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Social media for school and departmental promotion procedure

Version number 4.3 | Version effective 04 August 2022
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Social media for school and departmental promotion procedure

Audience

Department-wide

Purpose

To ensure that all online communications made on behalf of the Department of Education (DoE) using social media are consistent and appropriate as well as compliant with applicable laws concerning privacy, copyright and consent.  

Overview

Social media provides opportunities to build communities and to encourage dialogue through the exploration and consideration of diverse thoughts and views. With the rapid growth and application of social media, DoE recognises the need to have procedures and guidelines, which ensure that those who use social media as part of their job, have guidance on DoE’s expectations where social media is used.

This procedure provides guidance that DoE, including schools, must take into consideration when establishing or maintaining social media accounts.

The social media platforms currently approved for schools and for the department to use are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram. Schools are permitted one whole-of-school account per approved platform. It is important to have an understanding of how each of these social media platforms work, your target audience and how it fits into your overall engagement strategy before establishing a social media account.

Responsibilities

Administrators:

  • Plan, prepare and publish approved content
  • Monitor social media channels including the weekends and after hours
  • Provide timely responses to social media enquiries
  • Check spam folder - refer to Acceptable Use Guidelines in the ‘Notes’ section of the new Facebook page
  • Maintain the social media accounts settings with the profanity block list set on ‘strong’
  • Ensure that parental or student consent is obtained for images, recordings and student work and that:
    • Consent is obtained using the Department’s State School Consent Form or Project Consent Form which is part of the Obtaining and managing student and individual consent procedure
    • Content is appropriate, not tagged and disparaging comments are not placed underneath
    • Check the content does not infringe copyright laws.
  • Ensure that videos are uploaded with closed captions
  • Report posts that are offensive, derogatory or incorrect using the Facebook online reporting tool
  • Escalate any allegations of harm to the Integrity and Employee Relations team via integrity@qed.qld.gov.au
  • Report any new unofficial departmental or school accounts to Strategic Communication and Engagement (SCE)
  • Communicate any changes to account information (e.g. passwords, administrator changes) to SCE via email to socialmedia.sce@qed.qld.gov.au
  • Use the Queensland Government (DoE employees only) or school logo or departmental initiatives approved design as the profile picture
  • Ensure the social media account does not follow businesses, political parties or religious organisations and that due care is taken when following individuals
  • Manage social media channels in accordance with Schools Social Media Guide (DoE employees only) and the Social Media Moderators Guide(DoE employees only).

Principals:

  • Approve the establishment of social media accounts for the school
  • Ensure there is only one whole-of-school account per approved platform
  • Ensure systems and processes are in place to support responsiveness (such as workflows and technology) as well as to receive feedback and implement changes easily if things are not working
  • Ensure a clearly defined and documented approval process is in place, including for after-hours enquiries
  • Ensure the administrator(s) is appropriately skilled to manage social media channels
  • Ensure staff complete the department’s Introduction to social media management training (DoE employees only) and facilitate social media training to improve staff knowledge and skills as required
  • Ensure social media channels are managed in accordance with Schools Social Media Guide (DoE employees only) and the Social Media Moderators Guide (DoE employees only)
  • Approve (if not delegated) posts ensuring they are suitable for release to the public and do not contain any information that is restricted or sensitive to the department or school operations. Posts are to be apolitical, impartial, professional and sensitive to the diversity of the Australian public
  • Ensure staff are available to monitor, update and moderate social media channels, including on weekends, school holidays and after hours. To manage the risk of staff fatigue at work, consider implementing an on-call roster
  • Maintain the social media accounts settings with the profanity block list set on ‘strong’
  • Ensure the school account does not follow businesses, political parties or religious organisations and that due care is taken when following individuals
  • Notify SCE of any unofficial departmental or school social media accounts via email to socialmedia.sce@qed.qld.gov.au
  • Notify Cybersafety and Reputation Management (CSRM) if you require advice or assistance dealing with inappropriate content via email to cybersafety.reputationmanagement@qed.qld.gov.au or phone (07) 3034 5035 or refer to the Online incident management guidelines for school leaders (DoE employees only)
  • Review access to each social media account quarterly and make changes to the list of administrators as required. SCE must not be removed as a backup administrator of the account
  • In the event of an election, ensure social media activity aligns with Caretaker Guidelines (DoE employees only).

