The Office of Communications oversees the social media strategy for the College and runs the day-to-day management of the College's main social media accounts including:
Photography releases are necessary for any images that will be used to market or advertise your College program, such as brochures, advertisements, viewbooks, or posters. If you request photography services at the College, it is your responsibility, working in conjunction with the College photographer, to obtain releases from all subjects (PDF, ) participating in a photo shoot.
The Office of Communications drafted the following guidelines to address use of social media by the College community and its departments. It is important to understand use of social media can create numerous issues for the College.
It is important that “official” use of social media by College staff members adhere to appropriate guidelines intended to minimize such risks. Questions regarding the use of social media or these guidelines should be referred to the Office of Communications.
Montgomery College respects First Amendment rights and embraces free speech values. These guidelines do not impose any new rules that limit or control speech on or off campus. Rather, it collects existing policies and laws (academic freedom, privacy and acceptable use policies, respect for copyright, etc.) and interprets them in ways that will be beneficial for Montgomery College employees who, through social media, administer accounts on behalf of the college.
Employees using social media on behalf of the College must abide by all applicable state and federal privacy laws, including but not limited to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy of students’ records, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable medical information.
In regards to personal social media accounts, Montgomery College does not seek to impose any regulations on the personal social media accounts of faculty and staff accessed outside of the workplace. You should be conscious, though, that as an employee of Montgomery College, you may be seen by the public as speaking on behalf of the College. If you plan to post political, religious, or controversial posts on your personal account, we ask that you not include Montgomery College in your bio or description.
Social media is a communication tool used for interaction between Montgomery College and the greater community, including, but not limited to: prospective and current students, community residents, MC alumni, faculty, staff, and administrators. The use of social media is to promote the mission of Montgomery College.
Any social media site representing Montgomery College must comply with terms and conditions set by Montgomery College’s Policies and Procedures. The Office of Communications may develop additional guidelines as the needs arise.
The Office of Communications should be used as a resource by the College community for any social media needs. For a group to be recognized by the College as an official social media account, the department must request permission by the Marketing Department within the Office of Communications.
After approval for a new social media account has been given by the College, administrators for College social networking pages should use the College’s style and brand guides for all written and graphic communications as well as set up training from the Marketing Department to review best practices and procedures.
Montgomery College encourages all community members and expects administrators of officially affiliated social media accounts to be aware of copyright laws as it applies to intellectual property online. If using a photo related to Montgomery College—including students and buildings—you must obtain photo releases. If using photos found on the Internet, please use photos with Creative Common licenses. Copyright claims could be asserted against the College if a department inadvertently posts a picture or video in which a third-party claims copyright. Posting inappropriate content, even if authorized, could subject the College to embarrassment or fines.
The department’s initial social media site creator must include an appropriate representative of the College as an additional administrator for that site. Although the College does not intend to actively engage in maintaining department sites, this designation will enable the College to properly track College social media sites and respond more quickly in the event of a problem, such as the unavailability or departure of the staff member who has administrative control of the site.
Employees identified as administrators of accounts are held responsible for managing and monitoring content of their officially recognized accounts. This includes interacting with page visitors, following up within appropriate timelines, and communicating with other page administrators when responses have been made off-line. Administrators are responsible for removing content that may violate the College’s Policies and Procedures and adherence to the College’s brand standards.
Posts that infringe on copyrights or trademarks, threaten violence, constitute spam, obscenity, nudity, profanity, defamation, discrimination, harassment, or advertisements for non-College events, programs, and opportunities, or have illegal content on officially recognized College social media accounts may be removed without prior notice by account administrators at the direction of the Office of Communications. Violation of principles outlined in this standard may result in editing or removal of posts from the College’s social media listing and shutting down of the social media account. The College reserves the right to block a user from its social media sites for persistent conduct or behavior that violates College codes of conduct, policies, and procedures, or federal, state, or local laws.
All content must relate directly to Montgomery College. Content placed by administrators cannot promote individual opinions or causes that are not directly related to the mission of the College.
Though social media pages are checked, the College is not legally liable, and the pages are not intended for emergencies.
Existing policies governing student and employee behavior apply to the College’s social media pages. The College takes no responsibility for content developed by non- employees. The Office of Communications shall engage the College in education and awareness training on the effective use of social media.