Important Notice

alert iconAll BCTC campuses and sites will close at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, April 18 (institutional closing).
[More Info]
Cooper Campus

Social Media Policy

Purpose

How we communicate to our students and in the community is changing. Social media is a growing phenomenon embraced by all generations. There are great benefits as well as some risks and liabilities. Inappropriate or unauthorized post can diminish BCTC’s name, cost the college it’s reputation in the general public and could hurt our employees and students. The following guidelines were created by the Bluegrass Community & Technical College Public Information and Marketing (PIM) department for the purpose of (1) identifying the College’s social networking philosophy and goals;(2) documenting the College’s current presence on the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter and the process for maintaining theses sites; and (3) providing guidance for College employees who have a presence on social networking sites and/or are interested in helping to expand the College’s presence.

The Public Information and Marketing department will continue to research and monitor social networking trends and will modify these guidelines when necessary. This will allow BCTC to maintain an active and up-to-date presence on relevant social networks.

Social Networking Goals:

The College’s presence on social networking sites will augment official channels of communications. These networking accounts will drive traffic to other communication mechanisms including the College’s web site, other social networking accounts, and email. The College’s presence on these sites is intended to serve as:

  • a tool for marketing to prospective students.
  • a venue to communicate with current students, alumni and friends of the College.
  • a means to improve retention as students identify with the College and interact with other students.

Responsible Parties:

The Public Information and Marketing department is the administrator and will maintain the College’s official BCTC Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr pages. Those who wish to contribute information or make suggestion for the pages should email BL_ChitChat@kctcs.edu

Facebook is a free-access social networking website where users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region to connect and interact with other people. The Facebook site serves as a virtual community for users.

In order to ensure a cohesive and unified message throughout the community, departments and organizations within the college are asked to refrain from setting up alternate Facebook pages which may conflict and segment the BCTC Facebook audience. However, under Facebook’s new program, Groups for Schools, anyone with a KCTCS email can set up interest groups under “Groups at BCTC” which will allow faculty, staff, and students to interact with your organization without redirecting audience engagement from the official page. See https://www.facebook.com/BluegrassCTC#!/groups/groupsatbctc/ for more info.

Individuals are encouraged to post/interact with the college’s Official Facebook page.

BCTC’s Presence on Twitter

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers via the profile page.

BCTC’s account http://twitter.com/BluegrassCTC will allow the College to provide quick status updates, links and other appropriate information useful to prospective students, current students, and alumni. BCTC’s official Twitter page will follow all “twitters” who follow BCTC. If it is found that a follower is tweeting inappropriately through the page, the ability to block or discontinue following can be utilized. Twitter terms of service can be found at http://twitter.com/tos. As with Facebook, any questionable conduct should be reported to Public Information and Marketing.

Departments or employees may set up their own Twitter to represent their department or communicate with students. Please inform PIM about the channel and the type of information that will be posted. Content posted on department or employee Twitter accounts do not need prior approval by PIM. The Twitter account must contain a disclaimer stating the purpose of the account (such as communicating with students from class ….) and that the account does not represent the official views of the college.

Establishing an Official BCTC social media site for a department or class:

Social media sites: All employees who wish to publish and administer an official BCTC social media page (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogs) must complete an Official BCTC Social Media Request Form. The form is to establish the purpose, maintenance, administrators, etc. of the page. The signature of the employee’s direct supervisor is needed on the form. The form will stay on file with Public Information and Marketing.

Page Administrators Responsibilities:
Becoming an administrator of an official BCTC social media site constitutes your agreement with the BCTC Social Media User Agreement. Failure to follow the guidelines will result in a recommendation to your supervisor to eliminate the social media page.

A current list of official BCTC social media pages:

Content Development

Content Policy:

All content must relate directly to College business, programs, and/or services. All content should be referenced to the department who originated the source of information; i.e. such as direct questions about financial aid to the BCTC Financial Aid web site, official contact information, or to a Financial Aid Department staff member or the director. Content placed by administrators cannot promote individual opinions or causes that are not directly related to College purposes.

External links:

Links that lead to personal web sites, outside businesses, apparent spam, or unofficial BCTC web pages will be removed.

Creating a Community Policy:

Each official BCTC social media page must contain a Community Policy. The Policy sets the purpose of the page, establishes the guidelines participants to follow, and references the College Social Media Policy. Example: see the Community Policy placed on the official BCTC Facebook Page: “The BCTC Facebook page is a forum to connect and interact with the BCTC community. We encourage discussion and sharing of information; however, BCTC reserves the right to remove posts and photos that contain profanity, defamatory language, encourage illegal activity, solicitations, advertisements, or is otherwise deemed inappropriate.”

Recommendation:

Content should be short and written in active voice. Remember to consider the audience; the style and tone of content should be direct and student-oriented.

Maintenance of Pages and Groups

Administrators for campus Facebook pages should include at least one representative from Campus Public Information and Marketing (PIM). PIM does not assume responsibility for Facebook pages or groups associated with the College; employees who desire to create a group are responsible for its creation, content and maintenance. The primary administrator for a Facebook page should be a faculty member or a staff employee. Primary administrators should be willing to monitor pages on a daily basis and respond promptly to inquiries posted on the Facebook page. The following guidelines for maintenance of the College’s Facebook presence pertain to both page and group administrators:

  • Frequency: Pages and groups should be maintained and remain as up-to-date as possible. “Best practices” recommend updating pages 1-3 times a day. In general, the more frequently the content is updated, the more users will access the page. Dated material should be removed as soon as it is outdated.
  • Tone: All content should be short and written in active voice. The style and tone should be informal direct and student-oriented.
  • Post: Try and post information and commentary that will get your audience involved.
  • Censorship: Because Facebook pages and groups are interactive tools, administrators should monitor the page closely in order to respond to user concerns and conduct. While it is possible for administrators to delete postings, the general guideline will be to avoid censoring in order to encourage unfettered and honest communication. Use this as an opportunity to make things right for the student when possible. Users should be censored by Facebook terms and conditions that can be found at http://www.facebook.com/terms.php. All administrators should review these terms. Any questionable conduct should be report to PIM. The College takes no responsibility for content developed by non-employees.

Existing policies governing student and employee behavior apply to the college’s Facebook pages.

Photos and Videos

Uploaded photos and videos must relate directly to the College and/or student life and should be not be used as a promotional tool for programs, products, or services outside the College.

PIM has established an official college channel on YouTube. The channel can be viewed on http://www.youtube.com/user/BluegrassCTCOfficial

Departments may set up their own YouTube channel to represent their department or post student work. Please inform PIM about the channel and the types of videos that will be posted. Content posted on department YouTube channels do not need prior approval by PIM. The department YouTube channel must contain a disclaimer stating the purpose of the channel (such as posting student work) and that the channel does not officially represent the official views of the college.

All photos and videos must have a photo release signed and filed in the Public Information and Marketing office prior to posting. Photo releases can be found at

http://bluegrass.kctcs.edu/~/media/Bluegrass/Marketing/documents/photography_request_form.ashx