Institutional Social Media Accounts Policy

This Policy is to assist Pratt Community College offices in creating and managing their official PCC social media accounts.

Social media are defined as media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media include, but are not limited to, blogs, podcasts, discussion forums, RSS feeds, video sharing (e.g., YouTube), microblogging sites (e.g., Twitter), and social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc).

An official social media account is an account that was created for the purpose of officially representing and/or promoting the College's brand, departments, programs, and activities that is maintained by current employees--faculty, staff, and student workers--who message on official college social media accounts as part of their assigned work duties.

A directory of official social media accounts will be maintained by the Office of Marketing & Communications. Official social media accounts are required to be requested first through the Director of Marketing Communications.

The Office of Marketing & Communications will support all faculty and staff in obtaining official social media accounts and gaining the necessary skills to maintain them (see social media handbook).

All social media accounts and the content therein, belong to the College, not the departments, individual(s) serving as the administrator(s), or the individual(s) posting materials and messages.

Each official social media Facebook account must be created by the Office of Marketing & Communications and rights to users and editors to the page will also be given as needed.

In order to be in compliance with various laws, the following content restrictions apply to official accounts representing PCC:

  1. Confidential Information
    1. No one shall post confidential information about PCC students, employees, or alumni without written consent. When posting materials, applicable federal requirements such as FERPA and HIPPA, as well as NJCAA regulations, and all applicable College confidentiality policies, must be followed at all times.
  2. Copyright and Fair Use
    1. When posting non-original materials, everyone must be mindful of the copyright and intellectual property rights of the original materials. Copyright law must be followed. For further clarification of copyright and fair use law please see Administrative Policy 200-32, Policy of Copyright and Fair Use Laws.
  3. Appropriate Content
    1. The College's official social media accounts are not to be regarded as a public forum. No one shall post inappropriate content, including but not limited to, threatening, obscene, profane, pornographic, and/or libelous messages, and messages with personal attacks.
  4. Posting of Crowdfunding
    1. Any posts related to crowdfunding must directly benefit a PCC department or program and be approved by the appropriate administrative authority and/or supervisor.
  5. Removal of Content
    1. PCC reserves the right to remove any content that violates this policy.
  6. Use of the PCC Logos and Wordmarks.
    1. Only official accounts may use PCC marks. Any PCC logos or wordmarks used by departments or programs as an avatar for a social media account must be approved and unmodified, as directed by the PCC Logo and Styleguide which can be found in the Office of Marketing & Communications. Contact the Social Media Coordinator to procure a digital version of the appropriate logo or wordmark.
  7. Education
    1. The College is committed to educating faculty and staff on social media policies, best practices, and industry trends. Social media training will be available on a one-on-one basis as requested.
  8. Consequences of Policy Violations
    1. Messaging on official social media accounts is considered official representation of the College and is therefore subject to the Codes of Ethics and Conduct set forth in Faculty, Staff, and Student Handbooks. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action, subject to normal College procedures as described in the appropriate student, faculty or employee handbooks and other documents.

Social Media Support and Education
In order to assist faculty and staff with feeling comfortable in the world of social media, while maintaining an appropriate presence online, the following support methods will be utilized:

  1. Implementing a social media policy. The policy will provide basic guidelines for social media usage in the College's name, including the following:
    1. Definition of official social media accounts;
    2. Information regarding the social media directory and how to be included in the directory;
    3. Appropriate content for social media use;
    4. Relationship to the employee handbooks and Student Conduct Code; and
    5. Consequences of policy violations.
  2. Creating a social media handbook. A digital social media handbook will be created for use by faculty and staff and will be maintained in the Office of Marketing Communications. This process will begin with a Facebook handbook and expand to other social media platforms as their popularity rises. These handbooks will be updated regularly and will cover topics such as:
    1. Getting started (e.g., how to create a Facebook page from scratch);
    2. Roles of administrators;
    3. Content best practices (This is different from the 'Appropriate Contents’ section of the policy; it will relate more to how to post interesting and engaging content, rather than how to post content that is legally appropriate);
    4. Engagement and how to measure it; and
    5. Advanced techniques like contests, promotions, and ads.

X This is a new policy.

Policy Number: 

200-51

Policy Type: 

Administrative Policy

Adoption Date: 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Review Date: 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Revision Date: 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021