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Social Media Communication Guidelines

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) Social media are important tools for the University to communicate with its students, staff, communities and other stakeholders.

(2) As a University of Newcastle staff member or student, everything you publish in social media is likely to reflect on the University's reputation. These guidelines encourage responsible social media use when communicating on one of the University's official social media channels or commenting on University matters on other channels. It is important to consider these guidelines whenever you participate or engage in social media.

(3) These guidelines are supported by the University of Newcastle Social Media Communication Policy and Social Media Communication Procedures and must be read in conjunction with these documents.

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Section 2 - Scope

(4) Social media are designed to provide a place for individuals to come together online and share comments, opinions and participate in active discussion.

(5) These guidelines are for anyone engaging through one the University's official social media channels (ie., Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) or when discussing University matters (including staff and/or students) on personal or external social media channels.

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Section 3 - Guidelines for Participation in Social Media

(6) When chatting about University staff, students or business on an internal or external and personal social media channel, act according to the values of honesty, fairness, trust, accountability and respect as set out in the University's Code of Conduct.

  1. Be honest. Where possible, always use your real name.
  2. Be respectful. Never be aggressive or post content that is offensive or defamatory.
  3. Reference your area of expertise, if relevant to your discussions or comments.
  4. Make sure your personal opinions are distinguished from professional communication.
  5. Protect sensitive and confidential information. Respect intellectual property and link to sources whenever possible.
  6. Unless appropriate to the particular social media channel, don't promote your business on the University's official social media channels.
  7. Always take responsibility for your mistakes. An apology or correction can often fix minor issues.
  8. By engaging on the University's official social media channels you also agree to comply with the applicable site's guidelines (i.e., Twitter Terms of Service).
  9. Use common sense and always think twice before you publish. You are ultimately responsible for what you write.
  10. Information posted on this site by external parties, does not necessarily reflect the opinions and ideas of the University of Newcastle.

(7) If you don't follow these guidelines while using the University's official social media channels, the University will need to remove your post/comments or take alternative actions as appropriate. For example, if you are a staff member, the issue may be raised with your line manager.

(8) If the University becomes aware of staff or students engaging in social media activities that breach the University's Code of Conduct, the issue will be considered under the University's Complaints Resolution Policy.

(9) If you have any concerns email onlinemarketing@newcastle.edu.au