Editor’s Note: The Mainstream discussed new social media protocol at Umpqua Community College in Issue 44 Vol. 1. At the time of print for that issue, we were unable to provide clarification due to unforeseen circumstances. This issue we talked with Tiffany Coleman, UCC’s Director of Marketing and Communication about the new protocol and what it entails.
UCC has a Board policy that was adopted in 2011 “for creating and maintaining a professional image for Umpqua Community College to the public.” Policy 200 includes how media contact coordination should take place, press releases and advertisements as well as messages going out to the public, official publications which include, but are not limited to, the college catalog, class schedule, program brochures, view-books, websites and social media.
It also establishes who will maintain the college’s website and social media pages. The writing of the policy however, is broad and rather vague. Therefore, a new protocol based on the older policy was developed during the summer of 2017 by the senior leadership team and Dr. Thatcher, UCC’s President.
The new protocol establishes that Umpqua Community College is a brand name owned by the college and as such, anything that will use the name, likeness and logo must be cleared through the Communication and Marketing Department before that page or product goes “live.”
“Students or anyone else for that matter are not authorized to use the college’s name likeness or intellectual property as their own,” Coleman said. That means that no one can create web-pages, social media accounts/pages for any activities except for the college. According to the new protocol, if a student club or organization wants to create something sing the UCC name, likeness or logo, they must first meet with the Communications and Marketing department.
Part of the reasoning behind the new protocol’s requirement to have a “designated member of the Communications and Marketing staff [being] made a page administrator” is so dormant or dead social media pages can be deleted. When students leave school and a club dies, those who were running the Facebook page are still listed as administrators of that page, and therefore nothing can be changed about the page, including deletion of the account. That name also stays put of the options for other clubs or organizations that come afterwards.
Coleman found over 30 dead Facebook pages in her research that cannot be removed without having the proper administration privileges. The protocol enables staff from the Communications and Marketing department to make appropriate changes when needed.
Closed groups are exempt from having an administrator from the Communications department.
The duties of the administrator include adding new members and deleting members who are inactive and removing pages that are dormant. Facebook notifies the page administrator after the page has been dormant for a certain amount of time. They will not, however, be censoring any of the content on the page, even if it casts the college in a negative light. “I wouldn’t ever remove a post. I wouldn’t even recommend it,” Coleman said. “As an administrator for UCC, I’m not going to exercise censorship. I strongly believe in educational opportunities and people learning. And whenever a process hinders somebody’s ability to learn and communicate, then it becomes a problem.”
More communication and social media protocols are in need of development. The Communication Council is looking for two students to sit on the committee, provide impute and help craft these new policies.