City adopts new social media policy

The City’s new social media policy sets expectations for employees posting information on social media sites such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The policy, which was approved by the City Council Aug. 19, requires City employees who represent the City on its social media sites as well as other social media sites to conduct themselves as representatives of the City, be professional and follow policy guidelines.

Under the guidelines, employees cannot represent that they are speaking on behalf of the City unless they have been given authorization. Employees cannot use the City’s social media sites for campaigning or advertising products or services for outside business or commercial activities.

The policy requires departments seeking to create their own departmental social media sites to obtain prior approval from the Communications Department. Departments that receive approval are then responsible for creating, maintaining and monitoring their departmental sites. Departments also have the option of adopting more stringent policies for their staff.

The newly adopted policy was developed using best practices from other government jurisdictions with the aim of ensuring that the City maintains its commitment to being a 21 st century government that is professional, efficient, transparent, accountable and fair. The staff team that drafted the policy included employees from BIS, the City Attorney’s office, Human Resources and Communications. The policy mirrors the City’s electronic communications policy, essentially extending the policies and expectations for employees and departments to the City’s social media presence.

Policy highlights

Aug. 31, 2011

Published Aug 31, 2011

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