External Relations

Use of Digital and Multimedia

Section: External Relations Policies
Policy Name: Use of Digital and Multimedia
Policy Owner: Vice President for Communications and Marketing
Responsible University Office: Office of Communications and Marketing
Origination Date: October 23, 2008
Revisions: April 10, 2009; May 27, 2010; September 26, 2017
Legacy Policy Number: 1-25
  1. SCOPE OF POLICYThis policy addresses the need to establish a University of Delaware (the “University”)-wide standard of excellence for creation, use and management of all digital and multimedia properties including, but not limited to, websites, social media, email marketing, video, and photos.

    This policy applies to all digital and multimedia properties which are either University-owned or maintained on behalf of the University, including those overseen by employees, student workers, and official Social Media Ambassadors on behalf of the University. These digital and multimedia properties include websites within the udel.edu domain or any subdomain, social media accounts, hosting and distribution channels.

    While this policy also provides guidance to University employees [and students] who use personal accounts, this policy is not intended to regulate the private use of Social Media by University employees [or students]. Digital and multimedia properties operated by Greek Life and Registered Student Organizations that otherwise comply with the University’s student policies on Responsible Computing, the Policy for Responsible Computing and clearly demonstrate through their content and branding that the account is student-run, are not subject to this policy.

    Compliance with this policy is necessary for the protection of the University’s digital reputation, adherence to federal and state regulations, i.e., copyright, trademarks, ADA, contests, etc., and for effective execution of crisis management.

