Social Media Guidelines
IEEE Social Media Overview
IEEE social media consists of digital/online presence that allow individuals to post and share content publicly and allow others to view and respond to that content.
IEEE encourages the use of social media to engage our target audiences. It is important to remember that, with online social networks, the lines between public and private, personal and professional, are blurred. When a person identifies himself/herself with IEEE, perceptions may be created as a result – about IEEE and about the person’s expertise.
The purpose of this document is to outline the IEEE guidelines when engaging on social media. Definitions of social media are noted within the document.
What must I do to get started?
Register your site, and as part of your registration do the following:
- Familiarize yourself with the IEEE Social Media Policy (PDF, 978 KB)
- Identify your target audience, authorized use for your social media presence, provide sample intended posts
- Identify a primary and secondary contact for your social media presence
- Agree to comply with the IEEE Social Media Operations and Best Practices Guide
You must complete the steps above before setting up a social media presence.
- IEEE recognizes the impact and potential of social media in areas such as communication, collaboration, data sharing, discovery, content development and publishing. IEEE encourages organizational units and groups of members, volunteers and employees to engage on social media when appropriate and to use them to further the mission of IEEE. (To review the IEEE Social Media Policy, see IEEE Policies , Section 9.27 (PDF, 978 KB))
- Procedures: Site administrators should ensure that the following procedures are followed:
- Maintain a registration of their IEEE social media sites with IEEE
- Use disclaimers appropriately
- Follow best practices for the posting of information
- Obtain guidance on or reporting possible noncompliance of the IEEE Social Media Operations and Best Practices Guide or the IEEE Social Media Policy, see IEEE Policies, Section 9.27 (PDF, 978 KB)
- IEEE Corporate Communications & Brand Marketing will oversee matters of communication and conformance with this Social Media Policy (PDF, 978 KB) Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have identified noncompliance or for questions.
IEEE Social Media Operations and Best Practices Guide
For all IEEE members, volunteers, employees, vendors, consultants, and contract workers.
Objective and Definitions
- These guidelines for the use of social media pertain to IEEE members, volunteers, employees, vendors, consultants and contract workers (these groups of individuals are referred to in the remainder of this document as IEEE Community Members) when using social media for, or on behalf of, IEEE. In addition to these guidelines, all other IEEE policies that are directed to some or all IEEE Community Members apply, as appropriate, to activities that take place on, or in the context of, social media.
- For the purposes of this policy, “social media” is defined as any websites, portals or other digital-based applications that allow individuals to post and share content publicly, and which allow other individuals to view, respond to and share this content further. This includes but is not limited to: public blogging and micro-blogging; music, image, audio and video sharing; review and opinion sharing; gaming and entertainment; location-based, event-based and occupation-based networks; information and news aggregation; presentation sharing; advocacy and fundraising; creation of virtual worlds; and all-purpose wide-appeal networks geared toward general audiences.
Social media presences that are operated on behalf of IEEE and/or feature IEEE logos or brands must support the mission of IEEE and be administered by:
- Current employees, with alternate employee(s) designated
- Members and volunteers in good standing, with alternate member(s) or volunteer(s) designated
- Vendors/consultants acting on behalf of IEEE, with employee(s) or volunteer(s) designated as responsible for the account
Presences or websites created or operated by individuals, volunteers or employees, which are or may reasonably be perceived as associated with IEEE because of the operator’s role in IEEE, must carry disclaimers indicating that the opinions and content shared on that platform are those of their operators and not of IEEE.
As an individual, you may not make a formal statement on behalf of IEEE without consultation and approval from the IEEE Corporate Communications and Legal teams. Any crisis communications should also be referred to the Corporate Communications Department.
IEEE maintains a registry of IEEE associated social media presences. IEEE requires that presences that are operated on behalf of IEEE and/or feature IEEE logos or brands, register their site with IEEE. Failure to register a social media presence may result in the removal of that social media presence. Any use of IEEE logos, brands, or trademarks must be in accordance with the IEEE Branding Guidelines.
Social media allows operators to measure what works and does not work. Doing so will help an operator appeal to their targeted audience. Metrics should be reported and reviewed by individual account administrators on a bi-weekly or monthly basis to ensure audiences are appropriately and successfully engaged.
Social Media Conduct
- IEEE expects and requires proper online conduct in relation to social media and for proper coordination of IEEE social media efforts.
- This social media code of conduct is designed to protect individuals engaged in social media-related activities and IEEE, as information online may be viewable by a large audience and potentially have negative consequences.
- IEEE reserves the right to update these guidelines, social media code of conduct as social media evolves, and the laws that govern social media change.
