Social Media Guidelines
Social media sites can connect us in new ways in both our professional and personal lives. They offer opportunities for informal learning, information sharing, collaboration and networking. The following guidelines are to help faculty and staff members who choose to create or contribute to blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds, or any other kind of social media site, participate in those spaces responsibly when they appear to be speaking as a representative of the University of Regina.
Section 1: Guidelines for all Social Media Sites
The rules and expectations that apply to you offline as a member of the University of Regina community also apply in online social media spaces. You are accountable for your actions.
Be upfront about who you are and who you work for.
The University encourages faculty and staff to provide comment in their areas of expertise. This helps build the reputation of faculty and staff members as well as the University as a whole. However, if you are providing institutional commentary rather than your subject-area expertise you need to make it clear that you are not the official spokesperson for the University. It is encouraged that you use a disclaimer such as: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent the University of Regina."
If you are communicating about your work at the University of Regina, use your real name, identify that you work at the University, and be clear about what you do. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing disclose that.
Protect private information
Information you choose to share about yourself that is not directly University related, such as information about your family or personal interests, may help you create a relationship with your readers, but it is your decision whether to share this information.
It is important that private information you learn as an employee is protected. Online posts and conversations are public; can be shared by those who view them; and may exist for a long time.
Respect copyright and fair dealing
Respect the laws governing copyright and fair dealing of copyrighted material owned by others. This includes the University’s own copyrights. Gain permission before posting copyrighted content. Photographs taken by the University’s Photography Department, for example, are copyrighted and may only be reproduced and distributed (in print and electronic format) with the written consent of the Photography Department.
Know and follow the University’s Use of Copyright Materials Policy.
The lines between personal and professional are blurred in online social networks. If you identify yourself as a faculty or staff member of the University of Regina you become connected to your employer, colleagues and University partners. Ensure that the profiles and content you create online are consistent with your work at the University and reflect University of Regina social media guidelines and other existing policies.
Section 2: Best Practices
Know and follow the University’s Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy.
• Post vulgar, abusive or defamatory language
• Make libelous statements or personal attacks
• Go off topic or link to material that is off topic.
• Expose private, personal information without consent.
Social media is about relationship building. Do not violate the trust of the people you engage with online by misleading them. If you use a ghostwriter (a person who creates content and then attributes your name to it) make that known. Use a disclaimer such as: “Written on behalf of [name]”
Admit your mistakes
If you make a mistake be upfront about it and timely with a correction. If you are posting to a blog, for example, you may choose to modify an earlier post. But, let your readers know that you have made that particular edit.
Thoughtful content creators add value by posting material that contributes something worthwhile. This could be, for example, an idea that helps people in their work; solves a problem; increases knowledge; builds a sense of community; or promotes the values outlined in the University of Regina’s strategic plan.
Part of what makes conversations through social media sites so popular is that they occur almost in real time. If you choose to actively blog or maintain a social media site such as a Facebook or Twitter account be willing to invest the time to refresh content, respond to questions and correct information when appropriate.
Section 3: Institutional Social Media Sites
Develop a plan
Official faculty and department social media sites are considered an extension of the University’s website. In addition to gaining authorization from your supervisor to create an official social media presence for your faculty or department you also need to have a plan in place to maintain and update the site, as you would with any faculty or department web page.
Documents to assist you in this planning can be found on the University’s Social Media Resources page.
Official faculty and department social media sites that do not follow the University’s social media guidelines will not be linked to from the University’s social media directory.
Maintain visual identity standards
Information and tools are available online to support correct usage of the University’s logos and brand, including colours and Realize statements for official faculty and department social media sites. Find this information on the University's Visual Identity page.
If you have questions about how to use the University's visual identity in your project, please contact:
North Residence 210
E-mail Communications and Marketing
If you are unsure about posting content on social media sites please contact the University of Regina Social Media Users Group Co-ordinator, Shanan Sorochynski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 306-337-2455.
For questions related to the Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy please contact Harassment, Discrimination Prevention & Conflict Resolution Services at email@example.com or via its co-ordinator Ian MacAusland-Berg at 306-585-5400.
Due to the evolving nature of social media tools these guidelines are subject to revision by the Office of Communications and Marketing.