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Social Media Policy

Scope

All members of the Iona community who are engaged in the use of the College’s social media accounts must abide by the College’s Social Media Policy. All members of the Iona community must adhere to the guidelines for social media activity in relation to their representation of the College. All Iona College social media accounts with the exception of accounts for academic use must register with the Iona College Marketing and Communications Department (MarCom). Iona College social media accounts are required to follow the College’s social media procedures.

Definitions

Iona College social media accounts include all accounts:

  • affiliated with departments, programs, clubs, organizations, college-sponsored groups, college sponsored events etc.
  • administered by employees to conduct business or communicate for the College
  • posting or displaying the Iona brand and/or logo
  • creating a reasonable impression that the content is authorized or controlled by Iona College

Social media accounts for academic use include accounts administered by a faculty member for course or research related purposes.
Social media platforms include, but may not be limited to Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs, discussion forums and other like media platforms.
Social Media Administrator: Employee responsible for the content, posting and operation of a College social media account.
Designated Posters: Employee or students who are responsible for publishing content on the College social media account.
MarCom: The abbreviation for the Iona College Marketing and Communications Department.

Policy

Iona College recognizes the benefits of social media communications and the importance of establishing a presence on various social media platforms. The use of Iona College social media accounts is for deliberate professional engagement intended to promote the Iona brand in a positive manner, foster a sense of community as well as inform users of College news, events, outages, closures and other emergencies. Individuals who contribute to Iona College’s social media presence must understand that their actions directly reflect the College’s identity. The posting of private or confidential information about the College, its students or employees is strictly prohibited. The use of social media must be conducted in a professional manner that protects the reputation of the College and is subject to Iona policies, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Human Resources policies, including restrictions on disclosure of confidential or proprietary information;
  • Employee, Faculty or Student Handbooks;
  • Code of Conduct, including non-tolerance for cyberbullying, cyber harassment, cyber stalking;
  • Iona College Statement on Diversity;
  • Harassment and Discrimination;
  • Information Technology policies such as the Computer Use Policy;
  • Personal Information Protection;
  • Iona College Branding Guide;
  • Photo Opt Out Policy and Media Release Form for Visitors.

The use of social media must also comply with the terms of use of the social media provider and any applicable laws and regulations. Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, use of social media in any way constituting libel, false advertising, copyright or trademark infringement, harassment, professional misconduct or a violation of privacy rights, or other lawfully protected rights. Sharing of confidential or proprietary financial, intellectual property, medical or similarly sensitive items, or private content about Iona College, its students or employees is strictly prohibited.. All Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) rules and regulations, policies and codes set forth in applicable handbooks apply to social media activity.
 
MarCom approves and oversees the use of the Iona College social media accounts to assure suitability of the content for Mission consistency, reputation and brand affiliation.  Iona College social media accounts must indicate “The Official Home of…” designation on its respective platform.  All Iona College social media accounts must consistently comply with the Social Media Policy as a condition of the account’s existence and official affiliation with Iona.
 
GUIDELINES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY
Iona College social media platforms are not for personal use or to be used to state personal opinions.
The social media policy and any rules and regulations regarding the use of social media are subject to revisions. All users are expected to be familiar with any revisions in the regulations.

Social Media Procedures

CREATION AND PLANNING:
Members of the College community must contact MarCom for the approval to establish a College presence on social media. Only the Sr. Director for MarCom or Sr. Vice President for Advancement and External Affairs may provide final approval. MarCom will work with the individual/area to determine the:

  • Possibility of using an existing Iona College social media account for communication.
  • Audience for the messaging and to reflect on the future growth of the audience.
  • Appropriate platform to best serve the audience.
  • Name, strategy, graphics, usage and purpose of the account.
  • Staffing plan to assure that the account(s) are maintained at a consistent level. The number of social media platforms must be considered when reflecting on staffing demands.  Inactive or dead accounts create a negative impression of the College.
  • Content plan including a plan for content posted during summer, off seasons, dormant times.
MANAGEMENT AND POSTING
MarCom maintains a list of all Iona College social media accounts. Departments are required to register social media accounts at iona.edu/RegisterYourSocialMediaAccount. Each account must have a named Social Media Administrator and must list ALL Designated Posters. Any changes in the roles of the Social Media Administrator or Designated Posters must be immediately reported to MarCom. All Social Media administrators, Designated Posters and any other individual with access to social media accounts are responsible for maintaining the security of the username and password. Unauthorized sharing of College social media passwords is prohibited.
 
OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
  • A designated Iona email or distribution list must be used when creating College Social Media accounts.
  • The College computer use policy prohibits the use of non-affiliated email addresses for college communications; this includes social media communications.
  • Authorized administrators are responsible for maintaining the security of the username and password in accordance with the Computer Use and Personal Information Protection policy. In accordance with these policies breaches must immediately be reported to the Vice Provost for Information Security/CIO and/or the Director of Human Resources.
REVIEW OF CONTENT
  • The Social Media Administrator and designated poster will review and monitor content.
  • MarCom will conduct periodic reviews of content posted on College social media accounts.
  • The Social Media Administrator or MarCom will remove content that does not conform to the College’s Social Media Policy and/or standards.
  • MarCom reserves the right to close Social Media Accounts due to inappropriate content or failure to comply with policy.  
  • The Social Media Administrator or designated posters must consult with MarCom prior to responding to complaints about content.
  • Any use of college names, trademarks, service marks or logos on Iona College accounts must comply with the Iona College Branding Guide.
  • Any use of photos, images, names and audio/video recordings of employees and students must adhere to the College’s Photo Opt Out policy.
  • Any use of photos, images, names and audio/video recordings of individuals who are NOT college employees or students requires a signed Iona College Media release form to be on file with MarCom. Photos of minors should not be posted.

MEDIA INQUIRIES
If a member of the media contacts an Iona-affiliated account regarding a post(s) made in online forums relating to Iona College, the Director of College and Athletic Communications must be alerted prior to responding. Individuals are not authorized to respond to media inquiries unless expressly authorized to do so by MarCom.   
 
CLOSING AN IONA-AFFILIATED ACCOUNT
If a department, organization, or club wishes to close their social media accounts, they must notify MarCom and the account will be removed from the College’s social media directory. The Social Media Administrator will then close the account.

Resources

Human Resources policies; Employee, Faculty or Student Handbooks; Code of Conduct; Statement on Diversity; Harassment and Discrimination Policy; Information Technology Policies; Computer Use Policy; Personal Information Protection; Iona College Branding Guide; Photo Opt Out Policy; Media Release Form for Visitors, Media Relations Guide
 
Brian Beyrer, Director of College and Athletic Communications (914) 637-2726 bbeyrer@iona.edu