The Office of External Affairs (OEA) is the central point of contact for Rural Development (RD) on press and congressional relations. OEA has two divisions to best serve its internal and external customers.
USDA Rural Development
Office of External Affairs
1400 Independence Avenue, SW.
Washington, D.C. 20250-0705
(202) 690-0498 or (202) 690-1384
Public Affairs Branch
The Public Affairs Branch is the primary point of contact for all press inquiries and leads the way for strategic communication with the media for the Rural Development mission area. The branch manages strategy development for, and the execution of, all national-level earned-media campaigns and develops comprehensive analysis for each campaign’s reach and impact.
Field Operations and Multimedia Branch
The Field Operations and Multimedia Branch manages the public-facing marketing materials that represent USDA Rural Development to our customers and communities. These include the brochures and fact sheets, banners and displays, as well as the photos and videos that showcase the projects and programs that improve the quality of life in rural America. This branch also represents the Office of External Affairs with the 47 state offices, and ensures their Public Information Officers have the training and resources they need to serve the internal and external customers of USDA Rural Development.
Internal Communications Branch
The internal communications branch reviews and disseminates internal communication to RD audiences. RD conference and event planning functions are also housed here. The review of all internal communications includes providing plain language recommendations and ensuring 508 compliancy. The internal communications team supports the RD employee intranet portal by posting agency announcements and providing human interest stories about RD employees and programs.
New Media Branch
The New Media Branch is responsible for the overall management and dissemination of public information through the USDA Rural Development (RD) public facing website at www.rd.usda.gov, RD social media platforms and other digital services such as GovDelivery email services. The New Media branch creates content and develops and implements strategies for web and social media campaigns. In managing the public website, the New Media Branch optimizes the content management system, ensuring that the site design and the user experience is dynamic and accessible while also exploring new digital tools to further enhance RD’s overall digital communications capability. Additionally, the New Media branch supports the national and state offices with digital outreach.