“Social media is the term commonly given to Internet and mobile-based channels and tools that allow users to interact with each other and share opinions and content. As the name implies, social media involves the building of communities or networks and encouraging participation and engagement” The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
Social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn are online social spaces where people can converse, share their profiles, news, photos, ideas and work projects.
It is the policy of the Campaign to welcome and support this type of media as a mechanism for engagement with the people who have severe allergies, and their families and carers, as well as those who we wish to engage in the work of the Campaign; healthcare professionals, food and other relevant industries, and the wider public.
While the Campaign is interested in promoting free exchange of views relating to severe allergy and anaphylaxis, we will not permit any contributions that might bring the reputation of the Campaign into disrepute, are misleading, defamatory, offensive or contrary to current legislation.
The Campaign has appointed suitably qualified staff to moderate all our social platforms and ensure that any posts contributed conform to the criteria above. Detailed guidance for staff and Trustees of the Campaign has been issued and is regularly reviewed.
Guidance for Campaign staff, Trustees, volunteers and all Campaign representatives:
Social media can be used by patient groups as an effective and measurable way to achieve engagement with patients and attract potential supporters, donors and members to their websites. It also increases brand presence and can give the patient group excellent publicity.
Hard selling is not effective on social media platforms; the objective is to get people interested and engaged by providing authentic, transparent and relevant information. Those that engage with what we are talking about will tell others and so will create growing brand awareness by positive word of mouth.
Management of the Anaphylaxis Campaign’s social media channels
At the Anaphylaxis Campaign our social media work is undertaken by the following members of staff.
- Chief Executive – posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn as appropriate.
- Campaigns Manager – overall responsibility for communications, marketing and fundraising.
- Communications Manager – Oversees and has overall responsibility for the channels. Can post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube
- Communications Officer, supporting Communications Manager with day to day social media work. Specifically, responsible for volunteer communications including mediating the Support Group Leaders’ Facebook page.
- Fundraising Team – assists with publicity for fundraising events. Can post on Facebook and Twitter
The Communications Team monitor traffic on our social media channels daily. Any issues that may be relevant to other members of staff (CEO, Information Manager, Trusts Fundraiser and Corporate Relationships Consultant) will be notified to them by the Communications Team.
Any posts from external sources that breach the policy criteria (above) will be hidden by the Communications Team, and the originator of the post notified of this action and the reasons for it.
All staff members and Campaign representatives who are posting information and updates on behalf of the Anaphylaxis Campaign should be mindful of the following points:
Just as with traditional media, we have an opportunity – and a responsibility – to effectively manage the Campaign’s reputation online and to selectively engage and participate in online conversations that mention us. The following principles guide how our Online Spokespeople(staff, volunteers and all representatives) should represent the Campaign in an online, official capacity when they are speaking “on behalf of the Campaign”
- Follow our Code of Business Conduct and all other policies. As a representative of [the Anaphylaxis Campaign], you must act with honesty and integrity in all matters. This commitment is true for all forms of social media.
- Be mindful that you are representing the Campaign. How you conduct yourself in the online social media space not only reflects on you – it is a direct reflection on the Campaign.
- When in doubt, do not post. Staff are personally responsible for their words and actions, wherever they are. As online spokespeople, you must ensure that your posts are completely accurate and not misleading, and that they do not reveal non-public information of the Campaign. Exercise sound judgment and common sense, and if there is any doubt, DO NOT POST IT and speak to someone in the Communications Department.
- Give credit where credit is due and don’t violate others’ rights. DO NOT claim authorship of something that is not yours. If you are using another party’s content, make certain that they are credited for it in your post and that they approve of you utilising their content. Do not use the copyrights, trademarks, publicity rights, or other rights of others without the necessary permissions of the rightsholder(s).
- Be responsible to your work. The Campaign understands that associates engage in online social media activities at work for legitimate purposes and that these activities may be helpful for Campaigns affairs. However, the Campaign encourages all associates to exercise sound judgment and common sense to prevent online social media sites from becoming a distraction at work.
- Know that the Internet is permanent. Once information is published online, it is essentially part of a permanent record, even if you “remove/delete” it later or attempt to make it anonymous. If your complete thought, along with its context, cannot be squeezed into a character-restricted space (such as Twitter), provide a link to an online space where the message can be expressed completely and accurately.
Dos and Don’ts of Social Media
1- Engage in conversation
Interacting with an audience through various social media channels can be the fun part of building a brand online! Regularly contributing to relevant conversations is key to creating a strong dialogue with stakeholders.
2- Ensure a brand is consistent across networks and platforms
Ensure all our social media profiles give off a similar ‘vibe’. Keeping the style and tone of voice consistent will help an audience identify and engage with a brand.
3- Correct errors openly and in a timely manner
Always admit errors and openly ‘put them right’. It is advisable to tackle an online crisis as soon as possible to stop it escalating out of control.
4- Be respectful
Always seek permission when updating information and uploading images and videos featuring staff, trustees or clinical panel to various social media platforms including but not exclusive to, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
1- Forget that a social media presence becomes part of a brand legacy
Posts, pictures, images, tweets, status updates (content in general) can stay online forever. Think about what message to share via social media channels.
2- Make an audience feel uncomfortable
It is good to be authentic and provide a hint of personality but continuously being grumpy or openly criticising people can put an audience off and deter them from engaging with an individual or organisation.
3- Bring the Anaphylaxis Campaign into disrepute
All postings made on our online channels should be written correctly, state correct information and be respectful of the audiences we are communicating to. The integrity of the Anaphylaxis Campaign must be maintained as a priority.
4- Reveal company / client sensitive information or intellectual property
Offline information that should be kept confidential should not be disclosed online unless specific permission has been granted by the parties concerned; or unless it is in the public interest; or unless required to do so by law.
5- Be fake
Using ‘flogs’ (fake blogs created by a PR agency or organisation to promote a service or product) or ‘astroturfing’ (the practice of falsely creating the impression of independent, popular support by means of orchestrated and disguised public relations activity) is bad practice.