Directors (central and regional offices):

  • Engage with SCE to discuss the establishment of a social media account
  • For new departmental accounts, ensure that the intended use of the platform does not duplicate existing departmental social media accounts (SCE will provide advice)
  • Prepare a General Briefing Note to the Deputy Director-General to seek approval to establish a social media account
  • Ensure systems and processes are in place to support responsiveness (such as workflows and technology)
  • Ensure the administrator(s) is familiar and compliant with this procedure and the Queensland Government Social Media Guide
  • Ensure the administrator(s) complete the department’s Introduction to social media management training (DoE employees only) and facilitate social media training to improve staff knowledge and skills as required
  • Ensure resources are available to monitor, update and moderate social media channels, including on weekends and after hours and determine how staff will be compensated for time worked out of hours. To manage the risk of staff fatigue at work, consider implementing an on-call roster
  • Notify SCE of any unofficial departmental or school social media accounts via email to socialmedia.sce@qed.qld.gov.au
  • Notify Cybersafety and Reputation Management (CSRM) if you require advice or assistance dealing with inappropriate content via email to cybersafety.reputationmanagement@qed.qld.gov.au or phone (07) 3034 5035 or refer to the Online incident management guidelines for school leaders (DoE employees only)
  • Approve posts, ensuring they are suitable for release to the public and do not contain any information that is restricted or sensitive to the department or school operations. Posts are to be apolitical, impartial, professional and sensitive to the diversity of the Australian public
  • Review access to each social media account quarterly and make changes to the list of administrators as required. SCE must not be removed as a backup administrator of the account
  • In the event of an election, ensure social media activity aligns with Caretaker Guidelines (DoE employees only).

Director, Partnerships and Marketing, SCE:

  • Have a thorough understanding of social media platforms
  • Support schools and departmental business units to establish and manage social media accounts
  • Ensure the Social and Digital Marketing team is familiar and compliant with this procedure and the Queensland Government Social Media guide
  • Provide advice to senior executives, departmental and school-based staff regarding effective use of social media
  • Oversee the department’s corporate social media accounts and social capability strategy
  • Approve posts for the department’s corporate social media accounts ensuring they are suitable for release to the public and do not contain any information that is restricted or sensitive to the department or school operations. Posts are to be apolitical, impartial, professional and sensitive to the diversity of the Australian public
  • Ensure the SCE social media and digital marketing team is appropriately skilled and facilitate social media training to improve staff knowledge and skills as required
  • Ensure the department’s social media training materials are up to date and relevant
  • Build schools and department capability by providing relevant training and resources to staff who manage social media for schools or the department
  • Notify Cybersafety and Reputation Management (CSRM) of any unofficial departmental or school social media accounts via email to cybersafety.reputationmanagement@qed.qld.gov.au
  • Identify and investigate new and emerging social media technology and channels to determine their potential to add value to the work of the department and schools
  • When required, decommission social media accounts.

Executive Director, SCE:

  • Endorse Deputy Director-General Briefing Notes to establish new non-school social media accounts and advise applicant of the outcome
  • Report social media activity across DoE to the Department of Premier and Cabinet on request.

Deputy Director-General, People and Executive Services:

  • Approve requests for new non-school social media accounts or new functionalities.

Process

Applying for a new social media account

Schools:

Principals:

Central and regional offices (non-school based staff):

Director:

  • Contact SCE to discuss the establishment of a social media account
  • Complete a risk assessment
  • Nominate one or more staff members to administer the account
  • Prepare a General Briefing Note to the Deputy Director-General seeking approval to establish the account. This must include the nominated administrator of the account, a risk assessment, designated images and details of resourcing to manage the account
  • Seek divisional or regional approval of the briefing note, move the briefing note to the Director, Partnerships and Marketing, SCE for review and endorsement by the Executive Director, SCE
  • Once the brief is approved, arrange for administrator(s) to complete the department’s Introduction to social media management training (DoE employees only)
  • As required, facilitate further social media training to improve staff knowledge, skills and confidence.

Director, Partnerships and Marketing, SCE:

  • Review Deputy Director-General Briefing Note and provide feedback, as required.

