Social media guidelines
PCC is committed to supporting honest, transparent, and knowledgeable dialogue on the internet through social media, and we recognize social media as a powerful tool for connection and engagement.
The following guidelines are intended to serve as a set of “best practices” for the college’s official and non-official affiliated promotional social media channels, and may not necessarily apply to social media for instructional use. Social media guidelines for instructional use are currently in development.
Social media is constantly evolving, and these guidelines are subject to change.
As marketing and informational tools for PCC, our purpose is to provide social media channels that:
- Build and maintain relationships with students, community members, and supporters
- Encourage discussion of topical events and issues
- Provide relevant, accurate, up-to-date and concise information
Our social media channels must also:
- Provide PCC content that is concise and relevant
- Maintain consistency and branding
- Allow for ease of navigation
PCC has identified the following target audiences for social media:
Primary target audience
- Current and prospective students
Other audiences identified include:
- Faculty and staff
- Community and business partners
- Donors and prospective donors
- Board members
- Higher education partners
While social media tries to address the needs of all audiences, our marketing focus is predominantly to meet the needs of the primary target audiences. This allows us to effectively provide content designed to meet PCC’s external marketing and communications objectives.
All social media accounts are managed by the Office of Marketing and Communications. The Content Manager is responsible for the upkeep of these accounts.
Staff who are granted access to submit content in an official capacity must have undergone training in appropriate conduct specific to each platform as well as reviewed these guidelines.
The Office of Marketing and Communications holds editorial discretion in determining the frequency and focus of material posted to these channels.
Any non-official affiliated social media sites created and managed by PCC members will be supported whenever possible. If needed, communications staff may provide help in order to bring those channels up to standards. The staff liaison to these groups will provide support for these sites, including notification of changes in college-wide policy and messaging.
PCC believes that the sharing of information and experiences benefits the communities and members that we serve. Content shared on our social channels should be relevant to the work of PCC, and the interests and values of our community. If we post content on behalf of partner organizations, it should also support our strategic goals and be consistent with our values and beliefs. Information should be shared from credible sources, and when possible, link back to the PCC website.
More than straight promotion, the goal of social media is to spark conversation and engagement. PCC will limit the number of posts which promote individual classes and programs, and instead, strive to post content which highlights interesting or thought-provoking aspects of programs.
Finally, it is important reflect the diversity of PCC and our work. No one program, topic, campus, type of post, or issue should dominate PCC’s social media at all times. Content should be posted with a comprehensive approach to our work in mind.
Naming conventions and visual identity
Include Portland Community College at the beginning of the name of your social media profile. This helps to unify our college across all campuses and centers, and reduce brand confusion with other existing “PCC”s (Pasadena Community College, for example). If Portland Community College is too long, use PCC (but try to use the full name if possible).
- Facebook examples:
- Portland Community College Library
Portland Community College – Aviation Science
PCC Small Business Development Center
- Twitter examples:
Only PCC’s official social media channels may use the turquoise PCC Diamond as a profile picture, with rotating timeline photos and images as the background.
Non-official affiliated channels should use a reversed-out turquoise diamond on white as a profile photo. It may also be appropriate to use your group or department’s “art mark” as your profile picture.
Timeline or background photos are an appropriate place to express your department or group’s individuality, personality and purpose (for example: a group photo of students or faculty/staff, photo of your building or campus, etc.).
Social media must be monitored. A qualified staff member should have the responsibility of monitoring social media channels daily, and backup administrators/monitors should be designated so there is no gap in the monitoring.
PCC social media users should be present and responsive, which helps develop credibility and value. If your department or unit does not have sufficient staffing to support responding to questions or comments within 24 hours, your account should be disabled or deleted.
Quickly address any inappropriate messages or misuse of the sites. Such inappropriate posts or comments include those which contain spam or are off-topic, derogatory, discriminating, threatening or violate existing PCC policies.
When posting or replying to a message, take the time to review the content and respond in-kind. Below are additional guidelines for specific situations.
Responding to negative comments
- Don’t delete negative comments unless they violate college privacy standards, are expressly racist/sexist/homophobic, or are otherwise disparaging to members of a protected group.
- If a comment is inflammatory or deliberately trolling for a response, do not engage or delete. Hide it instead.
- Be prepared to respond to negative or inaccurate posts if response is warranted. Some negative comments do not require a response, while others should be taken seriously and addressed. Factors such as the number of followers and the severity of the conversations should temper if and how you respond. When possible, try to move negative discussions to a private medium – direct messaging, email, phone, etc.
- Direct media inquiries to the Director of Community Engagement.
- Refrain from engaging in dialogue that is partisan in nature. As a state school and with Foundation partners holding 501(c)-(3) nonprofit organization, do not participate in or condone expressly partisan positions. Also refrain from discussing specific candidates for office.
- Refrain from engaging in dialogue that disparages colleagues, partner organizations, or critics.
Responding to positive and neutral comments
- Keep a friendly and professional tone when posting updates and having conversations with other users.
- Avoid “corporate” or formal tone.
- Encourage discussion by asking additional questions, thanking people for comments/sharing, and referring to additional resources (such as the PCC website) when appropriate.
Responding to wall posts
Occasionally, members of the community may post content on the Facebook wall that does not have anything to do with PCC or our work. For example, users may share local community events or fundraisers, promote another organization, or ask for support for their personal projects. Use the following to guide your response:
- If it is inflammatory or disparaging in any way, hide the post.
- If it is for an Oregon-based event that does not align with PCC values, mission, or the interests of our members, hide or delete the post – but first, contact the user to let them know that while we do not allow outside posts on our Facebook page, they can submit inquiries through our website for other possible help promoting.
- If the post is commercial in nature, hide or delete the post.
- If there are any questions on a particular post, refer to the Content Manager.
This platform is intended to inform users of PCC-related news and events and to foster a sense of community among users.
We encourage you to share your opinions, but ask you that you keep your comments respectful. If we become aware of posts that contain spam or are off-topic, derogatory, discriminating, threatening, or obscene, we reserve the right to remove them.
Commercial use, trademark and privacy rights
Commercial use and advertising
Staff may not use any PCC social media site for advertising or commercial use.
Logo and trademarks
The logo, name, and all graphics on PCC social media channels are exclusive to Portland Community College.
If an image, quote, or article is used, attribute it to the original source. Users will properly cite sources, and post only items that are covered by fair use or published under Creative Commons. Otherwise, seek permission first.
Privacy for employees
PCC discourages staff in management/supervisory roles from initiating “friend” requests with employees they manage. Managers/supervisors may accept friend requests if initiated by the employee, and if the manager/supervisor does not believe it will negatively impact the work relationship.
Employees who disclose their roles at PCC on social media should be conscientious about the content that they post, and it should reflect positively on the organization. Even if profile settings are set to private, employees are prohibited from sharing internal or confidential information. This includes information about PCC’s students, its staff and board, as well as donors, contact information for others, and other private information. Employees should also include a disclaimer stating that the views expressed are their own and do not necessarily reflect the organization. In reality, anything that you post reflects both on you and on PCC.