Facilitation tips for social networking – 8/20/10

Q: The Rhode Island Department of Health is in the process of crafting a social networking/marketing plan for the Department, and would like to learn from the plans and policies established by other states. They would like to know:

  • Which staff member(s) have access to social networking sites?
  • Who administers the Department/program's pages?
  • What is the average response/turn-around time when inquiries/postings are received?
  • How many hours each week are dedicated/needed for proper administration of the site(s)?
  • How are inappropriate postings by employees handled (as well as such postings from the public)? How is 'inappropriate' defined?
  • Are postings filtered prior to going live on the page?
  • What is the process for pulling postings when the Department deems this necessary?

A:

  1. Alabama: Please see below:
     
    • Which staff member(s) have access to social networking sites?
      All ADPH employees with the exception of employees at a few of our county health departments have access to social networking sites.  The Social Media Coordinator manages all social networking sites.
       
    • Who administers the Department/program's pages?
      Under the supervision/guidance of the Social Media Coordinator, a limited number of staff members manage all or part of their own program's social media sites.  The Social Media Coordinator creates the site, trains the staff members from the program on how to use the site, and periodically reviews the material.
       
    • What is the average response/turn-around time when inquiries/postings are received?
      Responses to inquires/posting during normal operating hours are provided by close of business day.  Next day responses are provided to inquiries or postings sent after business hours.
       
    • How many hours each week are dedicated/needed for proper administration of the site(s)?
      Forty (40) hours are needed for proper administration of social networking sites.
       
    • How are inappropriate postings by employees handled (as well as such postings from the public)? How is 'inappropriate' defined?
      The following is our disclaimer for the ADPH Facebook Fan page.  We modify this disclaimer as needed for other sites.
       
      Disclaimer: The ADPH fan page was created to share health information, news, and events with the public. Posted comments and images do not necessarily represent the views of ADPH, its officers or employees or of the State of Alabama. We encourage feedback and information sharing, but ask that you stay on topic and be respectful. You may not sell, promote, or advertise any products or services on the ADPH Facebook page nor represent any such as being endorsed in any way by ADPH or the State of Alabama. We reserve the right to delete comments we deem inappropriate, profane, defamatory or harassing in nature and to block repeat offenders without notification.
       
      Inappropriate material is deleted and the publisher of the post is contacted privately if possible, and given an explanation as to why his or her post was removed.  If the publisher cannot be contacted privately, we post a public comment as to why the posting was removed.  We delete all spam posts without notifying spammers and block them if possible.  We have not encountered an inappropriate posting by an employee.  However, the protocol would be the same with the exception that the direct supervisor may or may not be contacted.
       
    • Are postings filtered prior to going live on the page?
      No, postings are not filtered.
       
  2. California: Please click to view a response from the California Youth Advocacy Network. This is a topic that the California Youth Advocacy Network has been doing extensive work and research in.
     
    • Which staff member(s) have access to social networking sites?
      All California Youth Advocacy Network’s (CYAN) staff members have access (are given the usernames and passwords or are made administrators on Facebook fan pages) to Social Networking sites but the Outreach Coordinator maintains, monitors, and updates all sites daily.
       
    • Who administers the Department/program's pages?
      The Outreach Coordinator is the primary administrator on the programs pages but all CYAN staff have the ability to become a member or post if needed through the Outreach Coordinator or on their own.
       
    • What is the average response/turn-around time when inquiries/postings are received?
      The average turnaround time to respond to posts is usually within ten minutes of the posting time. Occasionally, the timing varies depending on the activities/workload of the day.
       
    • How many hours each week are dedicated/needed for proper administration of the site(s)?
      The Outreach Coordinator dedicates about 30 hours a week for intense administration/monitoring of Social Media sites (including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, Coordinator Camp, Hootsuite, Eons, Slideshare, and others) and to learning about emerging technological trends that would aid in Web 2.0 Public Health accessibility, campaign efforts, communication, and strategizing online.
       
    • How are inappropriate postings by employees handled (as well as such postings from the public)? How is 'inappropriate' defined?
      CYAN has a preliminary policy about inappropriate posting, which is still in revision. It is available for viewing on the Facebook fan page, and is soon to be put on the CYAN blog, CYAN website, and other CYAN social media sties. Postings may be deleted if they break the posting guidelines, or may be edited to adhere to the guidelines as seen fit by the Outreach Coordinator or CYAN Managing Director. The Social Media policy language is as follows:
       
      1. Content by all users/visitors and administrators containing any of the following forms of subject matter shall not be allowed for posting/deleted from any CYAN Social Media page: 
      2. Profane language or content ;
      3.  Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation ;
      4.  Sexual content or links to sexual content;
      5.  Solicitations of commerce;
      6. Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity;
      7. Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems ;

