Marketing & Communications

Mount Royal's social networking guidelines

When identifying yourself as a Mount Royal University department, faculty, employee, program or service on social media, there are certain guidelines and best practices to keep in mind. (Please note: these guidelines are intended specifically for marketing and communications and not for any social networking activities related to classroom instruction, teaching and learning, or scholarship.)

What is social networking?

Social Networking can be described as engaging with your audience in a long term, interactive conversation to build relationships and create community online. Social networking can encompass any social media tool such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and more.

 

Guidelines

Be aware of relevant institutional policies — Users must abide by all applicable institutional policies such as those covering Acceptable Use Policy for Mount Royal Computer Resources, Code of Ethics, Conflict of Interest, Copyright legislation, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPP) legislation, and for students, the Code of Student Conduct.

Think before you post — Be courteous and respectful of those using the space. Always ask the question: “Could this be taken the wrong way?” Don’t post when you are angry or upset or use a MRU account to post your personal opinion. Look at images and review the content of links before you share online.

Add value not noise — Ensure what you post would be considered beneficial to your audience. Information should be engagng, timely and relevant. Don’t spam others or use social networking as an advertising channel.

Legal considerations — Your comments, posts and links (peruse and validate all links before posting) must not contain defamatory, obscene or illegal material. Comments must abide by Canadian law such as libel, slander copyright and FOIPP and copyright. Images or videos that include trademark or copyright materials may not be posted from MRU channels.

Be transparent and authentic — Be open and honest at all times. Never pretend to be someone else and post/comments about Mount Royal University. Employees that use personal accounts to represent MRU must adhere to university Guidelines.

Protect your identity — Transparency is a necessary trait of social networking, but do not share personal documents or information such as your home telephone number, address or employee/student ID.

Maintain confidentiality — Never post confidential or proprietary information about Mount Royal, its staff, its students or its alumni. Be cautious about posting images that may contain confidential information on computer screens, whiteboards or documents.

Responding to negative comments — First, determine if the negative comments are legitimate and if your involvement could help solve a problem – if so, calmly respond. If a lengthy conversation is needed take it offline to private message, email or phone. If the comments are from a ‘troll’ not from the MRU community, you do not need to respond. If a negative comment is threatening or harassing; take a screenshot of the comment, report to the social media site, block the user. Security, Student Conduct or Human Resources may need to be contacted.

Consistent communication — Social networking is about entering into a long term conversation. Avoid creating an account, posting once or twice and then not use it again for months. Ensure you have a plan that will allow for regular communication over a long period of time including staff dedicated to social networking.

Big picture — Mount Royal University has an institutional social networking strategy. When developing a department/area plan please contact Marketing and Communications before creating a MRU social account.

Dedicated resources — establishing, monitoring and maintaining a current and relevant social networking presence is time-consuming and requires significant time and attention. Do not start the process unless you have made provisions to dedicate the appropriate human resources toward it.

Accuracy — Check and double check your facts. If you are not sure an item is correct, do not post it. If you make an error, correct it quickly — and let others know it has been corrected.

Style Guide adherence — No matter which social networking tool you are using, spelling and grammar are important. For specific guidelines visit Mount Royal University’s Style Guide which can be found on MyMRU.

Training opportunities — Take advantage of available training and professional development opportunities. For example, the Marketing and Communications hosts workshops and “how to” sessions on specific social networking sites periodically. If you are ever in doubt, check with your team leader or contact Marketing and Communications.

Send in your completed videos to be uploaded on MRU YouTube channel using the Video Content Upload Form.

Contact us

If you have requests or questions please email: krichards@mtroyal.ca.