Sample Social Media PolicyChurch Social Media, RISK MANAGEMENT Monday, July 28th, 2014
Summit Church is a non-denominational multi-campus church centered in and around Orland, FL. Summit Church’s vision is to form biblically functioning communities that reach people, connect in Christ-centered relationships, serve others, teach truth, and worship God.
We encourage our staff to have their own personal social media accounts and blogs, and to be the eyes and ears of Summit when they can. #hashtags and tips on what to communicate are provided for large Summit events.
Staff are representing Summit Church, but more importantly Jesus; so, what they post should represent them well. What they post should be consistent within the honorable mission of Summit Church.
This is just of several great articles from “Social Media Risk Management: A Starter Kit” — an in-depth eBook from Church Executive. Download the eBook (at no cost) here.
The publication of any statement, comment, imagery or information through any medium of communication which is potentially adverse to the operation, morale or efficiency of Summit Church, is subject to disciplinary action.
We encourage staff to use the 5R’s when using social media:
- Reason. Simply put: use reasonable etiquette, the same as you would offline.
- Represent yourself. Anonymous profiles lend themselves to more negative content.
- Responsibility. Make sure that what you’re saying is factually correct, and also that it doesn’t reveal information that we haven’t yet announced publicly.
- Respect. What you say online is a permanent record, so don’t say anything online you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying to the whole office — with a camera rolling.
- Restraint. Before you hit that “send” button, pause and reread. If you wouldn’t want that particular thought or contribution forever associated with your name, don’t post it.
(5R’s taken from the post, “To Do: Update Company’s Social Media Policy ASAP,” Forbes.com)
In a time of corporate crisis, we ask our staff not to send out communication that has not been approved by Senior Leadership and to use discretion about what they are posting. We ask that emotional processing happens within the context of a close personal friend, community of believers or spouse, and not posted publicly over social media outlets, blogs or email.
Staff who have access to social media accounts for Summit Church, need to be aware that they are representing the views and vision of Summit Church.
The publication of any statement, comment, imagery or information through any medium of communication, which is potentially adverse to the operation, morale, or efficiency of Summit Church, is subject to disciplinary action.
In time of corporate crisis, we want our Social Media team to use discretion in the comments and posts that are made. We desire to be as transparent to the degree to which it is helpful to our congregation. We also want to allow Senior Leadership the first opportunity to address the congregation personally. Therefore, a time off of social media platforms may be needed to allow for this space.
Summit’s social media team is encouraged to monitor Facebook, Twitter and Instagram comments and respond within 24 to 48 hours. A level of security has been placed on Facebook in regards to blocking specific words and language.
Summit social media accounts should only follow staff, in addition to vendors who represent the values that hold true to Summit Church.
For former employees with previous access to Summit’s account:
Access to Summit’s account is manually removed on Facebook, along with an update of other Social Media and Social Media service (such as Hootsuite) passwords.
513 Social Networking and Blogging Policy
Effective Date: 3/1/2013
To protect Summit Church’s interests, employees must adhere to the following rules:
Employees may not post on a blog or social networking site excessively during their working time, unless this is an express part of their job duties on behalf of Summit or their department.
All rules regarding confidential business information apply in full to blogs and social networking sites. Any information that cannot be disclosed through a conversation, a note or an e-mail also cannot be disclosed on a blog or social networking site. The transmission of confidential or proprietary information without the permission of Summit Church is prohibited.
If you mention Summit Church in a blog or elsewhere in online social media, or it is reasonably clear you are referring to Summit Church or a position taken by Summit Church, and also express a political opinion or an opinion regarding Summit Church’s positions, actions, or products, the post must specifically disclose your relationship with Summit Church and note that the opinion expressed is your personal opinion and not Summit Church’s position.
Any conduct which is impermissible under the law if expressed in any other form or forum is impermissible if expressed through a social networking site. For example, posted material that is discriminatory, defamatory, libelous or malicious is forbidden. Summit Church’s policies — including but not limited to the Equal Employment
Opportunity, Sexual Harassment, Harassment and Workplace Violence policies — apply equally to employee comments on social networking sites, even if done on nonworking time. Employees are encouraged to review those sections of the Handbook for further guidance.
Excerpted from Summit Church’s Employee Handbook