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Social Media Guidelines

Church Policy Template

Purpose of Guidelines

 

This policy provides parameters to guide church staff, team members, employees, volunteers, and church leaders when social media tools are used on behalf of Ekklesia Iwiga, Inc. and its subsidiaries (the 'Church') or when the Church becomes part of a social media dialogue.

 

 

Social Media Tips

•       Be selective! There are a variety of digital platforms available. Use a suitable medium for the message. For example, don’t use a Facebook post to communicate sensitive or private information.

•       Be smart! A blog, community post, or social media post is often visible to the entire public and can/will be shared by others in various ways that cannot be controlled. Be extremely wise with all content posted.

•       Use grace! Always use Biblical wisdom when utilizing social media. For example, if someone has offended you, consider speaking with them privately on the matter. Do not post offense responses publicly.

•       Ask us! In areas where this policy does not directly answer how members of our community should answer social media questions, please check with the Church’s leadership team before speaking as a representative of the church. 

 

Use of Social Media

•       All of the Church’s policies, including harassment, confidentiality, and software use, apply to the extensive use of social media.

•       Team members who misuse the Church's social media resources in ways that violate the law or other ministry policies are subject to immediate disciplinary action and/or dismissal.

 

Guidelines

•       Employees/volunteers interested in representing the Church must first sign a consent and application document and attend a social media training class.

•       Social media postings should never disclose sensitive or confidential information unless written consent to share said information is obtained from the individual it concerns. This includes but is not limited to personal and/or medical information.

•       Please refrain from posting photos of individuals or identifying those individuals on the Church's social media pages without their written consent before posting. Written consent can be submitted via email or text. The social media team members are responsible for disabling the "tagging" feature of photos posted on the ministry's page. If the images reference a location, that information must be deleted.

•       Copyright and Fair Use Laws must be respected at all times. Feel free to point or link to another individual's site, not post or blog about it like it is your content.

•       If any posted material concerning the Church seems illegal (e.g., child or elder abuse, etc.), team members should immediately contact church leadership and the appropriate authorities.

•       When communicating with youth via social media, team members must adhere to the Church's youth communication policy. Additionally, employees and volunteers serving in the children and youth ministries must keep their professional image in mind. Online conduct, comments, behavior, etc., affect this image. The Church discourages staff members and volunteers from accepting invitations to "friend" youth group members within personal networking sites. Social contact outside the Church’s youth page may create serious risks for the ministry workers and negatively alter the dynamic between a youth leader and a student.

 

•       Team members and employees are solely responsible for the content they publish online, including content from their own social media pages. It must be evident that all views/posts do not reflect the Church but are reflective of themselves.

•       As a team member of the Church, remember that your online presence and posts can potentially affect the ministry of the Church. For this reason, it is imperative that you conduct your online interactions per the Employee/Volunteer Handbook, The Church’s Statement of Faith, and the Code of Conduct.  If you have any questions in this area, inquire with the leadership team for clarity.

•       When in doubt, be positive!  Whether someone has posted something mean, rude or distasteful, take the high road at all times.

•       In a crisis, contact church leadership before responding to any posting or comments relating to the situation.

 

Public Relations Guidelines

•       Church communications may not be used for partisan political messages or paid advertising.

•       The Church may designate one or two central employees to facilitate all external communication channels on behalf of the Church. Only authorized employees such as the Pastor(s), Communications Staff, and Departmental Directors may coordinate communications with members of the media on behalf of The Church.

•       Any external communication from the Church office regarding serious/unexpected incidents must be approved by church leadership and follow the Church’s guidelines.

•       Always use the Church's official name and logo. These branding items must be approved before official use.

 

Where Do These Guidelines Apply?

•       This policy applies to all online and mobile platforms for sharing content and information, whether hosted by the Church or hosted by others. "Social media" refers to social networking services, short-message services, message boards, wikis, podcasts, image/video sharing sites, and other methods for sharing factual time information among users. Due to the ever-changing speed of social media, this policy applies to all new social media platforms, whether or not they are mentioned. All social media platforms are relevant and included.