NC A&T Social Media Guidelines - North Carolina Agricultural and

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Office of University Relations
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.