Internet Communications Guidelines

Introduction

The purpose of these guidelines is to help Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) part-time and full-time employees and students understand how CPCC policies apply to new communications technologies such as blogs and social networking sites, and to guide employees and students in using social media platforms. The guidelines apply to Internet communication that references CPCC, information that CPCC publishes on hosted websites, and related CPCC sites such as those on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and others. Any questions about these guidelines should be directed to Community Relations & Marketing Services (CRMS) at 704.330.6666 or socialmedia@cpcc.edu.

SECTION 1: GUIDING PRINCIPLES

If CPCC employees or students choose to create and maintain a presence in social media, they should do so in ways that are both professional and technically secure. This is best accomplished by following the College’s guidelines and policies and by understanding and following the Internet tools’ privacy and usage policies. College units and departments are responsible for ensuring that content posted by, or on behalf of, any unit or department adheres to all CPCC policies and to all appropriate federal and state laws. To that end, units and departments should periodically review the guidelines for social media established by CRMS and should consult with CRMS if there are questions about implementation. The following guiding principles should be considered whether utilizing personal sites or posting to college sites.

Protect confidential and proprietary information:

Do not post confidential or proprietary information about the College, its students, its employees, or its alumni. Employees must still follow all applicable federal privacy requirements including FERPA and HIPAA, and adhere to all applicable College privacy and confidentiality policies. Employees and/or students who share confidential information do so at the risk of disciplinary action and personal liability.

Do not use CPCC logos for endorsements:

Do not use the CPCC logo or any other College images or iconography on personal social media sites or any sites not approved through the Section Three requirements below.

Respect College time and property:

College computers and time on the job are reserved for College-related business in accordance with 6.20 Use of CPCC Information Technologies.

Terms of service:

Read, understand and abide by the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service of any social media platform employed before its use. Acceptance of terms in conflict with College policies can result in personal liability.

SECTION 2: BEST PRACTICES

The following best practices should be considered by students and employees for personal and institutional use.

Strive for accuracy:

Get the facts straight before posting items online via social media or other online resources. Review content for grammatical and spelling errors. This is especially important if posting on behalf of the College in any capacity.

Be respectful:

Understand that content contributed to a social media or other website may encourage comments or discussion of opposing ideas. Responses should be considered carefully in light of how they would reflect on the poster and/or the College. All responses should be courteous and professional.

Remember your audience:

Be aware that a presence in the social media world is or easily can be made available to the public at large. This includes prospective students, current students, colleagues, peers and other stakeholders. Consider this before publishing to ensure the post will not alienate, harm or provoke any of these groups.

Be transparent:

On personal sites, identify your views as your own. If you identify yourself as a CPCC faculty or staff member online, it should be clear that the views expressed are not necessarily those of the College.

Photography:

Photographs and media posted on social media sites easily can be appropriated by visitors. Consider adding a watermark to protect your intellectual property. You may also use images at a size sufficient for viewing on the Web, but not suitable for printing.

SECTION 3: INSTITUTIONAL SOCIAL MEDIA

If you post on behalf of any official College entity (i.e., department, unit, class, group, etc.), the following guidelines must be adhered to in addition to all policies and best practices listed above:

Register your site with CRMS:

Divisions that have a social media presence or would like to start one should contact their account coordinator in CRMS. If you are unsure who to contact or do not have an account coordinator, contact CRMS at 704.330.6666 or socialmedia@cpcc.edu. CRMS seeks to ensure all college social media coordinate with other CPCC sites and their content. CRMS and the College’s Internet Communications Team reserve the right to decline a request for a unique page/site. In those cases, the department or program will have the opportunity to post information on the College’s main information site(s).

Have a plan:

Departments should consider their messages, audiences and goals, as well as a strategy for keeping information on social media sites up-to-date. Your account coordinator in CRMS can assist and advise you with your social media planning.

Set up site administrators:

All institutional pages must identify an existing full-time employee who is appointed to be responsible for content. In addition, all sites must have CRMS identified as an administrator, with full access to the site, wherever possible. CRMS will not utilize this access unless something inappropriate needs to be removed, and should not be considered a substitute for regular unit/department review and oversight.

Complete CPCC’s Social Media Training:

All site administrators will be required to complete “Social Media Administration” training, available online through LearnerWeb.

Brand your site appropriately:

Institutional social media sites should include the College logo and other appropriate branding, as identified in the College style guides.

Link to other College sites:

Institutional social media sites should link to other institutional sites wherever possible, including the College website and other social media outlets (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, etc.).

Keep the site current:

All institutional sites should be monitored daily and updated at least weekly. Any site that remains dormant for more than four weeks will be taken down.

Acknowledge who you are:

If you are representing CPCC when posting on a social media platform, acknowledge this.

Inform your supervisor:

If you are not the designated site administrator and intend to post comments regularly as a contributor, you must inform your supervisor so that he/she understands and approves of your goals and tactics for use on behalf of CPCC.


 


 

NEW SITES

Want to create a new college presence on a social media site? For more information about the requirements and processes for creating a new social media presence, please click here.