document
Social Media Policy

REVIEW DATE : July 31, 2021
DateAugust 2020
Review dateAugust 2021
OwnerRadio Verulam Board
StatusDraft
Version1.0

Social Media Policy

This policy covers activity on Radio Verulam-related social media sites, including any dedicated show-based accounts. The policy exists to ensure that our social media output is consistent with the station’s mission, represents the station properly, is as good as it can be and doesn’t do harm to anyone.

We support the use of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for programme social media accounts.  These accounts are not personal accounts, they represent Radio Verulam and therefore are subject to any Social Media use policies in effect, such as this one.

Accounts

If you are creating an account, please use a name which is obviously related to Radio Verulam, and which is going to be easily found.

While we recognise the day to day management of a show’s social media sites as by the presenter(s), any account used in association with a show or output on Radio Verulam must follow our guidelines below.

  • The day to day manager of the account is responsible for ensuring it meets the current policy on social media accounts and use.
  • VCRL may ask at any time to be added to the account as an editor or administrator.
  • VCRL may ask at any time for the account to be deleted, or not used.
  • Accounts may be set up by any volunteer at Radio Verulam, as long as the Social Media Manager or in their absence the Board of the Company is consulted first
  • Any account so set up and used must maintain a profile picture which includes the current Radio Verulam logo. The logo should be a minimum size of 100 pixels square and located in the upper left corner of the main image.
  • Anyone posting to a social media account must remember that they are representing the station/show, and not necessarily their own personal views. If you are posting to the station’s social media feeds, you are representing the station – just as you are doing if you are on air.

Monitoring

  • The social media output of the station is monitored regularly by the Social Media Team. Any concerns raised by the team will be passed to the relevant account manager as soon as possible.

Content

  • It is unacceptable to bring the station into disrepute, or to damage another person’s reputation. The same content rules apply as to our output on FM and online – any content should not breach the law, Ofcom Broadcast code, ASA regulations or other regulations relevant to our on air output.
  • Don’t post messages, images etc. which could potentially be perceived as bullying, defamatory, or offensive.
    Use common sense: if you wouldn’t be happy to say this to a crowded room of people, don’t say it! (Or, even if you might say it in such circumstances, think about how what you’re saying would be received.)
  • Any media (images, audio, video etc.) must be free for use (not subject to copyright or other rights restrictions). Even some free images require accreditation – make sure you have rights, as costs can be expensive! Some sites, such as Pixabay (pixabay.com), offer free images with no restrictions.  Please use your own images or Pixabay.
  • If you breach copyright or image or audio licence conditions, you will be liable for any costs associated with that breach.. If in doubt, use an image from Pixabay.
  • If you spot something someone has taken locally posted on a FB page, share it rather than downloading it so that the person who took the photo gets a mention too.
  • Be very careful with the use of any photos:
    • You should never include photos of people without their consent, and be especially careful with photos of anyone under 16 (for whom you should ask permission from a parent). Ensure they know it is for Social Media editorial use only and not for advertising or marketing materials.
    • Do not use photographs which include the faces of anyone whose views or current activities might cause offence or breach any of the codes, laws and regulations referred to above.
  • No views should be given on items of significant local news interest, people, events etc. where these views might be seen to represent those of Radio Verulam and/or might not accord with the views of those reading the posts/tweets etc. Any such posts may only be posted on the main Radio Verulam account and then only after careful consideration.
  • Posts, comments, etc. on social media sites are public, and are not always appropriate for private conversations or sharing personal details with your friends.
  • Keep your personal and station/show accounts separate – in other words don’t post a private message to your friends on your show page or account.
  • If you are criticised online, try to respond with respect for the other person and understanding of their perspective. If you are unclear on what action to take, contact a member of the Bard or the Social Media team.

Commercial Content

  • Including local businesses in postings, retweets etc. is appropriate as long as a reasonable balance is achieved. These businesses are part of our local community and may or may not have a commercial relationship with us.
  • Show sponsors should be credited in posts and tweets (at least 50% of these where the show is mentioned). Using their Twitter and Facebook names is also a good way to extend your audience and let them know we care that they are supporting us.
  • We will place some social media for businesses in a commercial arrangement but this should be carefully judged, should not in any way imply endorsement of the product or service offered and the number of these postings should be limited to less than 10% of the total social media output in any given week.

Conflicts of interest

  • Where the poster has a possible involvement or perceived involvement, care must be taken to ensure that a conflict of interest or perceived conflict does not arise.

Breach of Policy

  • If a volunteer or member of staff is found to have breached this policy, s/he will be given a verbal warning. If a person is found to have breached the policy a second time, s/he will be asked to delete the accounts. If a breach of this policy is deemed sufficiently serious, the Station and Volunteer Manager can decide to take more immediate or drastic action e.g. asking the person to leave the station.

REVIEW DATE : July 31, 2021