Marketing and Communications

Guidelines

The University of Portsmouth supports participation in social media from areas of the University, subject to the guidelines detailed below.  The creation of any social media presence that claims to represent the University or any of its associated organisations in an official capacity must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • You need to contact corporate.communications@port.ac.uk (put SOCIAL MEDIA in the subject) to raise awareness of new university related social media activity in the first instance before creating an account or requesting server space / a blog installation from IS.
  • If the engagement represents the University, or any of its departments or activities, the appropriate manager must approve its creation and an administrator(s) must be assigned to maintain it.
  • Once created, login details must be made available on request to the University’s Corporate Communications team.
  1. Never represent yourself or the University in a false or misleading way. You need to be prepared to evidence any claim and all statements must be true and not misleading.
  2. Stick to your area of expertise and write what you know – your ‘voice’ and perspective will make this unique and interesting.
  3. You should not post messages offering advice or opinions on behalf of the University when this is not part of your approved work.
  4. You don’t have to be an expert on behalf of other departments or post messages about their areas of work - refer enquiries outside your direct field to the appropriate University website pages or colleague.  Please see the responsibilities area of these pages.
  5. Write in the first person and be transparent.  When you are writing about the University, use your real name, identify that you work for the University, and be clear about your role. If you have a professional or vested interest in what you are discussing, make sure that this is declared.
  6. Make sure your efforts to be transparent don't violate the University's privacy, confidentiality, and legal guidelines or bring the University into disrepute.
  7. Reply to comments in a timely manner.
  8. Respect proprietary information, content, financial disclosure regulations and confidentiality.  It is your responsibility to ensure you have sought appropriate copyright permission for third party content and have permission to use any images.
  9. Do not publish or report on conversations that are meant to be private or internal to the University of Portsmouth without express permission from senior staff.
  10. Never comment on anything related to legal matters, litigation, or any parties with whom the University may be in dispute.
  11. Do not denigrate our competitors or University of Portsmouth. Remember, once the words are out there, you can't really get them back.
  12. Seek guidance before participating in social media when the topic being discussed may be considered sensitive (e.g. a crisis situation, intellectual property, a volatile news story, commercially sensitive material).
  13. Refer social media activity around sensitive topics to the Director of Marketing and Communications, or in their absence to the Head of Corporate Communications or the Press and PR Manager.
  14. Apologise quickly and honestly for any mistakes you make in online conversations.
  15. In online social networks, the lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred. By identifying yourself as a University employee, you are creating audience perceptions about your expertise and about the University of Portsmouth. Be a good ambassador by ensuring that all content associated with you is consistent with your work and the University’s values and professional standards.
  16. Remember, you may be personally responsible for your content.