    1. Digital and multimedia properties: Any and all websites, social media, email marketing, video and photos that are either University-owned or maintained on behalf of the University.
    2. Personal Account: A website, blog, social media account or similar digital property owned and operated by University of Delaware faculty, staff, or students in their individual capacity and not for official University business.
    3. Social Media: As used in this policy, “social media” generally refers to any of the widely accessible electronic tools, websites, apps or platforms that enable anyone to communicate, publish and access information, collaborate on a common effort, share user-generated content, or build relationships. Social media may include, but is not limited to, platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, applications like Snapchat or WhatsApp, blogs, forums or other technologies.
    4. Social Media Ambassadors (SMA): Brand advocates for the University, usually students, who are part of a unique program that allows for managing UD-owned digital and multimedia properties that carry the branding and identity of both UD and the individual. These accounts are only available to those in the SMA Program, which is run by the Office of Communications and Marketing. Individuals selected for the SMA Program sign contracts with OCM.
    5. Takeovers: When another person/entity/personality runs a branded social media account for a designated period of time, typically to showcase a “life in the day.”
    6. Paid: Any digital media for which funds are spent for purposes related to advertising. Paid covers all forms of marketing use where the University is paying for a placement, such as Google AdWords, Facebook ads, promoted tweets, Snapchat filters, and LinkedIn ads.
    1. All digital and multimedia properties that represent the University, whether in name, as a program, department, college, group, entity, etc. must be officially approved by OCM and in some cases IT prior to creation and launch.
      1. The University reserves the right of OCM and IT, in their discretion, to pull down or modify any digital or multimedia property, including those created prior to receiving approval or those not complying with this policy.
    2. The content of these properties should follow the guidelines, best practices, and processes issued by OCM in this policy as well as any future iterations.
    3. In the absence of other contracts with mutually agreed upon terms, any collateral captured, created, used or distributed by, for, or on behalf of UD is owned by the University. This includes collateral such as photography from freelancers, video from outside agencies or branded materials.
    1. General Best Practices and User Acceptance
      1. University employees [and students] are expected to adhere to best practices at all times when utilizing social media in connection with the University. This includes respect for the following:
        1. Personal Information. Users must at all times respect the confidentiality of students and employees and must follow the applicable requirements such as FERPA, HIPAA and NCAA regulations. Personal information, such as phone numbers, addresses or other location information, should not be shared;
        2. Confidential Information. Users must be mindful of confidentiality obligations that may apply to certain information, such as financial or research information, and should not post any information subject to an obligation of confidentiality;
        3. Intellectual Property. Users must be mindful of and refrain from violating the copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property rights of others, including of the University. For assistance with approved, copyright-free music, photo, video, etc., contact OCM;
        4. Safety Protocols. As a research institution, UD has safety protocols for various laboratories, buildings, and practices. All multimedia and content must adhere to these guidelines, set forth by OCM and Environmental Health and Safety;
        5. Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policies. Users must follow the terms of service set forth by the various digital and multimedia platforms.
      2. Individuals engage with the University’s digital and multimedia properties at their own risk and take personal responsibility for their comments, usernames, and any information provided.
        1. Comments expressed by users or followers on University digital and multimedia properties do not reflect the views of the University. Individuals should include a disclaimer to that effect, such as, “The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University.”
    2. Rules Applicable to Digital and Multimedia Properties:
      1. Requesting and Registering Properties:
        1. Anyone who wishes to maintain a digital or multimedia property for official University business must follow the request process defined by the Office of Communications & Marketing.
        2. If the request is not approved, OCM will advise on implementing a strategy, likely using existing University digital and multimedia platforms.
        3. OCM and IT maintain the list of registered digital and multimedia properties for the University, which includes authorized administrators responsible for platform management and adherence to all policies, processes and best practices.
      2. Administration
        1. Each digital and multimedia property must have at least two full-time employees (staff or faculty) account administrators, including one designee from OCM or the unit’s IT or Communications team. This is to ensure that there is a fail-safe method for accessing the account if one of the administrators becomes unavailable, particularly in an emergency situation. In the case of SMAs, it is the individual represented in the account and the SMA program administrator in OCM who serve as account administrators.
        2. All registered social media accounts must be accessible to OCM through a selected content management system, e.g., Hootsuite or Facebook Business. This requires sharing passwords with OCM, specifically the University’s social media manager, and updating him/her if password changes.
        3. Account administrators must complete digital and multimedia platform training coordinated by OCM’s Marketing team or the individual unit’s IT or Communications team.
        4. Takeovers should be coordinated with OCM to follow the current process. Contracts must be executed for granting temporary access and providing relevant oversight by the property manager.
      3. Releases and Permissions
        1. Releases should be obtained for every individual identified for any collateral captured, created, used or distributed by UD. This includes both adults and minors, and these releases are available from OCM.
        2. For gathering content where large groups are present, such as events, individuals should be notified – whether through digital, print or personal communication that the event is being utilized for official University business, e.g. creating marketing materials or live streamed on the homepage for a virtual experience. OCM maintains language that should be used in these instances.
        3. When multimedia that is not owned by UD is used for any University project or on a digital or multimedia property, releases must be signed to give the University rights for use and distribution. For example, this content could include video taken by a student on a UD study abroad program, photos from a research team in the field, or a video interview conducted by an outside vendor. OCM has contracts that should be utilized for such needs.
      4. Content
        1. Anything posted on official University social media sites, by the administrator or followers, should be in good taste and appropriate for all audiences, although it is understood there are times when research or academic content on controversial topics may be highlighted. Nothing in this policy is intended to abridge academic freedom. The University reserves the right to reuse photos, comments, videos, stories, and similar media shared on social media in accordance with the terms of use of the applicable social media platform.
        2. OCM may request content to be removed or edited on digital and multimedia properties. This includes any content or message on behalf of an official person, college or unit representing the University on any digital or multimedia property.
        3. Any digital or multimedia property must adhere to the branding requirements set forth by the Branding Director in OCM.
        4. Any digital or multimedia property must comply with federal web accessibility laws and regulations Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990; specifically, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Level AA.
        5. Any paid media on digital or multimedia properties should follow the advertising policy and current processes overseen by OCM.
        6. Any contests, sweepstakes, giveaway, etc. that is conducted on a digital or multimedia property must use approved processes and language set forth by Office of General Counsel and/or OCM.
      5. Moderation Procedure
        1. The University reserves the right to delete comments that a digital or multimedia property administrator deems inappropriate. Inappropriate comments include, but are not limited to:
          1. Political endorsements or partisan rhetoric;
          2. Outside links;
          3. Mudslinging or defamation;
          4. Comments irrelevant to the conversation;
          5. Advertisements and promotions or SPAM.
        2. Comments should not be deleted simply because they are negative. The University’s student policy on Responsible Computing as well as the Policy for Responsible Computing of the University apply.
    3. Rules for Unregistered Properties Not Supported by the University
      1. Anyone managing an unregistered digital or multimedia property should be aware that the University does not support properties that have not been registered under this policy. OCM and IT, in their discretion, may pull down unregistered digital or multimedia properties for failing to comply with this policy or the University’s branding or registration procedures. When unregistered properties are deemed by OCM to be necessary for official University business, OCM will work with individuals managing those unregistered digital or multimedia properties to bring them into compliance.
    4. Rules Applicable to Closing Digital and Multimedia Properties
      1. When digital or multimedia properties are no longer in use, they should be properly merged, de-branded, archived, removed, deactivated and/or shut down per the current processes overseen by OCM, University Archives and IT.
    5. Guidelines for Personal Accounts
      1. The University encourages employees [and students] to share news, events, and other matters of public record that relate to the University with friends and family. Those who post University-related material on Personal Accounts are asked to adhere to the following guidelines:
        1. Do not use any University logos or trademarks on your personal site;
        2. Do not use the University’s name or any University logos or trademarks to promote or endorse any product, cause, or political party or candidate; and
        3. Make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of the University by using a disclaimer such as, “The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University.”