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Human Resources
Office: (417) 873-7434
Fax: (417) 873-6987
hr@drury.edu

Staff Policy Handbook

Part VIII: Social Media Best Practices

820Social Media Best Practices Policy – Added 4-12-11

Social media are influential communication vehicles that have a considerable impact on institutional and professional reputations.  Drury University recognizes that the open nature of social media, which is often used for both professional and personal purposes, can blur the line between a personal voice and an organization’s voice.  To help employees and students navigate through this ambiguity, the University has crafted the following guidelines for professional and personal use of social media to help clarify how best to enhance and protect personal, professional, and institutional reputations.  These guidelines apply to university faculty, staff, and students.

Social media are defined as communication tools designed to spread information through social interaction.  Examples include, but are not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Wikipedia, FourSquare, blogs, MySpace and even those who comment online to stories in the news media.  Social media participants should read, understand, and obey the terms of service of any social media platform employed.

Drury employees and students should follow the same behavioral standards online as they would in real life.  The same laws, professional expectations, and institutional policies and guidelines for interacting with students, parents, alumni, donors, media, prospective students, employees, and other University constituents apply in cyberspace the same way they would apply in the real world.   These guidelines were meant to supplement – not replace – the University’s other policies.  Individuals are responsible and liable for anything they post to social media sites.  Any conduct that would be grounds for disciplinary action if performed at work or in an academic setting will be grounds for disciplinary action if performed using social media.

Be mindful of and act in accordance with the copyright and intellectual property rights of others and of the university.  All policies, procedures, and guidelines regarding Drury University trademarks, logos, names, and symbols apply to social networking sites.  The University does not permit explicit or implied institutional endorsements of any product, cause, or political party or candidate through the use of its name, trademarks, logos, or images.  Do not use the Drury logo, athletic logo or any other Drury marks or images on your personal online site. 

General guidelines and guidelines if you post on behalf of Drury:

* If you have been authorized by your supervisor to create an official social media site for Drury, please contact the Drury Office of Marketing and Communication to register your social media site and to obtain approval to use an official Drury logo and to coordinate with the other Drury sites and content.  Confidential or proprietary University information should not be shared publicly on social media channels.

* Drury University does not pre-screen posted content, but does have the right to remove, in its sole discretion any content that it considers to violate university policies.  The University does not endorse or take responsibility for content posted by third parties.

* Think twice and exercise discretion when posting content.  Post meaningful, respectful comments.  Don’t post spam, remarks that are off-topic or offensive, or content that could negatively impact Drury University’s reputation or interfere with its core mission.   Content that is illegal, obscene, defamatory, threatening, infringing of intellectual property rights, invasive of privacy, profane, libelous, threatening, harassing, abusive, hateful, disparaging, embarrassing, or otherwise injurious or objectionable to any person or entity is unacceptable and will be removed.  Your reputation and Drury’s reputation are best served when you remain above reproach.

* Just as you have a duty to report harassment or other inappropriate workplace conduct, you also have a duty to report any conduct that violates the rules set forth in these guidelines.

* Please reply to posts in a timely manner.

* Be transparent and state that you work at Drury.  If you are writing about Drury, use your real name, identify that you work for Drury, and be clear about your role.  If you have a vested interest in what you are discussing, be the first to say so.

* Think before you post.  Will your response stimulate positive discussion and provide useful information?  If you have any questions about whether it’s appropriate to post or write about certain kinds of material, ask your supervisor or contact the Office of Marketing and Communications.

* Uphold the university’s mission and remember that you represent an educational institution, so please check spelling, grammar and style.

Personal site guidelines:

* In personal posts, you may identify yourself as a Drury staff or faculty member, but please make it clear that you are sharing personal views, not representing Drury.  It is a common practice to include a statement, usually in the “About me” section of a blog or Facebook page, that says, “The views expressed on this [blog, website, etc.] are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Drury University.”

* Even with that disclaimer, if you identify yourself as an employee at Drury your comments will be associated with the University.  Please use discretion when posting content and remember that you can be perceived as a spokesperson of the University.

* Be respectful of other people’s opinions.

* Never pretend to be someone else when you post anything about Drury.

* Be mindful of the legal implications of what you post personally.  You may be held personally liable, by any offended party, for what you post on your own site and the site of others.  Drury University does not monitor personal websites but will, when made aware, address issues that violate established university policies. You are solely responsible for material you post on a personal site.

* Be smart about protecting yourself, your privacy, and Drury’s confidential information.  What you publish is widely accessible and will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully.  Google has a long memory.

* Use of social media should not interfere with work commitments.

NOTE: Please refer media inquiries, via social or traditional media, to the Associate Director of Marketing and Communications or to the Executive Director of Marketing and Communications.

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