundable Credits (ETARC)
• Strategy and Finance

• Communications, Liaison and Disclosure
• Compliance
• Tax Payment Management

Information Technology Services
• Business Systems Modernization
• Enterprise Services
• Mission Assurance
• Servicewide Web Services

Communications and Liaison National Headquarters

• Legislative Affairs
• National Public Liaison
• Internal Communications
• Media Relations (Field and National Office)

Office of Practitioner Responsibility Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)

Agency-wide Shared Services

Large and Mid-Size Business (LMSB)

Tax Exempt/Government Entities (TE/GE)

Criminal Investigation

Exhibit 11.55.2-5  (09-12-2008)
Product/Message Sample with Contact and Approving Office

Message: Contact and Approving Office
Check IRS.gov and its 1040 Central page for all the information you need to file your return this year. Wage and Investment
W&I Communications and Liaison
If you have an ongoing issue with the IRS that has not been resolved through normal processes, or you have suffered, or are about to suffer an economic burden as a result of the administration of the tax laws, contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)
Trained volunteers in communities around the country help low-income, elderly, and qualifying military taxpayers with their income tax return preparation. Wage and Investment
Customer Assistance, Relationships and Education (CARE) Stakeholder
Partnerships, Education and Communication (SPEC)
Where to file addresses for businesses, tax professionals and individual taxpayers for use during calendar year 2006. Wage and InvestmentSubmission Processing
During tax season live assistance is available from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (local time) weekdays. There is also a 24 hour recorded assistance line for your convenience. Wage and Investment
Customer Account Services (CAS)
Joint Operations Center (JOC)
Notice Gatekeeper
(All messages containing telephone numbers are approved through this office)
E-file your tax return. It’s fast, accurate and the best way to get your taxes where you want them – done! You get your refund in half the time, even faster with Direct Deposit. ETA

Exhibit 11.55.2-6  (09-12-2008)
Filing Season Readiness Certificate

Filing Season Readiness Certificate


FROM: DIRECTOR, WAGE AND INVESTMENT COMMUNICATIONS AND LIAISON

SUBJECT: 2007 FILING SEASON READINESS CERTIFICATION


This is to certify that W&I Communications and Liaison has incorporated all elements of the basic filing season certification document into their overall planning process. Accountability for each item has been established. All items will be monitored for progress and timely delivery to ensure a successful filing season.

SIGNATURE:_____________________________________________

PRINT NAME:______________________________________________

DATE:_____________________________________________

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