    If users/visitors use CYAN blogs/forums/discussion boards, users/visitors agree to the following:

    • By posting any comments, posts or other material, users/visitors give the California Youth Advocacy Network (CYAN) the irrevocable right to reproduce, distribute, publish, display, edit, modify, create derivative works from, and otherwise use users/visitors submission for any purpose in any form and on any media. Users/visitors also agree that users/visitors will not:
       
      • Post material that infringes on the rights of any third party, including intellectual property, privacy or publicity rights
      • Post material that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, abusive, slanderous, hateful, or embarrassing to any other person or entity as determined by CYAN in its sole discretion
      • Post advertisements or solicitations of business
      • Post chain letters or pyramid schemes
      • Impersonate another person
      • Allow any other person or entity to use users/visitors identification for posting or viewing comments
      • Post the same note more than once or "spam"
         
    • CYAN reserves the right (but is not obligated) to do any or all of the following:
       
      • Remove communications that are abusive, illegal or disruptive, or that otherwise fail to conform with these Terms and Conditions.
      • Terminate a user's access to the blog feature upon any breach of these Terms and Conditions.
      • Edit or delete any communications posted on the blog feature, regardless of whether such communications violate these standards.
         
      Finally, users/visitors agree that users/visitors will indemnify CYAN against any damages, losses, liabilities, judgments, costs or expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees and costs) arising out of a claim by a third party relating to any material users/visitors has posted
    • Are postings filtered prior to going live on the page?
      Postings are not filtered before going on Social Media pages, but the sites are heavily monitored (daily) so nothing against the policy is posted.

    • What is the process for pulling postings when the Department deems this necessary? The pulling of inappropriate postings on Social Media sites is up to the discretion of the Outreach Coordinator and managing directors of CYAN. If a posting breaks one or more of the rules put out in the policy, it is immediately deleted or edited to adhere to the guidelines.
       
  3. Indiana: Please see below:
     
    • Which staff member(s) have access to social networking sites?
      Through our official website, only our youth/training coordinator has access through the state system to SNS.  However, we handle our SNS activities through our media vendor.
       
    • Who administers the Department/program's pages?
      Our media vendor.
       
    • What is the average response/turn-around time when inquiries/postings are received?
      ??? I don’t understand this question.
       
    • How many hours each week are dedicated/needed for proper administration of the site(s)?
      5 hours.
       
    • How are inappropriate postings by employees handled (as well as such postings from the public)? How is 'inappropriate' defined?
      Our media vendor deletes anything in appropriate.  It has really not been a problem.
       
    • Are postings filtered prior to going live on the page?
      Some sites they are filtered and other s they are not.  As administrators, you have the ability to delete anything from your site so it’s not really a problem.
       
    • What is the process for pulling postings when the Department deems this necessary?
      Delete them.

      The media contractor for Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation handles all of this.
       
  4. Utah: The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program in Utah (TPCP) is in the process of rolling out an online social networking site, what we call a collaborative tool.  It may not be completely what you are looking for but may be able to take ideas from.
     
    Our site is found at TPCPconnect.org and is for internal use only.  Only our staff, local health departments and other contractors have access to the site.  The idea behind it is to make communication among tobacco prevention advocates across the state much easier.  At the state we can post our updates, events and resources in one place instead of having to ensure everyone receives an email.  People can share their resources and successes with each other - ask questions and get answers from others that have dealt in similar situations.  It is actually quite similar to blog.  Pictures, video, documents, power points can all be uploaded on the site making it a one-stop shop for all their resources.
     
    We are still in the beginning stages of rolling the site out.  We had a pilot site that we started in January, but it failed to meet everyone's needs so several tweaks and adjustments have been made based on follow-up evaluations.  We hope to have a completely working version by mid-September.
     
    As our site is not geared toward the general public, we really don't have any guidelines regarding posts and they are all live posts that are not moderated.  We feel that as our staff will be very involved with the tool by responding and posting items, that if we see something that isn't quite right we can either post a correction or take other action if needed.
     
    It is a work in progress, but we are excited about the potential success we will have with the site.  It always seems that where one health department struggles, another excels. We feel that sharing success stories, processes, contacts, materials etc., will lead to better implementation and increased efficiency of tobacco prevention activities.
     
  5. Wisconsin: Click here for a document that Wisconsin created for a 2009 media campaign that drove traffic to a MySpace page.
     
    MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/youarenotsheep.
     
  6. West Virginia: West Virginia is just starting to look closely into expanding social marketing.

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Editor’s note: Additional information and samples of social networking pages created by tobacco control programs are available from the TCN upon request. The responses to the following Help Your Peers question may also be relevant: Use of social networking sites for youth prevention – 2/12/09.

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