Creating a social media account

Manager, Social and Digital Marketing, SCE (may be delegated):

  • Account settings:
    • Ensure SCE is set up as a backup administrator of the account
    • Establish new account with the Acceptable use guidelines in the ‘Notes’ section of Facebook,
    • The profanity block list set on ‘strong’.
  • Claim any unofficial pages, if needed
  • Include new accounts and keep the social media channels register up to date
  • Inform school/office that the account has been created
  • Provide training and resources to staff
  • Ensure risk assessments are undertaken prior to implementation of a new account.

Managing a social media account

Administrators:

Decommissioning a social media account

Principal/Director:

  • Requests for a social media account to be permanently deleted must be made in writing to SCE at socialmedia.sce@qed.qld.gov.au with clear reasons for the request.

Director, Partnership and Marketing, SCE:

  • Evaluate if the account can be merged or updated as an alternative to closure
  • Facilitate the development of a strategy to migrate the account followers to alternative more appropriate channels
  • Communicate the department’s channel closure clearly to the community at least two weeks prior to the permanent deletion of the account
  • Remove the account from the Facebook Business Manager (if the case) and from DoE’s social media channels register.

Definitions

Term

Definition

Administrators

The administrator/s are the approved individual/s who maintain social media accounts on behalf of the school or department. Administrators cannot be parents, community members or P&C members; they must be departmental employees.

Allegations of harm

Any possible harm on a child’s physical, psychological or emotional well-being caused by a student via the conduct of an employee rising from a social media issue, account or profile.

Closed captions

Text versions of the audio content, synchronised with the video. Essential for ensuring the video is accessible to members of the public who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Comments

Comments are placed under posts by individuals on social media platforms. These cannot be blocked but may be hidden as Spam.

Community and business pages

In some instances, Facebook may auto-generate 'community and business pages' or ‘unofficial pages’ for Queensland state schools. These pages are unmanaged and may be claimed by a school. There are a couple of reasons these types of pages are created:

  • a Facebook user has shown interest in a particular place or business by ‘liking’ the page, or
  • a Facebook user has ‘checked in’ to the location on Facebook.

Information taken from Wikipedia and other web sources may also be displayed on these pages. This content cannot be moderated and in some cases may not be accurate.

Content

Material that is uploaded or shared to a social media platform. Includes text, images, video recordings, GIFs and links. Written consent must be obtained before posting.

Corporate account

The department-wide account (e.g. https://www.facebook.com/QueenslandDepartmentofEducation)

Inappropriate content

Any material (text, photos, video, recordings, audio, graphics, account names/usernames and account images/profile pictures) that:

  • is racist, hateful, bullying, violent, defamatory, libellous, derogatory, threatening, menacing, harassing, offensive, abusive, discriminatory or humiliating to another person or organisation
  • is pornographic or contains nudity, sexually explicit or intimate content
  • is an imposter account of an individual staff member or student
  • vilifies individuals based on their religion, gender, race or sexuality
  • contains material (written, audio, video and other electronic forms) that infringes Intellectual Property rights such as copyright
  • contains personal information about another individual without their consent (including identifying information, email addresses, phone numbers or private addresses).

Non-school social media account

An account that is not of, relating to, or being a school account (e.g. https://www.facebook.com/QEDCybersafetyAdvice).

Posts

Posts refer to information placed on social media pages by the account administrator.

Profanity filter

A mechanism to stop the most commonly reported words and phrases marked as offensive by the community at large to show up on the page.

Risk assessment

Risk assessment is a tool used to identify and control risks. A risk matrix is used to assess the risks, likelihood and identify actions to minimise the risks associated to these and implement control measures.

School accounts

An account that is related to or being a school account.

Social media

Refers to online services, mobile applications and virtual communities that provide a way for people to connect and to participate in conversations.

Spam

Spam refers to the use of electronic messaging systems to send out unrequested or unwanted messages in bulk. Facebook and Instagram will hide comments by account holders deemed as inappropriate. Administrators may also mark posts as Spam.

Suitable for release

Post is suitable for release to the public and does not contain any information that is restricted or sensitive to the department or school operations. Posts are to be apolitical, impartial, professional and sensitive to the diversity of the Australian public.

Unofficial account/ or unofficial page

An account or a page may exist for your school even if someone from your school did not create it.

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

2.0 Use of social media for departmental promotion

3.0 Social media for school and departmental promotion

4.0 Social media for school and departmental promotion

Review date

17 January 2023
Attribution CC BY
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