Social Media Guidelines and Account Authorization
Social media is an important communications tool for Kansas State University, allowing account administrators the opportunity to effectively connect with Wildcats across the globe. Social media platforms have become integrated into everyday life and can have a powerful impact on organizational and professional reputations. Utilizing social media presents a new set of ways to showcase the university as an educational institution and its commitment to teaching future generations, and Kansas State University recognizes the value this can create. At the same time, the university recognizes its obligation to ensure responsible and safe use of these technologies without fracturing the K-State brand presence, reputation and voice.
The following guidelines have been developed by the Division of Communications and Marketing to assist those employees authorized to act on behalf of the university on affiliated social media accounts to properly portray, promote and protect the university. Although each unit operates its own outlets, all approved Kansas State University social media accounts are a voice for the university and must adhere to these guidelines. These guidelines and policies are not intended to regulate personal social media accounts, but must be adhered to if the account is representing Kansas State University.
Units requesting official K-State social media platforms must go through the proper account authorization process (outlined below), including creating a social media strategy for each platform that outlines how the account will help reach unit goals.
Kansas State University advocates for units and programs to minimize fracturing the K-State brand presence, reputation and voice. Not every unit will receive authorization to create a social media account. A good practice is to utilize established accounts with a broader reach, such as a college-level account, to achieve the unit goals.
It is expected that account administrators continue to regularly review these guidelines and applicable policies. Follow the K-State Social Media User Policy (see below) and have it visible within the bio of the social media account.
Account administrators should keep the account active, responsive and engaging. Account administrators should monitor community conversations and messages, and deliver timely responses in a professional manner. Posting at optimal and varied times allows units to increase visibility and combat platform algorithms.
Even on social media, K-State remains an educational institution and is committed to teaching future generations.
Social media is a tool, not a solution. Platforms evolve very quickly, and not everyone within a target audience utilizes these platforms. It is important that other communication tools aside from social media are still used to reach unit communication goals.
During emerging situations, the official K-State social media accounts are the lead account for any public statements. Other account administrators shall cease any scheduled posts during an emergency or crisis situation, and post only information related to the emergency/crisis as directed and approved by the Division of Communications and Marketing.
If any questions or concerns arise, communicate them with your college/unit communicator and/or the Division of Communications and Marketing social media specialist.
Account Authorization Process
When a unit, department, program, or other authorized effort of the university desires to open a social media account and obtain recognition as an official K-State account, the following steps must be followed.
- Review policies: Review all applicable Kansas Board of Regents, State of Kansas and university policies (listed below) and agree to operate the desired university social media account in accordance with said policies. All university social media accounts and related content are the property of the university, and not the intellectual or personal property of the authorized employee.
- Develop a strategy: Develop a social media strategy for the proposed account. This should include goals, target audience, tactics and success measurement. For additional assistance in creating a strategy, contact the communications personnel for your college/unit or your Division of Communications and Marketing client manager.
- College/Unit consent: Communicate the strategy to your college/unit leadership and communications personnel for review and approval. The names and emails of the administrative approvers must be included in the application for authorization of the account.
- Request for authorization: Employees shall apply for authorization to create the social media account through the Division of Communications and Marketing Application for Social Media Account Authorization, and agree to the following:
- To adhere to the Kansas State University Brand Guide when posting content to the university-affiliated account, including but not limited to graphics, social icons and header images.
- To review all applicable policies (listed below) and agree to operate the desired university social media account in accordance with those policies.
- To wait until a decision has been made by the Division of Communications and Marketing regarding the request before creating the requested social media accounts.
- To cease any scheduled posts during an emergency or crisis situations, and post only information related to the emergency/crisis as directed and approved by the Division of Communications and Marketing.
- To authorize a minimum of two full-time university employees as account administrators on the platform(s) and that the account(s) shall not primarily be ran by students.
- DCM will contact you within 10 business days regarding the request and next steps.
Account administrators of university-affiliated social media accounts are generally expected to adhere to the same standards of conduct online as anywhere else within the workplace. All Kansas State University policies apply to social media outlets to the extent applicable. These policies include, but are not limited to:
- Social Media User Policy (see below)
- University Brand Guide
- Political Activity Policies
- PPM Chapter 3010
- PPM Chapter 3015
- PM Chapter 3320. Branding and Licensing.
- PPM Chapter 3330.040. Third-Party Use of University Images.
- PPM Chatper 3370. University Social Media Pages and Accounts
- PPM Chapter 3380. Communications with Media.
- PPM Chapter 4020
- University Handbook Section D
- Kansas Open Meetings Act
- Kansas Board of Regents Board Policy Manual Chapter 11. Section F.6
Social Media User Policy
Please personalize this user policy for your specific entity and place it visibly within the bio of the university-affiliated social media account. The URL k-state.edu/social may be placed within the bio instead of the full statement:
K-STATE NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATION
Kansas State University is committed to maintaining academic, housing, and work environments that are free of discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment. Discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, ancestry, disability, genetic information, military status, or veteran status is prohibited. Retaliation against a person for reporting or objecting to discrimination or harassment or for participating in an investigation or other proceeding is a violation of PPM Chapter 3010, whether or not discrimination or harassment occurred. PPM 3010 is not intended for, and will not be used to, infringe on academic freedom or to censor or punish students, faculty, employees, or staff who exercise their legitimate First Amendment rights.
In PPM 3010, discrimination is treating an individual adversely in employment, housing, or academic decisions based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, ancestry, disability, genetic information, military status, or veteran status without a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the treatment, or maintaining seemingly neutral policies, practices, or requirements that have a disparate impact on employment, on-campus housing, or academic opportunities of members of the above-listed protected categories without a valid business or academic reason.
The person designated with responsibility for coordination of compliance efforts and receipt of inquiries concerning the nondiscrimination policy is the university's Title IX Coordinator: the Director of the Office of Institutional Equity, email@example.com, 220 Kedzie Hall, 828 Mid-Campus Drive South, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506-1500. Telephone: 785-532-6220 | TTY or TRS: 711. The campus ADA Coordinator is the Director of Employee Relations and Engagement, who may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 103 Edwards Hall, 1810 Kerr Drive, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506-4801, 785-532-6277 and TTY or TRS 711.
Revised August 14, 2020