- Be truthful. Social media involves relationships, and therefore trust. Violating trust can have an extremely negative impact. Build your own reputation through honesty and integrity. Never impersonate someone else or intentionally obscure your identity or association with IEEE. Always disclose if you have received something in exchange for a review of a product or service – this is the law in some countries.
- Be polite and levelheaded, not defensive. Avoid irritable or angry responses, especially when you disagree with someone. Point out errors, but never disparage or defame. Published posts are usually impossible to remove completely. When you see a conversation that IEEE staff or volunteer leaders should know about, please forward the thread contents and a link by email to email@example.com.
- Be responsible and professional. You may be personally responsible for the content you publish online. If you identify yourself as an IEEE member, volunteer, employee, vendor, consultant, or contract worker, ensure that your profile and related content reflects your professionalism. Do not post anything that could compromise the professional image of you, your colleagues, or IEEE. Understand and use privacy settings. Keep content you share with your close personal network separate from content you share with your IEEE contacts.
- Correct your mistakes. If you make a mistake, whether it is a factual inaccuracy or an inappropriate comment/statement, admit it and correct it quickly. When in the wrong be sincere rather than defensive. Whenever possible, add a correction to the original post using brief, concise language. When a mistake is made and/or an issue arises, contact firstname.lastname@example.org promptly so that the situation can be addressed.
- Content & Attribution
- Share only reputable content. Post information that is accurate and reputable. Avoid linking to questionable content. If in doubt about the reliability of a source, avoid using it. To the extent possible, rely on established media managed by reputable organizations.
- Respect confidentiality, privacy, and intellectual property. Respect individual privacy, proprietary information and content, confidentiality, brands, trademarks, and copyright. Ensure that you comply with laws and policies that apply to you including IEEE policies and confidentiality agreements, and site or application policies. Do not discuss non-public, confidential or proprietary matters without prior permission or authority, including the categories of confidential information.
- Attribute material that is not your own. Always provide a citation traceable to the origin, including the original link, when quoting someone else. When needed, properly attribute images to their sources. Use of photographs without appropriate licenses or permission is prohibited. Please note that all photographs are potentially subject to copyright. Use of an image obtained from a search engine or other source may violate the rights of the copyright owner and subject IEEE to liability. Never use copyrighted material without permission.
- Be timely and accurate. Social media is fast moving and ever evolving. If you report about a particular subject matter—especially as it relates to IEEE business—ensure that your content is accurate and up-to-date. Stick to your areas of expertise. Responses in social media need to be thoughtful and timely. If a comment warrants a response, do not allow an excessive period to pass before providing a response. There should also be consistency on when content is posted--daily or weekly.
- IEEE requires that all social media entities associated with IEEE respect IEEE’s principles of scholarly publishing as applicable.
- Do not spam or post unsolicited messages. Do not post inappropriate content, advertisements, promotions and/or solicitations for products and services to social media sites.
- Ensure the objective of your social media site matches the content you are providing. Links should be in response to a specific query, except in cases where a site exists in part to promote or market an IEEE event, product, or service. In those cases, individuals are choosing to receive that information.
- Candidates and others involved in elections for IEEE offices must follow IEEE Candidate Conduct and Electioneering Guidelines as defined in IEEE Policies Sections 13.1, 13.7, 14.1 (PDF, 978 KB).
- Do not engage with the news media or industry analysts to discuss official IEEE business on IEEE’s behalf. All such inquiries must be directed to and handled by the Corporate Communications team and should be directed to email@example.com
- One of the objectives of these best practices is to protect individuals engaged in social media-related activities and IEEE. Information published online may be searchable, discoverable, and used against you or IEEE in the future.
- Link to appropriate policies, and abide by the policies. IEEE requires a link and adherence to its Nondiscrimination Policy on all sites that are operated on behalf of IEEE. Ensure your site complies with all applicable laws, employer or university policies, IEEE policies and confidentiality agreements, and site or application policies.
- Requirements associated with promoting or running contests, sweepstakes, sponsorships, etc. via social channels. Required items include:
- IEEE Terms & Conditions
- Using the Proper Brand tone when speaking about, or on behalf of, the IEEE brand
- Appropriate IEEE legal documentation (e.g. contest rules, photo releases). Utilize the IEEE Official Contest Rules. Once established, review with the IEEE legal team prior to deployment.
- Live streaming, Webinars, Videos
- Content & Attribution: Prior to launching any live broadcasts, videos, imagery, etc. on IEEE platforms, the Content & Attribution section of the IEEE Social Media Policy must be reviewed. Multimedia used or captured should not contain any content that IEEE does not have the rights to use or that is not in the public domain [see section below on what to avoid].
