SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
A guide for staff on using social media to promote the work of Moor Park Paediatric Practice Ltd
This policy will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, at least once a year. Moor Park Paediatric Practice Ltd will amend this policy, following consultation, where appropriate.
Date of adoption: May 2020
What is social media?
Social media is the term given to web-based tools and applications which enable users to create and share content (words, images and video content), and network with each other through the sharing of information, opinions, knowledge and common interests. Examples of social media include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Why do we use social media?
Social media is essential to the success of communicating Moor Park Paediatric Practice work. It is important for some staff to participate in social media to engage with our audience, participate in relevant conversations and raise the profile of Moor Park Paediatric Practice work.
Why do we need a social media policy?
The difference between a personal and professional opinion can be blurred on social media, particularly if you're discussing issues relating to Moor Park Paediatric Practice work. While we encourage the use of social media, we have certain standards, outlined in this policy, which we require everyone to observe. Publication and commentary on social media carries similar obligations to any other kind of publication or commentary in the public domain.
This policy is intended for all [staff members of all levels, and applies to content posted on Moor Park Paediatric Practice devices. Before engaging in work-related social media activity, staff must read this policy.
Setting out the social media policy
This policy sets out guidelines on how social media should be used to support the delivery and promotion of Moor Park Paediatric Practice and the use of social media by staff in both a professional and personal capacity. It sets out what you need to be aware of when interacting in these spaces and is designed to help staff support and expand our official social media channels, while protecting the charity and its reputation and preventing any legal issues.
Point of contact for social media
The Chief Executive or his appointees is responsible for the day-to-day publishing, monitoring and management of our social media channels. If you have specific questions about any aspect of these channels, speak to The Chief Executive. No other staff member can post content on Moor Park Paediatric Practices official channels without the permission of the Chief Executive.
Which social media channels do we use?
Moor Park Paediatric Practice Ltd uses the following social media channels:
These social media accounts are used by Moor Park Paediatric Practice to share news of the work of the Practice, develop appropriate content, provide education and self-improvement resources and make comments generally about issues that impact on children and their careers.
Using Moor Park Paediatric Practice social media channels — appropriate conduct
- The Chief Executive is responsible for setting up and managing Moor Park Paediatric Practice social media channels. Only those authorised to do so by the Chief Executive will have access to these accounts.
- The Chief Executive or his delegated official will add in content and respond to comments on social media channels on a daily basis and as soon as possible when in receipt of an adverse social media comment.
- Be an ambassador for our brand.
- Make sure that all social media content has a purpose and a benefit for Moor Park Paediatric Practice and accurately reflects Moor Park Paediatric Practice services
- Bring value to our audience(s). Answer their questions, help and engage with them
- Take care with the presentation of content. Make sure that there are no typos, misspellings or grammatical errors. Also check the quality of images.
- Always pause and think before posting. That said, reply to comments in a timely manner, when a response is appropriate.
- Always check facts. Staff should not automatically assume that material is accurate and should take reasonable steps where necessary to seek verification, for example, by checking data/statistics and being wary of photo manipulation.
- Be honest. Say what you know to be true or have a good source for. If you've made a mistake, don't be afraid to admit it.
- It is vital that Moor Park Paediatric Practice does not encourage others to risk their personal safety or that of others, to gather materials. For example, a video of a stunt.
- Staff should not encourage people to break the law to supply material for social media, such as using unauthorised video footage. All relevant rights for usage must be obtained before publishing material.
- Staff should not set up other Facebook groups or pages, Twitter accounts or any other social media channels on behalf of Moor Park Paediatric Practice. This could confuse messaging and brand awareness. By having official social media accounts in place, The Chief Executive can ensure consistency of the brand and focus on building a strong following.
- Moor Park Paediatric Practice is not a political organisation and does not hold a view on party politics or have any affiliation with or links to political parties. We have every right to express views on policy, including the policies of parties, but we can't tell people how to vote.
