Guidelines for Blogs and Social Media
Gallaudet University supports and encourages the use of blogs and social media by university departments/programs. However, social media and blogs should not be the primary mechanism for sharing information; these venues should not supersede the website. Any information that is shared in a blog or on social media should also be on the department’s website. All blogs and social media should ultimately direct traffic to the website as the official source of information. Blogs and social media sites should never be used in place of an official website.
The University External Relations Policy should be followed when establishing a blog or communicating via social media sites.
What is an official Gallaudet social media/blog site?
- Includes the official Gallaudet logo
- Links to other official Gallaudet social media sites
- Links to the Gallaudet website
- Is approved by the Office of Communications and Public Relations
Official social media sites and blogs should:
- Have a specific purpose and target audience
- Be treated more professionally than typical personal accounts. Content should be reliable, factual and updated.
- Be updated regularly
- Be monitored and comments reviewed for appropriateness
- Questions about Gallaudet programs and services should be replied to in a timely manner
- Follow appropriate standards of civility. Comments that are obscene, fraudulent, defamatory, or threatening should be removed immediately and referred to the Department of Public Safety if necessary.
- Not be used for commercial or political activities or in any way that violates federal, state, or local laws or university policy.
Establishing a new social media site or blog
- Identify the purpose and target audience for your site
- Identify the primary contact person who will be responsible for posting information and monitoring comments
- Contact the Office of Communications and Public Relations to:
- Register your site
- Get the official Gallaudet logo or co-branded department logo
- Get assistance or advice on images, content and best practices
- Add Communications and Public Relations as an administrator to your site
- Review other official Gallaudet social media sites and add links and connections to those sites as appropriate.
- Identify yourself – use your name, make it personal (ex. U.S. President Barack Obama has a Twitter account and many messages are sent from his staff, however, when the president sends a message himself, he signs it “-BO”)
- Keep it legal – make sure the facts are correct and that you aren’t sharing copyrighted text or photos.
- Be professional
- Be positive – be honest with the facts and opinions (be sure to clarify the difference) but do so in a manner that is not negative and off-putting.
- Be engaged – monitor your site, respond to comments and questions. Be informed about the issues being raised on your site.
- Nothing is private – think before you post! Once it’s posted, assume that it lives on in cyberspace regardless of whether you delete it or not.