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Social Media Policy – Members and Programmers Manual

Approved October 28 2013

This policy governs the publication of and commentary on social media by members, volunteers and programmers of University of Guelph Radio / Radio Gryphon and its related companies (“CFRU”). For the purposes of this policy, social media means any facility for online publication and commentary, including without limitation to; blogs, wiki’s, social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube (or other sites associated with CFRU) and the CFRU Website. This policy is in addition to and complements any existing or future policies regarding the use of technology, computers, e-mail and the internet for staff and board of directors under the CFRU By-laws and additional broadcast requirements.

The CFRU values the benefits of social media to build meaningful relationships with its members, station volunteers, partners, stakeholders and the general public. It encourages members and programmers to actively participate in social media and to use it for the general benefit of the CFRU.

Only CFRU members and programmers are free to publish or comment via social media under the CFRU’s established sites in accordance with this policy. CFRU Staff and Board of Directors members shall follow the policy Entitled “CFRU 93.3 FM Online Communications Policy – Staff and Board of Directors Manual” outlines these types of social media interaction on CFRU designated accounts.

Publication and commentary on social media carries similar obligations to any other kind of broadcasting publication or commentary. Use your best judgment and be sure to make it clear that the views and opinions expressed are yours alone and do not represent the official views of CFRU when you are posting from personal accounts.

Social media accounts
No members are allowed to appear to represent CFRU without explicit written permission in advance. When in doubt upon posting information on-line, ask for assistance from the station. Un-approved accounts or individuals violating this agreement may be asked to delete the account, and/or face further discipline from CFRU.

Respect your audience, the association, and your coworkers
All uses of social media must follow the same ethical standards that CFRU employees and Board of Directors must otherwise follow.

The public in general, and CFRU’s employees, Board of Directors (and its members), reflect a diverse set of customs, values and points of view. Do not say anything that contradicts CFRU’s official policies and procedures. This includes not only the obvious (no ethnic slurs, offensive comments, defamatory comments, personal insults, obscenity, etc.) but also proper consideration of privacy and of topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory.  Discussion of controversial topics may be completed, as long as the content and manner completed follows the stations broadcasting guidelines and mandate under CRTC Regulations.

Respect of the CFRU code of conduct and by-laws is mandatory. In addition, the following guidelines must be followed when using social media as a CFRU member or programmer:

  1. When posting on the CFRU’s social media sites, a consistent voice must maintained – one that complies with CFRU’s ethical standards and by-laws, and represents the campus and community radio sector’s unique and diverse character.
  2. All social media activity must be respectful of all individuals and communities with whom the CFRU interacts on social media platforms.
  3. All social media activity must be polite and respectful of other people’s opinions, even in times of online debate.
  4. All social media activity must not disclose other people’s personal information within social media platforms without their explicit permission.
  5. All social media activity must not disclose confidential CFRU information, for example financial details, business plans, imminent departure of key people, etc.
  6. All social media users must not post material that is obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, discriminatory or hateful to another person or entity, including CFRU, its employees, volunteers, competitors and/or other business related individuals or organizations.
  7. Professionalism and quality control must be maintained in the CFRU’s online communications platform.  This includes ensuring the use of proper grammar, syntax, and style in every social media post and on the website.
  8. All online content posters users must be mindful of the importance of not damaging the CFRU’s reputation and/or bringing the CFRU into disrepute.
  9. All social media users deemed to have breached the guidelines above may face disciplinary action, subject to the discretion of the Board of Directors under the By-laws and Collective Agreement.

Privacy& copyright laws
It is not okay to publish confidential information. Confidential information includes things such as unpublished details about our organization, details of current projects, future unreleased events or plans, financial information, research, personal membership information and club secrets.  It is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use or fair dealing of copyrighted material owned by others, including CFRU’s own copyrights and brands. You should never quote more than short excerpts of someone else’s work, and always attribute such work to the original author/source.  It is good general practice to link to others’ work rather than reproduce it.  Any pictures must respect the ownership and broadcast copyright policy.  As such, no people’s images, brands or logo’s must be displayed without written consent.  Any photographs pertaining to programmers, volunteers or members must be given permission to post for public viewing and must not identify the individual.  Pictures or updated shall not disclose personal information.  It is not ok to use CFRU as a place for business, or personal gain (i.e. spamming its members). When material is posted on CFRU associated media sources that does not follow CFRU’s Social Media Policy, that material may be removed and the individual informed with the reason why it was removed.

Each individual is responsible to:
•              Read and ensure understanding of the Social Media Policy.
•              Consult with other staff, programmers, members and Board of Directors about the application of the Social Media Policies.
•              Report any issues to the appropriate personnel

Protect CFRU members, business partners and volunteers
Members, partners or volunteers should not be cited or obviously referenced without their approval. Never identify an individual, partner or supplier by name without permission and never discuss confidential details of a customer engagement. It is acceptable to discuss general details about kinds of projects and to use non-identifying pseudonyms for a customer (e.g., “Radio station goes green”) so long as the information provided does not violate any privacy agreements that may be in place with the member.  CFRU social media is not the place to “conduct business” with a potential business partner.

