Social Media Policy

Fairleigh Dickinson University recognizes the wide-ranging potential, global reach and increasing importance of social media in today’s higher education landscape.

The Office of Public Relations, a division of the Office of Communications, manages the main social media channels and dictates the University’s official voice on those Twitter, Facebook and Instagram main channels.

As other University offices and departments decide to make use of social media, we’ve crafted this detailed social media policy to guide users and administrators.

Before launching:                                                                             

  • Before creating any social media accounts on behalf of your University school, department, office, organization or group, please secure necessary permissions from your department head/dean/VP and notify Dan Landau or Kenna Caprio in the Office of Public Relations.
  • FDU social media channels must support FDU’s mission, goals, programs and official events. We encourage you to share positive FDU news, updates and content through these platforms. These accounts are places to showcase the very best we have to offer.
  • All FDU social media channels represent the University. Do not post anything that will reflect poorly on the University in either tone or content.

Keep in mind:

  • Tone/content/voice: Effective social media should be conversational by nature and is meant to encourage dialogue. Be light, be positive and be playful! Even academic content can and should take on a more informal tone, as long as it remains professional.
    • Refrain from expressing opinions on internal and external University issues or public policy issues.
    • Refrain from expressing opinions on individuals that could be considered private, negative or sensitive.
    • If an individual (or several individuals) will be the focus of the photo and their faces are recognizable in the photo, make sure to get their permission before posting the photo. Please also credit the photographer and be mindful of copyright law stipulations.
  • Social media users acting on behalf of the University must adhere to all FDU policies and procedures, including Acceptable Use Policy for Computer Usage and FDU Network Copyright Enforcement Policy, as well as any applicable law including FERPA. Please contact the Office of Public Relations or the Office of the General Counsel with any questions.
  • Brand identity: Please include a reference to “FDU” or “Fairleigh Dickinson University” in the title of your page and review the FDU Graphic Standards Guide for proper use of University logos.
    • Under no circumstances should social media accounts use the University seal. It is reserved for presidential documents, legal papers, University citations and diplomas.
    • Be clear about your office or department’s association with the University. Good examples of specific affiliations can be found on the FDU website.
  • Negative comments policy: Unless a commenter is vulgar, libelous or offensive, try to engage the user before banning the user or deleting posts.
    • Reach out publicly and then ask him or her to message you directly. Take the fight out of the public eye to email, phone or direct message. Then try to resolve the issue at hand. If the problem cannot be fixed, at least provide the complainer with the courtesy of listening.
    • Do not engage in a full-fledged, negative and back-and-forth argument publicly or privately.
    • Deleting posts can inflame user tensions and bring on accusations of censorship. Please use discretion when deciding to delete and offer a public explanation as to why you removed content. In your explanation, be careful not to provoke the user or appear to take sides on an issue.
  • Crisis response policy: Crisis content (sent to faculty, students and staff through FDU Alert or emailed out by senior administration) will be posted first through the main social media channels that the Office of Public Relations runs. For consistency of message purposes, and to draw your fans to broader University pages, it is preferred that all other FDU-affiliated accounts share the main social media channel posts in times of crisis. This includes, but is not limited to: weather-related updates, school safety actions and sensitive personnel- or University-related communications.
    • Personal crisis response: If a user appears to be in distress — be it a health, safety or security matter — alert the appropriate parties on campus for help. Report any of these issues to Public Safety, Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Health Services or the Dean of Students staff.

Final notes:

  • Be sure to check out the University’s Twitter and Facebook guidelines for more specific suggestions and strategies.
  • As social media is constantly changing, the Office of Communications and the Office of Public Relations reserve the right to change, update or revise this policy at any time. We also welcome suggestions and tips from the greater FDU community. Email us at fduwhatsnew@fdu.edu.
  • Questions can be directed to social media managers and coordinators Dan Landau and Kenna Caprio in the Office of Public Relations.

Happy posting!

Effective October 4, 2013