Social Media and Blog Guidelines

Social media and blogs offer ways to engage with internal and external audiences, express ideas and disseminate information.

Emmanuel College supports the use of these mediums. However—as with any tangible communication from the College—departments, offices, faculty, staff and administrators should take care to adhere to existing Emmanuel procedures in using these tools.

The following social media and blogging guidelines will help ensure the best experience for our various online audiences, as well compliance with College rules and federal laws.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Marketing Communications.

Social Media Guidelines

Best Practices

  • Share responsibility: Accounts should never be made with personal or individual email addresses. Access to any social media account must be given to the Office of Marketing Communications for the master list they maintain to ensure no social media sites become “orphaned.”
  • Be active: You should check your page at least once a day to ensure you are responding to any comments, questions or posts in a timely manner. You should also post new content at least three times per week, if not more.
  • Be professional: You are posting and responding on these social media sites as a representative of Emmanuel College. Everything you say reflects upon you, your office and the College as a whole.
  • Be accurate: When stating a fact, be sure it is correct. Misinformation can quickly spread online. Check for typos. Make sure the link you share is the correct one and goes to a page or video that works.
  • Be aware: Nothing you post to your blog or social media page is private. And deleting a comment or post doesn’t mean it’s gone. Content can be shared instantly, and stored through internet caching systems. Be confident that your post is correct and is what you, your office and the College would like to share with the world.
  • Be ethical: Do not post confidential, proprietary or protected information about students, employees or other members of the Emmanuel community. All federal guidelines such as FERPA and College policies like the Acceptable Use Policy and Privacy Policy must be observed on all Emmanuel-sponsored or Emmanuel-maintained social media sites.

Comments and Moderation

The College strongly urges using social media as the open forum it is intended to be. If your office or department is uncomfortable about allowing comments from followers, social media is not the right platform for your messaging.

We suggest opening comments to users, then assigning a staff member or members to be responsible for keeping an eye on comments and responding as necessary. Moderators can set up notifications within their social media platforms or via e-mail, so that they are notified about every post made to their site.

Private messages, tags and reposts
It’s important to monitor all the different ways that users reach out to you via social media, beyond just comments on a Facebook or blog post. When someone mentions you on Facebook or Twitter or tags you in a photo, repost for your followers to see! If someone private messages you, respond to them in a timely fashion.

Deleting comments and posts
As a rule, the College does not remove comments or posts, even if negative, unless the content is racist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, illegal, an advertisement or otherwise found to be highly questionable. When in doubt, contact your supervisor, Vice President or the Office of Marketing and Communications.

Inaccurate or negative comments
Inaccurate and negative comments should be responded to quickly and cordially. While they can be frustrating, they actually open the doors for dialogue and allow us to educate others. You’ll also find that your community of followers will often “police” comments on their own, responding to the inaccurate or negative with their own positive statements.

Example:
Comment: Emmanuel College doesn’t give out financial aid.
Response: Emmanuel is proud to offer more than xx% of our students financial aid through scholarships, federal loans and work study. The Office of Student Financial Services can be reached at xxx-xxx-xxxx to review your package with you and discuss options.

Suggested Guidelines for Personal Social Media Accounts

  • Do not use any variation of the College seal or logo on a personal site.
  • Use judgment when “friending” users.
  • Do not post confidential College information, such as information about a pending new program or private information about a colleague or student.
  • Do not respond to questions on behalf of the College as a College spokesperson on your private page. Direct questions to the appropriate College office or department for response.

Blog Guidelines

Who can Blog?

Blogs hosted under the emmanuel.edu domain must be actively maintained by a College department, or member of the faculty or staff. Groups that can own blogs include:

  • College-Sponsored Blogs: Departments, offices or programs of the College may sponsor and maintain non­-curricular blogs. Blogs are subject to review and prior approval by the area's Vice President, as well as Emmanuel Marketing. Students may contribute blog posts, pending review and approval by the blog manager.
  • Academic Departments and Areas of Study:  Project teams, working groups, curricular groups and academic committees may use blogs to facilitate collaboration. These blogs are subject to the College's policies and procedures, and should be approved and reviewed by the Office of Academic Affairs.
  • Faculty Blogs: Individual faculty members may blog about their research and areas of study, provided they comply with the College's policies and best practices.

Personal Blogs

The College does not provide a blog service or blog software to members of the community for personal blogs that are unrelated to their work at Emmanuel College. It is recommended that members of the community who desire such blogs use one of the many blogging services available on the Internet (e.g., blogger.com, livejournal.com, etc.), or establish their own website and use one of the many free blogging tools/software applications (e.g., WordPress, Movable Type, Drupal, Greymatter). In this way, the blog may remain available after members have left the Emmanuel community.

Blogging Best Practices

  • Write with personality and authority: Show off how much you know about your subject, and keep your readers' interests and needs in mind. Blogs are meant to be informal, so don't be afraid to be funny, bold, quirky, or off-the-cuff.
  • Don't be afraid to write: Get in the habit of writing regularly, aiming to add new content at least once a week. Don't be afraid to add posts that are very short, imperfect, or are simply links to other content your readers will enjoy.
  • Create a publishing calendar: Set a schedule that works for you, and stick to it. At least once is ideal for new blog posts, but the most important thing is setting goals you can achieve.
  • Measure your audience: WordPress has several tools that will tell you how many and how often visitors are visiting your blog. Keep track of what content is the most popular, and what is being shared on social media.

Comments and Moderation

Emmanuel College supports the free exchange of ideas, and as such strongly recommends that all bloggers allow comments. It is strongly suggested that comments be moderated, as unmoderated comments can often accumulate spam, despite Emmanuel’s use of a filter. It is each individual blog’s responsibility to monitor and respond to these comments and to maintain block lists for any individuals who repeatedly post offensive content or try to use the comment space for advertising. We strongly encourage bloggers to create a policy regarding comments and to make that policy available on their individual blog.

Imagery and College Logo Policies

No Emmanuel College photography, graphics, seal or logo may be used without the express permission of the Office of Marketing Communications. Contact website@emmanuel.edu for more information.

  • Do not use the College seal alone as your profile image. This is used by the all-College pages. You must use something else to differentiate yourself.
  • Be sure you are not violating copyright laws by using an artist’s work without permission. If in doubt about the copyrights for a particular photo, reach out to the OMC. If you are an artist concerned about a copyright violation or improper attribution of your work on an Emmanuel web page, blog or social media site, please contact us at dmca@emmanuel.edu.
  • If incorporating the College logo or word mark into your image, consult the Office of Marketing Communications.
  • Be consistent across your various pages, using an identifiable image or logo across all pages to brand yourself.
  • Ensure proper image resolution and dimensions

More information about the College Seal and Logos »