NWRI Social Media Best Practices

  •  BEST PRACTICES FOR GUIDING STAFF IN USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA


    The best practices and guidelines set forth below apply to any user who utilizes social media pages
    associated with the Northwest School District, its schools, departments, and/or programs.

    TYPES

    Social media is defined as any form of online publication or presence that allows end users to engage in
    multi-directional conversations in or around the content on the website. These may include, but are not
    limited to: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flikr, Tumblr, blogs, and wikis.

    BOARD POLICY

    Northwest School District Board of Education Policy 4650 defines expectations of Staff/Student Relations.

    Northwest School District Board of Education Policy 4842 defines Staff Welfare/Recording Prohibition. 

    Northwest School District Employee User Agreement Form 6350.  Please review all of these.

    APPROVAL

    All District-related social media accounts are subject to approval. To request a social media account, please contact Community Relations Coordinator at x21130.

    GUIDELINES

    All District-related social media accounts will need to abide by the following guidelines:

    • Communication by District staff on District-related social media sites must follow all expectations
      defined in Policy 4650 and 4842.
    • NOTE: Content will not be added, edited nor deleted on any District-related social media site
      unless it does not meet the qualifications of appropriate communication as outlined in Policy 4650 and 4842
      and/or in the Language/Behavior guidelines below.
    • Social media is not an appropriate forum to have direct, private communication between staff
      and students.


    LANGUAGE/BEHAVIOR

    The following are considered unacceptable when using social media websites:

    • Vulgar or profane language.
    • Obscene, defamatory, inaccurate, or hostile posts.
    • Offensive terms/phrases, or photographs that disrespect individuals or groups based on race,
      color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual
      orientation of person.
    • Threats of physical or bodily harm.
    • Posting of sensitive information; including that which could compromise public safety,
      intellectual property, etc.
    • Posting of photographs of oneself or others that can be reasonably interpreted as condoning the
      irresponsible use of alcohol, substance abuse, or sexual promiscuity.

     

    BEST PRACTICES

    BE TRANSPARENT.
    How you represent yourself online is an extension of yourself. Do not misrepresent yourself by using
    someone else’s identity or misrepresenting your identity. Be honest about who you are, where you work
    and what you do.


    BE RESPECTFUL.
    The Northwest School District is open to others voicing their opinions and contributing to relevant discussion
    through social media platforms. Users may complain or disagree with other posts. However, the nature
    of such content should at all times remain respectful. Any inappropriate, obscene, or defamatory posts
    will not be tolerated. Users who abuse this policy will be blocked.

    BE RELEVANT.

    We ask that posts remain relevant to the District and its community (students, parents, staff, alumni).
    Spam and other outside promotions will be removed. Members of the Northwest School District community
    may, and are encouraged to, promote information about campus activities or accomplishments.

    BE AWARE OF LIABILITY.

    Individuals are legally liable for their posts on their own sites and the sites of others. Bloggers have been
    held liable for their comments deemed to be proprietary, copyrighted, defamatory, libelous or obscene.

    ALWAYS A SCHOOL EMPLOYEE.

    The lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred in the digital world. Even
    when you have a disclaimer or use a different user name, you will always be considered to be a district
    employee. Whether it is clearly communicated or not, you will be identified as working for and
    sometimes representing the school in what you do and say online.

    BUILD COMMUNITY.

    Represent the district and the students and parents you serve in the best light. Respect the privacy and
    the feelings of others. Under no circumstance should offensive comments be made about students or
    colleagues (including administrators) nor the district in general. Negative comments about people may
    amount to cyberbullying and could be deemed a disciplinary offense. Your posts and comments should
    help build and support the school community. Do not comment on or forward unsupported information
    (i.e., rumors). You are responsible for what you post, be certain it is accurate and supports your
    organization. If you are about to publish something that makes you hesitate, wait a day, review the
    guidelines and talk to a colleague or supervisor. Once posted you can’t take it back.

    SHARE YOUR EXPERTISE.

    Write what you know and be accurate. Add value to the discussion. Post something useful. Provide
    worthwhile information and perspective. A district’s most valuable asset is its staff represented by its
    people and what you publish may reflect on the school. Speak in the first person with your own voice
    and perspective.

    DO NOT SHARE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.

    Online postings and conversations are not private. Do not share confidential information whether it is
    internal school discussions or specific information about students or other staff. What you post will be
    seen by others and will be online for a long time. It can be forwarded or shared in just a few clicks. Do not
    write about colleagues or students without their (or their parents’) permission.

    POST REGULARLY.

    Don’t post to your site and then not post for weeks. Readers won’t have a reason to follow you if they
    can’t expect new content regularly. Respond to other’s posts. Answer questions. Make it a two-way
    conversation.


    RESPONDING TO NEGATIVE COMMENTS AND CRITICISM.

    How you respond to a negative comments or criticism will say more about you and your character than
    what you post. If you delete a negative post, it discourages open communication. When publicly
    criticized or receiving a negative comment, first, stay cool and don’t reply in haste. Express your view in
    a clear, logical way. Don’t get personal and if you made a mistake, admit it and move ahead. It is not
    uncommon for a negative response to be answered by some other person who supports your view. When
    in doubt, it’s best to ignore a comment and not give it credibility by acknowledging it with a response
    publicly; perhaps a face-to-face meeting would be more appropriate.

    COPYRIGHT AND FAIR USE.

    Respect copyright and fair use guidelines. Share what others have said by linking to the source and using
    embedded content. Be sure to cite your source when quoting. When using a hyperlink confirm that link
    goes where it should and that the content is appropriate.