Communicating on social media instruction

Instruction statement

This instruction outlines key principles and considerations for RMIT staff on the University’s official social media channels. The instruction defines rights and responsibilities when posting on and moderating social media including management of RMIT’s reputation and confidential information.

Exclusions

Nil.

Instruction steps and actions

Instruction (including key points)

Responsibility

Timeline

1. Privacy and copyright

1.1 When communicating personal information, staff must follow RMIT’s Privacy Policy to comply with legislation and principles of transparency and fairness.

1.2 Do not post confidential or proprietary information about RMIT, its students, alumni, staff or any partner relationship.

1.3 Remember that information distributed internally may not be approved for public distribution without permission. When in doubt, consult your manager.

1.4 Check whether you can use content with attribution before publishing. Cite information and attribute credit where appropriate. Refer to the Moral Rights Policy and Intellectual Property Policy or contact RMIT’s Copyright Management Service for further advice.


Spokespeople and associates


Ongoing

2. Audience

2.1 Keep your posts interesting, helpful and relevant to an RMIT audience. For channel-specific advice, consult the Core, Presence and Experimental channel instructions.

2.2 Posts should be concise, scannable and easy to read. See the Writing for the Web Instruction for advice on composing web-friendly, conversational and accessible online posts.

2.3 Remember that ‘following’ or ‘liking’ accounts is public information and can reflect on the RMIT brand, so make sure such actions are appropriate to your target audience. Cross-reference with the Social Media Register for official RMIT accounts to follow.


Spokespeople and associates


Ongoing

3. Accuracy and consistency

3.1 Aim for regular, consistent postings and updates. Follow the Core, Presence and Experimental channel guidelines for advice on frequency.

3.2 Respond quickly to new developments, announcements or emergencies.

3.3 Fact-check all information (times, dates, names, spelling, etc.) before posting and ensure proper attribution is included. Avoid corrections or retractions and do not speculate.

3.4 If you make RMIT contact details available, such as an email address, respond to queries quickly or communicate expected turn-around times.

3.5 Follow online conversations for a barometer on what your community finds relevant and interesting. Share and promote content from a wide variety of trusted sources, which may include other RMIT accounts (see the Social Media Register for a list of official University accounts).


Spokespeople and associates


Ongoing

4. Respecting others

4.1 Follow the Code of Conduct Policy for expected standards of behaviour from staff when working towards the University’s goals.

4.2 Be impartial, inclusive and respectful of others. Try to be civil and thoughtful when exchanging views which may be different to those provided by others. If you find yourself angry or impassioned about a subject, do not post until you are ready to respond calmly and with respect.

4.3 Follow RMIT’s Media Policy for guidance on participating in public debate and sharing expertise on topics of interest to the community.

4.4 Remember your audience: do not post anything to alienate, harm or provoke any group. Do not post content that might embarrass individuals or portray them negatively.

4.5 Be a good ‘digital citizen’. Do not allow social media informality to compromise integrity and professionalism. Do not post anything online that you would not say in public and treat all communication as official public communication. Remember that once information is published online, even if it is later removed or deleted, a copy will likely remain as a cache or archive. Everything posted online has the potential to be permanently on the public record.

4.6 Inspire users to offer feedback, suggestions and thoughts. If a user gives valuable replies when asked a question, offer positive feedback and encouragement.


Spokespeople and associates


Ongoing

5. Communication with students

5.1 Use careful judgment when interacting with students. Always follow RMIT’s Code of Conduct Policy and Communication with Current Onshore Students Policy.


Spokespeople and associates


Ongoing

6. Moderation

6.1 Moderate content according to the following documents:

Moderating User Generated Content on Core Social Media Channels Procedure

Moderating Social Media Guideline Managing Inappropriate and Illegal Users on Social Media Procedure


Spokespeople and associates


Ongoing

7. Personal Presence on Social Media

7.1 When posting about RMIT on a personal social media presence, you are acting in an individual capacity and not as a Spokesperson or Associate. Nonetheless, you must still follow the Code of Conduct Policy and, when interacting with students, the Communication with Current Onshore Students Policy.


Spokespeople and associates


Ongoing

[Next: Supporting documents and information]