Controversial issues
If you see misrepresentations made about CFRU in the media, you may point that out and report any incidents to the Staff or Station Manager.  Spirited debates are appreciated and encouraged under our mandate; however any comments that contradict this and other CFRU policy/bylaw must be addressed immediately.  As a result, a statement similar to “Thank you to all involved in this discussion, it is great to see spirited free-speech on this platform, however we ask that you be mindful of our Social Media policy, available here ( when posting on CFRU on-line accounts” is encouraged to be posted if members feel uncomfortable with controversial discussions.

Be the first to respond to your own mistakes
If you make an error, be up front about your mistake and correct it quickly. If you choose to modify an earlier post, make it clear that you have done so. If someone accuses you of posting something improper (such as their copyrighted material or a defamatory comment about them), deal with it quickly.

Think about consequences
For example, consider what might happen if a programmers is in a meeting with a partner or prospect, and someone on the partners’ side pulls out a print-out of your blog and says “This person at CFRU says that product sucks.”
Saying “Product X needs to have an easier learning curve for the first-time user” is fine; saying “Product X sucks” is risky, unsubtle and amateurish.
Once again, it’s all about judgement: using your communication to trash or embarrass CFRU, our members, or associates/affiliations, is dangerous and ill-advised.

Policy changes and availability
Changes to this policy may be made by approval by the Board of Directors, under its Policy Committee or the Boards of Director’s policy plans or as outlined in the Collective Agreement, Station Mangers Contract or By-laws (as applicable).  This and the stations Online Communication Policy (for Staff and Board of Directors Members) must be made available to the public via the website and maintained by the CFRU; as outlined in the Collective Agreement, Station Mangers Contract or By-laws (as applicable).

Policy violations will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination for cause under additional and related CFRU policy, bylaw, collective agreement and contracts. Social media is designed to be fun, interactive and show the best of CFRU and its membership.  It is not the intent of CFRU to police its social media accounts, so please, stay positive, humble and professional when utilizing the stations assets.

Social media tips
The following tips are not required or mandatory under the CFRU social media policy, but will contribute to successful use of social media by the organization.  Note these will change over time and are again only a guideline.

Recommendations to effectively promote across multiple social media platforms.

  1. Include links and handles in e-mail signatures;
  2. From time to time, mention additional platforms the show or station may be using (i.e “check out the twitter page for more frequent updates”);
  3. Ask for help from others to promote the show or station, for advice on topics of discussion and to contribute directly on-air;
  4. Give permission to let others share your content.

Recommendations to increase effectiveness of communication on Facebook.

  1. Post in groups or on the wall of those with similar interests to the show.
  2. Keep content fresh and new, update material two to three times a week (but not more than twice a day);
  3. Use multimedia, such as photos and video, as it increases interaction on a post by upwards of 50 percent;
  4. Always include links in posts (if possible) to external material;
  5. Use humour (when appropriate), as it created entertainment value and enhances recollection.

Recommendations to increase effectiveness of communication on Twitter.

  1. When a post asks a question, it invokes a response which creates discussion;
  2. A carefully designed background for Twitter page that looks professional and represents the show or station creates consistency in branding;
  3. Using #hashtags and providing links generate action by the reader to explore more in detail;
  4. Commenting on other posts or retweeting increases exposure, not only by those who the content is passed on to, but it also can make the original poster of the message aware that you actively engaged with them;
  5. By using a story in a post, it provides interest, education and a reason to come back to the platform;
  6. Using the “element of surprise” can grab interest from a reader, but the use of “shock” content could turn people away from an account.

Recommendations to increase effectiveness of communication on blogs.

  1. Be cautious of comments left; deletion or failure to respond can alienate or start conflict on a blog;
  2. Be generous in praise and attribution, as typically the post will be archived for others to view;
  3. Using a list to generate discussion works well;
  4. Stay away from profanity, as it alienates audiences and is unprofessional;
  5. Keep the title of a post short and easy to remember so reference can be made back to that post.

Recommended process to implement a new social media platform.

  1. Get intelligence (decide if social media is the correct method to meet the goals of the users).
  2. Clarify objectives (the social media efforts should serve the station/programmers mission and strategic plan);
  3. Design strategies (Identify who to get involved, what training is needed, where are opportunities to get off to a good star, how to track progress?, and how can to communicate success);
  4. Implement the plan (while providing support and resources to those who ask for it);
  5. Measure outcomes (including if the initial plan is in place, if social media is helping to achieve goals, fi changes to be made);
  6. Leverage learning (which allows everyone to pause, reflect, learn and reapply efforts to move forward).

It is encouraged that one programmer or volunteer within a specific show or group take on the role of “Social Media Officer” within the organization to reduce confusion.

Drafted by Barry Rooke Board of Directors Chair March 2013
Reviewed by Heather Jarvis Outreach Coordinator April 2013
Sent to Board of Directors for Approval September 2013
Revised by: Barry Rooke Station Manager October 1 2013
Approved by: Board of Directors October 28 2013

Board of Directors and Staff Social Media Policy Here: (Does not apply to members, volunteers or programmers)