Helping to spread the word…
Social Media guidelines for Irish Kidney Association employees and volunteers.
Social Media – general
You’re in a unique position to make a difference to the work we do…
In this section:
- Why this policy exists
- General guidelines
Why this policy exists
This social media policy describes the rules governing the use of social media on behalf of the Irish Kidney Association. It sets out how staff and volunteers must behave when using the charity’s accounts, some guidelines for personal social media accounts, and describes what staff may say about the charity on their personal accounts.
Social media can bring significant benefits to the Irish Kidney Association. However, it’s important that the employees and volunteers who use it do so in a way that enhances the charity’s prospects. Once something is posted, it is available and visible to anyone in the world who visits that site, and it is important that these posts are in keeping with the Irish Kidney Association’s core values and mission.
We hope that when talking about the IKA or on behalf of the IKA you’ll make good judgements and do not say or do anything that could reflect badly on the work the association does.
General social media guidelines
If unsure, don’t post it. You should err on the side of caution when posting. Contact a social media manager for more advice if necessary.
Be thoughtful and polite. Many social media users have gotten into trouble by simply failing to observe basic good manners online. Be mindful that text does not always convey tone.
Look out for security threats. Be on guard for phishing attempts, spam or malware.
Don’t make promises without checking. Social networks are very public, so don’t make any commitments or promises on behalf of the Irish Kidney Association without checking that the charity can deliver on the promises.
Handle complex enquires via other channels. Social networks are not a good place to resolve complicated enquiries and issues.
Once someone has made contact, use your judgement as to whether they should be passed on to the head office.
Respect the privacy of others. Be mindful when posting images or information that some people may not want to be included.
Take special care when using photos and details of under-18’s.
Remember, anything you say can be made public. Your privacy settings won’t necessarily stop people sharing your posts.
Fact check. Don’t post links to information that isn’t from a reputable source. There are a few well known accounts that masquerade as being helpful, but more often than not their advice is questionable.
Try to beat the algorithm. Facebook in particular is trying to phase out posts from business pages. You can help beat this, and get your content to the top of people’s newsfeeds by:
- Supporting each other’s pages (and the main IKA page) with likes, comments and shares
- Posting often, and at optimal times (i.e, not in the middle of the night)
- Reply to all interactions on the page
- Using images and videos. Facebook particularly favours posts that have video content.
The Irish Kidney Association and social media
Talk about and on behalf of the IKA with confidence…
In this section:
- The purpose of the charity’s accounts
- Charity account settings
- Authorized users and creating new accounts
- Inappropriate content and uses
- Copyright, security and data protection
- Damage limitation
- Personal social media accounts
The purpose of the charity’s social media accounts
The Irish Kidney Association’s social media accounts may be used for many different purposes. In general, these accounts should be used to:
- Respond to inquiries and requests for help
- Share insightful articles, videos, media and other content relevant to the charity.
- Provide followers with an insight into what goes on at the charity
- Promote events and campaigns
The IKA also respects that social media is a powerful tool that changes quickly. Employees and volunteers are encouraged to think of new ways to use it, and put those ideas to a social media manager.
Charity account settings
Profile images. Branch account profile photos will soon be updated to a uniform brand image. These will still identify each individual branch, but will also make sure each page is immediately recognizable as part of the IKA.
All account profile photos should not be changed unless specifically requested to do so by a social media manager, upon which the photo file will be provided.
You may personalize your branch page by changing your cover photo to an appropriate, high quality image.
Page names. Page names may be updated to make all pages more uniform in name format, and therefore more easily searchable for anyone seeking them out.
Page ‘about’ and information. Page ‘about’ sections and information will be updated to make all pages more uniform, and to ensure information is accurate and up-to-date.
Authorized users. Only people who have been authorized to use the charity’s social networking accounts may do so. Authorisation is provided by a social media manager – if you require another admin to be granted access to your page, please notify one of them first.
Do not allow anyone to use your account to post on your behalf, as you can be held responsible for anything that they post. Allowing only designated people to use the accounts ensure the charity’s social media presence is consistent and cohesive.
Creating social media accounts. New social media accounts in the charity’s name must not be created unless approved by a social media manager. If there is a case to be made for opening a new account, you should raise this with a social media manager.
Inappropriate content and uses
The IKA’s social media accounts must not be used to share or spread inappropriate content, or take part in any activities that could bring the charity into disrepute.
Users must not:
- Create or transmit material that might be defamatory or incur liability for the charity.
- Post messages, status updates or links to material that is inappropriate. Inappropriate content includes: pornography, racial or religious slurs, gender-specific comments, information encouraging criminal skills or terrorism, or materials relating to cults, gambling and illegal drugs. It also covers any text, images or other media that could reasonably offend someone on the basis of race, sex, religious or political beliefs, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law.
- Send offensive or harassing material
- Broadcast unsolicited views on social, political, religious or other non-business related matters.
- Send or post messages or material that could damage the Irish Kidney Associations image or reputation.
- Discuss colleagues, competitors, customers or suppliers without their approval.
You are not expected to be monitoring your account 24/7. Social media managers are responsible for overseeing all accounts, and will remove inappropriate posts as soon as possible.
The Irish Kidney Association respects and operates within copyright laws. Users may not use social media to publish or share any copyrighted software, media or materials owned by third parties, unless permitted by that third party.
Security and data protection
Employees and volunteers should be aware of the security and data protection issues that can arise from using social networks.
Users must not:
- Share or link to any content or information owned by the charity that could be considered confidential or sensitive.
- Share or link to data in a way that could breach the charity’s data protection policy.
- Click links in posts, updates or direct messages that look suspicious.
Always make sure to seek permission from the parent or guardian of a child before using an image of them, and if requested, do not hesitate to delete an image if asked to do so by a parent or guardian. Do not ever post content that could be used to identify or locate a child under the age of 18.
In the event of a damaging or misleading post being made, please notify someone at Donor House as soon as possible.
The following actions should occur:
- The offending post should be removed
- Where necessary an apology should be issued, either publicly or to the individual or organisation involved.
- The origin of the offending post should be explored and steps taken to prevent a similar incident occurring in the future.
Personal social media accounts
Social media has blurred the lines between personal comment and opinion and organisational views. Now anyone can make a comment online, and journalists do trawl the internet and social media for comments about people, organisations and issues.
Make sure that you’re not caught out. You should ensure it is clear that your personal accounts do not represent the Irish Kidney Association’s views or opinions. You may wish to include a disclaimer in your profile, e.g. “The views expressed are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer”.
We encourage our employees and volunteers to talk about us online. By sharing positive messages about the Irish Kidney Association, you can help us to reach a wider audience and spread the message about organ donation.
Who, and how?…
In this section:
- Potential sanctions
- Policy scope
- Contact details
Knowingly breaching this social media policy is a serious matter. Users who do so may have admin access revoked, and may be held personally liable for legal matters that arise from breaches of the policy.
The Irish Kidney Association reserves the right to monitor how social networks are used. Additionally, all data sent or received through charity accounts is part of official charity records, and the charity can be legally compelled to show that information to law enforcement agencies or other parties.
This policy applies to all staff, contractors and volunteers at the Irish Kidney Association who use social media whilst working – no matter whether for business or personal reasons. It applies no matter whether that social media use takes place on charity premises, while travelling for business or while working from home.
Social media sites and services we use include (but are not limited to):
Social media managers:
Robyn Black – Digital Media Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org
Colin White – National Projects Manager – email@example.com
Donor House (Head office):
Phone: 01 620 5306
Address: Donor House, Block 43A, Park West, Dublin 12