Social Media Policy
Social Media Guidelines for Faculty, Staff, and Student Representatives
Bossier Parish Community College’s social media policies administer individuals on campus with information about rules, laws, and guidelines for the use of social networking as it relates to BPCC. These policies apply to faculty and staff, including student workers, who employ online communication strategies for BPCC-related purposes. These policies also apply to students who publicly share information regarding Bossier Parish Community College events, classes, clubs and organizations.
These guidelines will help ensure social media content remains professional, clear, and relevant. Account holders are expected to adhere to these policies to ensure the effectiveness of content shared across social media platforms and promote the college’s social media marketing goals which include:
- Connecting with our community, students, faculty, staff, and alumni;
- Using digitally driven strategies to positively influence the College’s brand image; and
- Increasing user enrollment and engagement both online and on campus.
Social Media Defined
Social media is a means of communication through web-based and mobile technologies to reach or influence widespread audiences. The blending of technology and social interaction opens an additional channel of communication between Bossier Parish Community College and its several audiences. Social networking platforms are web-based applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, etc. For the purposes of this policy, the Public Relations Office considers social media networks to be any digital channel with which users are publicly sharing or broadcasting information about BPCC, its divisions, departments, programs, faculty, or staff.
Your responsibilities representing Bossier Parish Community College
Before you begin a social media feed on behalf of your department or organization, please remember the following:
- By accepting the responsibility of maintaining an official social media presence, you acknowledge acceptance of these official policies for Bossier Parish Community College regarding social media pages;
- While you are speaking on behalf of your department, you are not speaking on behalf of the College as a whole;
- You are accepting any liabilities for your comments, notably adhering to state and federal guidelines.
Advertising or endorsement of external vendors or businesses is prohibited on any Bossier Parish Community College social media platform. Usage of BPCC’s official trademarks, logos, and colors must comply with the Bossier Parish Community College Visual Identity Guide.
Release of information deemed official by the university is also subject to oversight by the Office of Public Relations. It is not permissible to release official College news without the prior approval of Public Relations.
All state of Louisiana rules regarding purchasing, contract confidentiality, proprietary information, and open records regulations apply, as well as federal guidelines regarding student records (FERPA) and personnel information (HIPPA). No political statements or endorsements are allowed on official Bossier Parish Community College social media.
Because you are utilizing state of Louisiana property, state of Louisiana computer networks and/or state work time, your activities will be subject to any state Freedom of Information Act requests. Employees of Bossier Parish Community College who violate these policies, or other university privacy and confidentiality policies do so at the risk of disciplinary action.
Social media representing College divisions must be updated regularly with content that meets the quality standards of the College. Administrators of pages must monitor their own pages and be prepared to respond rapidly to any problems that may occur. The security of passwords and the integrity of the social media page is the primary responsibility of the administrators of the page.
Updating the page with engaging and interesting content is the responsibility of the social media administrator. Please make every effort to create a steady stream of information to your community. A stale page is more damaging to the reputation of the College than having no page at all.
Social media pages should not be created to use as a means of internal communication but rather as a method of connecting with the public and promoting your division.
Students will not be authorized to create public groups, pages, profiles, or sites of any kind that represent BPCC, its student body, its academic programs, or its athletic teams. Groups, pages, profiles, or sites created must have a faculty or staff administrator to oversee the content. That faculty or staff administrator will be responsible for adhering to the guidelines in this policy.
If you have any question regarding copyright or other issues surrounding the agreements with social media services, please contact the Office of Public Relations.
Finally, as a de facto representative of Bossier Parish Community College, inappropriate language, ethnic slurs, personal insults, or conduct deemed unprofessional will not be tolerated. While social media encourages a casual voice, please take care with spelling and language. As a rule of thumb, do not act in a manner that would be unacceptable in the halls of your department.
Social Media administrators are required to maintain a consistent partnership with The Office of Public Relations. The Office of Public Relations must be given administrative access to every social media page, group, profile, or site created to act only as secondary contacts and ensure consistency in style and efficiency of strategy across the college. Participants must uphold all applicable College policies for property, privacy, and civility outlined in the “Rights, Duties, and Responsibilities of the Academic Staff.”
The Public Relations Office
This policy will be administered and enforced by the Office of Public Relations. Public Relations personnel will monitor content across the web and on social media platforms and reserve the right to remove or report posts that violate this policy. The Public Relations Office is responsible for building and maintaining the Bossier Parish Community College brand and conveying it to the necessary target audiences to promote strength and academic excellence. The Public Relations Office implements all communications strategies for the College which include but are not limited to:
- marketing and advertising efforts
- media relations between the College and external sources
- creative services for the College divisions, departments, programs, and services including graphic design, promotional strategy, creative direction, photography, and videography
- radio and TV advertising
- scheduling for College Speakers’ Bureau engagements
- website copy and creative design
In order for the Public Relations Office to accomplish the College’s communication efforts, the Office has established this Social Media Guide as a reference source to assist everyone in maintaining a high-quality brand image and consistent messaging for BPCC when engaging in all digital platforms. All divisions, departments, programs, and services should adhere to the standards in this Guide.
Any exceptions to the Social Media Guide are discouraged. Questions or permissions for exclusion from any part of this policy may be directed to and obtained from the Public Relations Office at 318-678-6031.
Ensuring safe and appropriate content
Content posted on official university social media is subject to the approval of the Bossier Parish Community College’s Office of Public Relations, and content created by non-university groups may be considered for use on official feeds if it meets the College’s quality standards.
Content should not be posted unless it offers further support of the college’s mission. Only share information that is appropriate for the public and clearly suitable for all ages. Content should be posted with the understanding that once the information is published it is difficult to remove. If deleted or modified, older versions may continue to exist online. The College must have written permission from a student in order to publicize any personal information. The Model Release form has been attached to this policy for your convenience.
Content posted should be original (created specifically for your page) or shared from a reputable source. Any time you share someone else’s content on your page you must credit your source by sharing a link to the original content or tagging that account in your post. On Facebook or Twitter, if you share a post directly you do not have to reference the source as their page name will automatically be shown. Images and graphics found on the internet through an image search or taken from another website SHOULD NOT be shared on any page, as it is very difficult to verify the original source of the content. Sharing someone else’s graphics or images to promote your page without crediting the original source is known as COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. The Office of Public Relations has the ability to brand your message appropriately and is available to assist with your graphic design and photography needs.
Content shared should be clear and legible. Please see the attached Social Media Image Size Guide attached to help you find the appropriate sized content to share on each platform.
In order to avoid discrepancies and confusion, social media platforms should not be used to post detailed policy or procedural information, e.g., program admission criteria. Instead, users should be directed to the official BPCC website or publications for such information.
Held to a higher standard
While sharing copyrighted material for use on personal social media pages may be accepted by the general public, the College must uphold intellectual property rights. If you do not have the proper permissions to post or use copyrighted material including graphics, photography, audio or video files, link to the official file sources. If you cannot find the official source, do not share the material. Instead, use BPCC branded photos, graphics, or audio/video files. You may contact the Office of Public Relations with your photography, videography, or graphic design needs.
In an emergency or crisis situation
Do not post information or updates to your feed without approval from the office of public relations. Should an event be occurring on campus, refer followers to the CAVSalert system; the College’s main web site, and BPCC’s official social media feeds. NEVER SPECULATE or report unconfirmed information during a crisis. If you see another page posting inaccurate or speculated information, please contact the Office of Public Relations with screen captures of the incident.