North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Office of University Relations GUIDELINES FOR USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA The Office of University Relations at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is instrumental in enhancing the University’s image by promoting relevant, up-to-date information about its programs, research, services and accomplishments. In doing so, we understand that the university web presence is a key communications medium in exposing the achievements of our students, faculty, staff and alumni. The Guidelines for Use of Social Media was developed to aid our internal stakeholders (faculty, staff and students) in navigating through social media sites utilized by the University that include, but may not be limited to, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. While we are all witnessing the rapid growth of social media sites, we recognize the incredible power they yield as a platform for engagement and encourage others to utilize them in the most effective way. These guidelines have been adapted to support the enduser with appropriate suggestions for the use of social media and the recommendations needed to avoid potential harm. In general, North Carolina A&T State University reserves the right to remove from social media platforms any comments that are deemed discriminatory against protected classes (such as, racist or sexist comments), abusive, profane, violent, obscene, spam, that advocate illegal activity, contain falsehoods or are wildly off-topic, duplicative, or that libel, incite, threaten or make ad hominem attacks on students, employees, guests or other individuals. We are also cautious about comments that are personal attacks against public figures and particularly against members of the N.C. A&T community. We also do not permit messages selling products or promoting commercial, political or other ventures unless we deem them related to the university, its members or its operation. Things To Consider Before Becoming a Part Of a Social Network We encourage our constituent audiences to become fans and followers, and to post, comment and interact with others, and expect that remarks will be ontopic and respectful of the rights and opinions of others. While social media is one of the best ways to relay information to others in a quick and concise manner, keep in mind that the official N.C. A&T sites are a part of a larger communication strategy and information posted, shared or uploaded should be for public display and transparent. Below are ways North Carolina A&T State University can avoid issues. GENERAL GUIDELINES The Official University Social Media Accounts The official university social media accounts appear on the homepage and are managed by The Office of University Relations. Departments and/or Division accounts should have the name of the division/department followed by @ncatsu. (ex: [email protected]). Professional Use of Social Media versus Personal Use of Social Media: As social media users, it is important to consider whether you are using social media channels for professional activities such as advancing university programs, activities, events and promoting your professional identity (student, faculty, staff) versus using these sites to maintain contact with friends and family. We must be cognizant that the legal and ethical responsibilities we have as representatives of the N.C. A&T brand do not cease when we leave the university nor are they confined to the physical setting of an office or classroom on campus. Our ethical obligations extend to the virtual world of the Internet and include the use of social media communication tools whether we use them professionally or personally. Always ensure that you are careful to distinguish professional from personal business. Pay close attention to the content of your posts and who your audience will be. Remember, there is no such thing as a “private” social media site. With technological advances, date shared on the Internet is stored forever, even after it has been deleted. To that end, official university social media channels should not be used for personal use or be linked to personal accounts. Maintain Privacy & Confidentiality Refrain from using individuals’ names or pictures on social media channels without their permission. Do not post anything that would be inappropriate in a public setting. Do not post confidential, proprietary or protected information about students, faculty or staff of N.C. A&T State University. Make good judgments about what information is appropriate to post, and what is not. Use good ethical judgment. All federal guidelines such as FERPA, HIPAA and university policies must be observed on N.C. A&T’s website and its official or department-sponsored social media channels. Emergency or Crisis Communication Emergency and crisis communication is the purview of The Office of University Relations and the following applies to the use of social media: The @ncatsu Twitter feed is the official social channel for deploying messages about emergencies or crises. In the case of an emergency or crisis, managers of other N.C.A&T social channels should only post a verbatim copy of what is posted by @ncatsu. Reposts of emergency or crisis information should include this statement, “The official source for emergency and crisis communication and updates is @ncatsu.” Be a Valued Member N.C. A&T is committed to academic freedom. With this freedom comes responsibility. We encourage you to express your opinions in a way that contributes to the discussion and is beneficial to the overall growth and advancement of this University and its members. The University relies on students, employees and supporters to take personal responsibility and help us in sharing our story in the most respected and uplifting manner, by posting positive content. To learn more about the fascinating facts about the University, check out the latest Points of Pride at (insert pdf link here). Respect the University’s Time & Property It is appropriate to post on social networking channels during work hours when posts are related to your role at the university. However, personal social networking time should take place after work hours. Correct Mistakes Make sure that all content posted on social networks are free of spelling and grammar mistakes, following the formats of North Carolina A&T images, colors and other specifics of the University (refer to the University Style Manual). If you identify any errors or mistakes, notify the Office of University Relations immediately. Protect Yourself Make sure that you are protecting your identity on social networking. Do not disclose any personal data regarding your location, or any other personal information that could be misused by scam artists and identity thieves. As a valued member of the University social media community, your personal safety is important to the University. GUIDELINES WHILE POSTING ON BEHALF OF THE UNIVERSITY Approval Before posting any information regarding the University, make sure that the information is approved by the designated departmental staff or the Office of University Relations. Members of the N.C.A&T community who manage social channels are not official spokespersons for the university. If you are unsure about whether or not a social media post will be mistakenly viewed as an official announcement from N.C.A&T, check first with the Office of University Relations. Be Timely Effective social networking is consistently giving and receiving information in a timely fashion. Be frequent in posting information, pictures and videos, however, be mindful that it is not necessary to overload your audience with information. Accuracy Make sure all content that will be posted on social networking sites is accurate, truthful and up to date. If in doubt, do not post. Content & Formatting As you share comments on University sponsored-social media channels, remember to remain brief. Visitors of social channels often have limited time and prefer information to be easy to read and visually attractive. If you upload photos and/or videos, we ask that they are recognizable and brief in length. Check out other social media sites to see images that are appealing. Logos, Trademark & Copyright Infringement Laws For information regarding the use of A&T logos and trademarks and copyright laws, visit the online A&T Style Manual (insert Style Manual link here). Violations & Negative Postings The accounts of violators of the university's policies and guidelines [original was awkward] will be requested to be closed by the university. We ask that users notify The Office of University Relations immediately of negative postings that have the potential to bring harm to the institution, its constituents and/or damage the university's image.