Social media for individuals, for companies, for associations, music groups, … But what about universities? I decided to talk about this subject that directly touches us, students, and shows the evolution of our society. Indeed, social medias are really everywhere and even a university needs to monitor its apparition on the web. Do they verify these actions or just advice? Who is concern by this guideline?
After a short presentation of the university, I will analyse their Social Media Guideline in this following blog post.
Found on the website socialmediagovernance, Seattle University was the perfect case for me to study, as I spent 1 month in the Washington state in USA, there is 4 years. Moreover, when I navigate on their website, I was positively surprise that Seattle University’s sustainable practices were recognized in the Princeton Review’s Guide 1 for the third year in a row. They received a Green Rating of 95 on a scale from 60 to 99.
To talk about there social medias activities, they are really active on Facebook with more than 15000 fans posting everyday. In Twitter, more than 13000 people and organisations follow them. They interact with their followers and twits everyday about the university. The Seattle University also got a Youtube account with advertising video about the university and a Flickr account opened in 2009 with actually more than 200 pictures (which are good!).
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
“Seattle University strives to be helpful and responsive to news media seeking access to campus, facilities, staff and students while maintaining a safe learning environment and the reasonable privacy expectation of students and others.”
On their website, you can find a Marketing Communications section with all subjects dealing with their communication and obviously with social media policy, guideline.
The first point of this policy is to remind and recognize the importance of social media in our daily life. The purpose of these guidelines is to “assist in posting content and managing » all the social networks for “official and personal use of social media”.
The purpose of using these communication channels on behalf of Seattle University is clear: “support the university’s mission, goals, programs, and sanctioned efforts, including university news, information, content and directives”. Indeed the University want to control what is said, shared about them in the web. They don’t want « bad » things to appear. They remind the people that on these sites, they are “representing Seattle University » and they have to assume it. Another important thing will be the respect of each other. In the beginning of this guideline they call to mind that users have to “exercise discretion, thoughtfulness and respect for your colleagues, associates and the university’s supporters/community (social media fans)”. This is, I think a really important point, people think that they can write everything on social medias, that it’s private but all thoughts are not good to be said and it’s essential to respect others, and maybe more your colleagues.
About the content, the University ask to “Avoid discussing or speculating on internal policies or operations” which is quite normal, internal means not to share with the world. They also “refrain from reporting, speculating, discussing or giving any opinions on university topics or personalities that could be considered sensitive, confidential or disparaging”. To monitor as well as they can all the content, the University is demanding the posting people to “contact Seattle University Marketing Communications » before « engaging in any form of social media involving Seattle University”.
The last advice, good and relevant, is: “Seattle U encourages Faculty, Staff and Students to use social media but reminds users that at any time they can be perceived as a spokesperson of the University.” The “Final thoughts” are about any suggestions or feedback from the campus community that can be welcome.
That was really interesting for me see how a University can do to control, monitor its image on the web. I think Seattle University is good, their communication strategy is clear; they want people to share, publish about the university but in a way that they will promote it. On the website you can find all university logos, signatures, letterhead, etc. but also pictures about the campus life, the catholic identity or athletics. But to download these images, you have to agree with the fact that you asked the permission of the marketing communication service. That’s the perfect example of a University monitoring its image to appear as its best.
1 This guide profiles 320 institutions of higher education in the United States and two in Canada that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.