- Right of Publicity & Material, Talent, Minor Release Forms: Permission must be obtained from all individuals featured in imagery or videos. If a minor will be filmed or recorded, it is mandatory this permission be in writing from a parent or guardian.
- Location Release / Permits: In addition to obtaining releases from individuals appearing in multimedia, written approval must be given from all applicable locations where filming occurs. Even when filming in a location wherein you have obtained permission, be cognizant and respectful of individuals in the area and their reasonable expectation of privacy.
- Controlled Environment: Live multimedia capturing, whether it be audio, video, etc. has a significantly higher risk due to external variables / unintended scenarios. A controlled setting must be selected in order to limit these issues. These core areas must be adhered to in all content being captured by individuals representing IEEE:
- Copyright Infringement:
- When capturing multimedia, it is essential to ensure that you, or any individuals working with you or on your behalf, do not capture or include content you do not have the rights to.
- This is applicable, but not limited to company logos, trademarked material, sensitive information, music playing in the background / added to produced works, works of art, written materials, presentations, conference sessions / panels, performances, etc.
- Privacy / Right of Publicity Violations:
- For speakers at an event, written consent must be received before, not after, filming begins.
- Imagery, live broadcasts, videos, etc. must be set up in a fashion that limits capturing identifiable individuals who are not aware of the filming, have not provided permission to be filmed, or cannot be filmed for legal reasons.
- It is recommended to carry printed copies of the IEEE Media Release Form if there is a possibility that filming may occur and a release may become necessary.
- Broadcast / Visibility Control
- At all times, it is essential that you retain the ability to terminate, end, or stop any live streams, broadcasts, filming, etc. in the event of an unforeseen negative occurrence or a violation of the IEEE Social Media Policy and/or applicable terms & conditions.
- For existing content, that may live on a digital platform or social media site, an IEEE staff person(s) must have the immediate ability to access content and remove the content.
- Scenery Control
- Surrounding Environment: It is essential to pick an area that is both safe, optimized for filming (audio / visuals), and does not contain any copyrighted content in the background.
- Safety: In public spaces or conferences / events, it is recommended to film in an area that does not pose danger to participants or bystanders.
- Content Control:
- Opinions: It is typical to leverage guest speakers, technical experts, attendees, etc. in content creation. During live events where content is not as easily controlled (conference panels, live streams, etc.), it is necessary to have speakers identify that opinions are their own and not necessarily those of IEEE.
- Unethical or Dishonorable Content: It is essential that IEEE multimedia does not contain any controversial, illegal, inappropriate, unethical, or dishonorable content. If this occurs during a live broadcast / event, the stream must be shut down immediately.
- Scripts / Outline / Backup Plans: During live events, it is recommended to have a general flow that the event will follow. In addition, if unexpected issues occur (technological issues, connectivity, external circumstances, etc.) a backup plan should be in place prior to starting the event.
- Local Laws & Conferences / Events:
- Review Local Laws: It is essential to familiarize yourself with local laws of the areas you will be filming as they vary significantly in different states and countries.
- Conference / Events: When filming / capturing content from any conference or event, it is essential to review the conference/event’s terms & conditions ahead of time as some events strictly prohibit the distribution of conference content, do not include media / right of publicity agreements, etc.
- Social Media Tagging Requirements:
- Although tagging public individuals or organizations from a brand page has become the norm among top brands, IEEE social media admins should receive written permission from private individuals you may wish to tag prior to including them in threads or distributing content that includes them on social pages.
- Copyright Infringement:
- Linking Strategy: A link in social media should have text surrounding it rather than only placing a link into a social media post. Links should never say "Click Here", "Here", or the URL itself. Links are to be verified and tested prior to usage. Linking to a source requires the identification of the source and clearly indicating what is being talked about within the context. Linking to an author’s content requires the author to be fully cited along with the appropriate naming of their content. If you do not properly credit (i.e. cite) content or quotes it cannot be posted. For quotes, link directly to the source of the quote either immediately before or after the quote itself. The display text that houses the link should be either the name of the individual or the business you are quoting. Be sure you know the exact source when using a direct quote. If there is any question, do not use the content. See IEEE Digital Governance for more information.
All discussions on social media must remain on the respective social media platforms in order to be considered compliant
Aggregated and anonymized information (such as demographic information) for press releases, etc. can be used as long as information, from analytics, does not tie back to a particular person’s personal data including, but not limited to, their IP address.