Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and various other networking and blogging platforms have become valuable tools for communicating with the university’s many constituencies. For some audiences they are actually the preferred way to stay in touch with Drew, its schools, departments and programs. While the university supports this decentralized, informal approach to communications, it also recognizes the impact these sites can have, both positively and negatively, on the overall perception of the university. This policy sets forth the expectations of those who create social media accounts that represent the university.
Drew University will accord “official status” to social media accounts that meet the standards outlined in this policy and have administrators who accept the associated responsibilities. Official status includes the following benefits:
- Registered accounts will be listed on the university’s social media directory.
- Officially recognized Facebook accounts will be listed as “Favorite Pages” on facebook.com/drewuniversity, and Drew University will follow officially recognized Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts as they develop and receive official status.
To gain official status, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We will assist in providing profile pictures/logo, cover images and other guidelines as needed. Site will retain their official status provided they are being actively used and/or updated regularly. Sites that are dormant for more than six months will lose their status.
Social media users acting on behalf of the university must adhere to applicable Drew policies and procedures. Official Drew social media accounts are to be administered by internal members of the Drew community. At least two employees should be listed as administrators at all times to ensure the protection of this policy. Should a Drew employee administrator of an account leave the university for any reason, or no longer wishes to be an account administrator, it is that individual’s responsibility to designate another Drew employee to be an account administrator prior to removing himself or herself from that role. If there are not two employees available to serve as account administrators, a member of the Communications Department will serve in that capacity. If there are any problems identifying a new administrator, please contact the Communications Department. Drew employees identified as administrators of accounts are held responsible for managing and monitoring content of their officially recognized accounts. Administrators are responsible for removing content that may be in violation of university policies. The user name and password should be registered with the Communications Department to ensure the university retains the ability to access and edit the account in the event administrators leave Drew. Student and alumni organizations that wish to create social media accounts that will be officially recognized by the university must be registered through the Office of Student Activities or the Office of Alumni Relations. Unregistered student or alumni organizations are welcome to create social media accounts; however, they will not be officially recognized by Drew. Non-official users are not to use official Drew logos without consulting with the Communications department first. When using Drew logos, only the social media “D” or block DREW logo may be used in connection to your official Drew page. For the sake of consistency, please refer to the university as “Drew University,” “Drew” or “DrewU”, and refrain from other abbreviations.
Use good judgment about content: respect privacy laws, FERPA and Drew’s Human Rights Policy. Do not to include confidential information about the university, its staff, or its students. You may not post any content that is threatening, obscene, a violation of intellectual property rights or privacy laws, or otherwise injurious or illegal. Representation of your personal opinions as being endorsed by the university or any of its organizations is strictly prohibited. You may not use the Drew name to promote any opinion, product, cause, or political candidate. Be sure to include the statement: “this is my personal opinion and not necessarily that of the university” when necessary. While Drew does not regularly review content posted to social media sites, it shall have the right to remove any content for any reason, including but not limited to: use of curse words, content that it deems threatening, obscene, a violation of intellectual property rights or privacy laws, or otherwise injurious or illegal. When using or posting online material that includes direct or paraphrased quotes, thoughts, ideas, photos, or videos, always include citations and/or provide a link to the original material, if applicable. Refrain from using information and conducting activities that may violate local, state, or federal laws, and regulations.
Best Practices in Social Media
- Be authentic in your postings.
- Exercise common sense in any online activity realizing that anyone can access and view what you have posted.
- Evaluate the accuracy and truth of your posting before making it public.
- If you find out something you’ve posted is untrue after you post it, retract and correct it as quickly as possible.
- Avoid lengthy approval processes for comments.
- Respond to comments as quickly as possible.
- Respect the opinions and privacy of your students and colleagues.
- Avoid online confrontations and conflicts. Feel free to respectfully disagree with a position but please do not attack the person as it reflects poorly on both the individual and Drew.
- Encourage open conversation – listen to people and respond to as many comments as possible with constructive feedback. Allow negative comments (delete the spam) and respond if necessary rather than censor.
- Don’t start a social media effort unless you have the dedicated time and resources to maintain new content on a regular basis. New content on a weekly basis is suggested.
- Before starting a social media campaign, research other organizations on social media networks for ideas.