- If a complaint is made on Moor Park Paediatric Practice social media channels, staff should seek advice from the Chief Executive before responding.
- Sometimes issues can arise on social media which can escalate into a crisis situation because they are sensitive or risk serious damage to Moor Park Paediatric Practice reputation. The nature of social media means that complaints are visible and can escalate quickly. Not acting can be detrimental to the charity.
The appointed officer regularly monitors our social media spaces for mentions of Moor Park Paediatric Practice so we can catch any issues or problems early. If there is an issue that could develop or has already developed into a crisis situation, this must be escalated to the Chief Executive.
Use of personal social media accounts — appropriate conduct
This policy expressly prohibits personal use of social media on the Moor Park Paediatric Practice social media channels.
Libel is when a false written statement that is damaging to a person's reputation is published online or in print. Whether staff are posting content on social media as part of their job or in a personal capacity, they should not bring [charity name] into disrepute by making defamatory comments about individuals or other organisations or groups.
It is critical that all staff abide by the laws governing copyright, under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Never use or adapt someone else's images or written content without permission. Failing to acknowledge the source/author/resource citation, where permission has been given to reproduce content, is also considered a breach of copyright.
Any communications that staff make in a personal capacity must not breach confidentiality. For example, information meant for internal use only or information that Moor Park Paediatric Practice is not ready to disclose yet. For example, a news story that is embargoed for a particular date.
Discrimination and harassment
Staff should not post content that could be considered discriminatory against, or bullying or harassment of, any individual, on either an official Moor Park Paediatric Practice social media channel or a personal account. For example:
- making offensive or derogatory comments relating to sex, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief
- using social media to bully another individual
- posting images that are discriminatory or offensive or links to such content
Charities are legally allowed to campaign to bring about a change in policy or law to further their organisational purpose. In most cases, spending on charity campaigns that are in accordance with charity law will not be regulated under electoral law. However, the Lobbying Act, which was passed in January 2014, states that during national elections (known as regulated periods) spending on campaigning activities may be regulated.
Charities which spend more than £20,000 in England or £10,000 in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, during the regulated period, need to register with the Electoral Commission. To abide by the Lobbying Act, campaigning activities on social media must not be seen as intending to influence people's voting choice. During these periods, all campaigning activity will be reviewed by the [job title].
Use of social media in the recruitment process
Recruitment should be carried out in accordance with the government laws on employment Vacancies may be advertised on social media channels e.g. LinkedIn if appropriate
Protection and intervention
The responsibility for measures of protection and intervention lies first with the social networking site itself. Different social networking sites offer different models of interventions in different areas. For more information, refer to the guidance available on the social networking site itself. For example, Facebook. However, if a staff member considers that a person/people is/are at risk of harm, they should report this to the Chief Executive immediately.
Under 18's and vulnerable people
Young and vulnerable people face risks when using social networking sites. They may be at risk of being bullied, publishing sensitive and personal information on their profiles, or from becoming targets for online grooming.
Where known, when communicating with young people under 18-years-old via social media, staff should ensure the online relationship with Moor Park Paediatric Practice follows the same rules as the offline 'real-life' relationship. Staff should ensure that young people have been made aware of the risks of communicating and sharing information online and given guidance on security/privacy settings as necessary. Staff should also ensure that the site itself is suitable for the young person and Moor Park Paediatric Practice content and other content is appropriate for them. Please refer to our Safeguarding Policy.
Responsibilities and beach of policy
Everyone is responsible for their own compliance with this policy. Participation in social media on behalf of Moor Park Paediatric Practice is not a right but an opportunity, so it must be treated seriously and with respect. For staff, breaches of policy may incur disciplinary action, depending on the severity of the issue. Staff who are unsure about whether something they propose to do on social media might breach this policy, should seek advice from the Chief Executive.
Public Interest Disclosure
Under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, if a staff member releases information through Moor Park Paediatric Practice’s social media channels that is considered to be in the interest of the public, The Chief Executive must be informed immediately before any further action is taken.