Social Media Guidelines

The following social media guidelines were developed to ensure all individuals who oversee official Bradley University social media accounts (also referred to as “university-affiliated social media accounts”) are equipped with the knowledge and resources to responsibly and effectively manage their account(s).

With more than 200 different university-affiliated social media accounts in addition to the primary accounts, it is vital to maintain consistent and accurate messaging across them all. To accomplish this objective, the university requires that all university-affiliated social media accounts — including those for colleges, departments, offices, schools, programs, etc. — adhere to the policies set forth in these guidelines, as well as any applicable policies of the university.

This policy ONLY applies to Bradley University students, faculty and staff who are authorized to speak on behalf of their college/department/unit through social media. This includes anyone managing or contributing to a social media channel on behalf of a school, academic department, office or other official entity at the university.

This policy DOES NOT pertain to student groups or to the personal use of social media by students, staff and faculty members. See guidelines on the personal use of social media for staff and faculty members or the social media guidelines for student organizations.

Confidentiality and Privacy

Do not post confidential or proprietary information about the university, its students, faculty, staff or alumni. Be careful not to violate any University, state or federal privacy laws/policies, including FERPA, HIPPA, and any NCAA regulations. Do your best to keep your audience from revealing private data on your channel as well.

Copyright

Do not post work by others without the proper permission, particularly copyrighted and/or trademarked work — including music, videos, photos, text, works of art and other forms of media. All permissions must be in writing, and the permission letter should include a short description of how the work will be used. In addition, make sure to appropriately credit material you have permission to post. Typically, photos taken by OMC photographers do not need to be credited.

The university regularly uses photography and videography of campus life, events, ceremonies and other activities in the course of its everyday business. The images do not violate the privacy of any individual or group. IMPORTANT NOTE: All university-produced video content must be closed captioned prior to being shared/posted for public consumption in accordance with the university’s Website and Digital Content Accessibility Policy found on OMC’s Policies page.

Best Practices

Bradley University has created a best practices document for the most popular social media platforms. Official University-affiliated channels should follow the best practices for each platform. In some cases, deviation from best practices is warranted, but failure to follow best practices to the detriment of the University may result in, but not be limited to, exclusion from official Bradley’s social media directory, lack of promotion from the flagship accounts, and possible deactivation or deletion of the offending account.

Content

Content shared via official Bradley social media channels, as well as pages or accounts that these channels like or follow, should reflect the mission and values of Bradley University. Official Bradley accounts should refrain from posting content and liking or following users or pages that reflect personal interests or that may be in conflict with Bradleys’ mission or values.

OMC reserves the right to remove a post from a university-affiliated social media account. Messages may be removed if a message interferes with an investigation, reveals confidential information, negatively impacts the reputation of people or groups, opposes the college's core values, etc. Additionally, OMC staff may respond to an inappropriate or negative message on a university-affiliated social media account in an effort to answer concerns, share facts, engage in dialogue, etc. Responding may be done publicly or privately via social media or other communication method.

If there are materials posted that are harassing or harmful, the Office of Marketing and Communications may be required to share that information with appropriate university departments such as Human Resources or the Bradley University Police Department.

Monitoring comments

The university affirms and encourages community and a respect for differences by fostering an inclusive environment characterized by cultural understanding, ethical behavior, and social justice.

Although messages that do not harm individuals or groups and that are in alignment with the university’s rules and values will not be taken down, account managers may reserve the right to delete off-topic harmful, threatening, abusive, vulgar, obscene, defamatory, libelous, hateful or harassing material (i.e., material based on age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or veteran status). The university is also committed to compliance with all applicable laws regarding non-discrimination, harassment and affirmative action. Social media managers may also delete comments promoting a commercial site or product (i.e., “spam”) that has no relevance to the post on which the comment appears.

Account Access

In the event that a university-affiliated social media account manager is unavailable or leaves the university, or there is an emergency or other unforeseen situation, it is important that the appropriate OMC staff have administrative access and/or passwords for all university-affiliated social media accounts. OMC staff will not take action on an account without also notifying that account’s manager either prior to or immediately after it is taken.

Inactive Accounts

Please keep your pages active. If a university-affiliated social media account has not been updated for more than three months, it will be removed from the university’s Social Media Directory and OMC will contact the unit to discuss the future of the page. OMC has the right to delete University-affiliated pages that are inactive

Terms of Service

Each social media site has its own terms and conditions. Familiarize yourself and abide by the terms of service or community guidelines of the platforms you use. There are rules regarding the use of images and music, promotions, and more. University-affiliated social media account managers are responsible for following each social media site’s terms and conditions, which can change without notification.

Crisis Communications

In the event of an emergency or crisis situation, practitioners are required to cease any scheduled posts on University-affiliated accounts. Official information will be provided by Bradley University flagship accounts. Sharing information found online or not approved by Bradley may lead to false or confusing information spreading.

In special cases, the university may choose to acknowledge and express condolences regarding a University-related death. Those posts may include links to memorial gatherings/vigils. Please remember that these situations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Practitioners are asked to only share information directly from the primary university accounts. In some instances, family members may approve a note to the campus community but ask that we not publicly share the information through social media.

If you become aware of a potential threat via your role as a social media practitioner, please report it immediately.

Accurate Information:

Always do your due diligence in ensuring your content is accurate, including spelling and grammar. If you unintentionally post something that is incorrect, correct it visibly and publicly as quickly as possible.

Brand Guidelines

Please reference the University’s Brand Identity page for guidance on the University voice, logos and graphic elements.

Paid Advertising

If you are considering a paid social media campaign, please contact OMC through the request form. Not only will you receive helpful information and assistance with setting up and managing your campaign, but OMC can track how many campaigns are running at once to avoid oversaturating the audience with too many messages.

Policy Changes

The university may change any or all of the policies contained in these Social Media Guidelines at any time and at its sole discretion. Anyone who manages a university-affiliated social media account should check this page for changes and/or updates regularly.

Contact and Questions

Any questions about these guidelines or how to use university-affiliated social media should be directed to OMC at (309) 677-1100 or omc@bradley.edu.