Social Media Policy
Carry Australia is increasingly exploring how online social media can empower its volunteers in the babywearing world. The individual connections and conversations on social media represent a new and constantly evolving form of communication. Through these interactions, Carry Australia’s greatest asset – the expertise of its volunteers – can be shared with so many more people than would be possible if we didn’t take advantage of Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest etc. It is therefore very much in Carry Australia’s interest — and, we believe, in each of our volunteer and committee member’s interest — to be aware of and participate in this sphere of information, interaction and idea exchange.
To learn: as an organisation whose primary purpose is to spread education, information and access to safe babywearing options, we believe in the importance of open exchange between each volunteer and committee member, our base of potential paid members, and groups for teaching and learning. Social media is an important arena for organizational and individual development.
To contribute: Carry Australia, as an organisation, is making important contributions to the future of safe babywearing in Australia. Because our activities involve events and information surrounding family, home, safety and social and cultural it is important for Carry Australia, Carry Australia volunteers and groups to share with the world the exciting things they’re learning and doing as we evolve and grow as an organisation.
PLEASE BEAR IN MIND
The internet is not anonymous, it is public and permanent. Assume that everything you write can be traced back to Carry Australia, if not you personally.
- There is no longer a clear boundary between your personal life and your work life.
- Do not lie or withhold the truth, if you aren’t sure of something always check with someone else. Everything you say in regards to Carry Australia reflects on the whole organisation and you need to keep this in mind when you are representing us.
- The web contains a permanent record of our mistakes. But do not try to change things retrospectively.
Be honest, straightforward, and respectful, and you will enjoy everything you do on the Carry Australia forums.
This policy governs the publication of and commentary on social media platforms by Committee Members, Volunteers and Representatives of Carry Australia. For the purposes of this policy, social media means any facility for online publication and commentary, including without limitation blogs, wiki’s, social networking sites such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, internet Forums and Instant Messaging.
This policy is in addition to and complements any existing or future policies regarding the use of technology, computers, e-mail, the internet and any interaction with people in babywearing meet-ups/events etc.
Carry Australia Committee members, Volunteers and Representatives are free to publish or comment via social media in accordance with this policy. Carry Australia Committee members, Volunteers and representatives are subject to this policy to the extent they identify themselves as a Carry Australia representative. It does not apply to Carry Australia Committee members, Volunteers or representatives in their private use of social media where no reference is made in relation to Carry Australia, its services, its people, and/or other related business and organisations.
Publication and commentary on social media carries similar obligations to any other kind of publication or commentary. All uses of social media must follow the same ethical standards Carry Australia Committee members, Volunteers and Representatives must otherwise follow. Every Carry Australia Committee member, Volunteer and Representative who participates in any kind of social media while representing Carry Australia is required to understand and follow this Policy and it’s related Procedures. Carry Australia Committee members, Volunteers and Representatives are encouraged to embrace social media as an integral part of our ability to spread awareness and information about safe babywearing.
DON’T TELL SECRETS It’s perfectly acceptable to talk about your work with Carry Australia and have a dialogue with the babywearing community, but it’s not okay to publish confidential information. Confidential information includes things such as unpublished details of our website, information that is not published to the local public, future information launches and event dates, financial information, ongoing research and personal information relating to any other Carry Australia Committee member, Volunteer and Representative. We must also respect the businesses of our Sponsors regarding the confidentiality of their business matters.
PROTECT YOUR OWN PRIVACY Be mindful of posting information that you would not want the public to see, once it is posted on the internet it is out there forever.
BE HONEST Do not blog/post/comment anonymously, using pseudonyms or false screen names. We believe in transparency and honesty. Use your real name, be clear who you are, and identify that you represent Carry Australia. Nothing gains you notice in social media more than honesty – or dishonesty. Do not say anything that is dishonest, untrue, or misleading. Even though you represent Carry Australia it is important you make clear that the opinions you express are your own. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, point it out. But also be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy. What you publish/Post will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully and also be cautious about disclosing personal details.
FRIENDS & CONNECTIONS Use your own best judgement in deciding whether and how deeply to connect to peers, supervisors, sponsors and journalists on social networks. Understand that Carry Australia stands fully behind your right not to befriend anyone who requests this in a professional relationship, just as you have that right personally.
RESPECT COPYRIGHT LAWS It is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use or fair dealing of copyrighted material owned by others, including Carry Australia’s (potential) own copyrights and brands. You should never quote more than short excerpts of someone else’s work, and always attribute such work to the original author/source. It is good general practice to link to others’ work rather than reproduce it.
RESPECT YOUR AUDIENCE, CARRY AUSTRALIA AND YOUR CO-WORKERS The public in general, Carry Australia Committee members, Volunteers and Representatives, reflect a diverse set of customs, values and points of view. Don’t say anything contradictory or in conflict with the Carry Australia website. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, but do so respectfully. This includes not only the obvious (no ethnic slurs, offensive comments, defamatory comments, personal insults, obscenity, etc.) but also proper consideration of privacy and of topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory – such as politics and religion. Use your best judgement and be sure to make it clear that the views and opinions expressed are yours alone and do not represent the official views of Carry Australia.
PROTECT CARRY AUSTRALIA MEMBERS, VOLUNTEERS, REPRESENTATIVES AND SPONSORS Carry Australia Committee members, Volunteers and Representatives and Carry Australia Sponsors should not be cited or obviously referenced without their approval. Never identify a Carry Australia Committee member, Volunteer, Representative or Sponsor by name without permission and never discuss confidential details of private engagements with any. It is acceptable to discuss general details about kinds of projects and to use non-identifying pseudonyms for a member etc (e.g., Member 123) so long as the information provided does not violate any non-disclosure agreements that may be in place with the Carry Australia Committee member, Volunteer, Representative or Sponsor etc. or make it easy for someone to identify the person in question. Your social media platform is not the place to “conduct business” with anyone.
CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES If you see misrepresentations made about Carry Australia in the media, you may point that out. Always do so with respect and with the facts. If you speak about others, make sure what you say is factual and that it does not disparage that party. Avoid arguments. Brawls may earn traffic, but nobody wins in the end. Don’t try to settle scores or goad competitors or others into inflammatory debates. Make sure what you are saying is factually correct.
BE THE FIRST TO RESPOND TO YOUR OWN MISTAKES Be responsible for what you say online and remember to think about what you are saying in relation to your position as a representative of Carry Australia. If you make an error, be up front about your mistake and correct it quickly. If you choose to modify an earlier post, make it clear that you have done so. If someone accuses you of posting something improper (such as their copyrighted material or a defamatory comment about them), deal with it quickly – better to remove it immediately to lessen the possibility of a legal action.
THINK ABOUT CONSEQUENCES For example, consider what might happen if a Carry Australia Committee member, Volunteer or Representative is in a meeting with a customer or prospective sponsor etc, and someone on the customer’s side pulls out a print-out of your blog and says “This person at Carry Australia says that product sucks.” Saying “Product X needs to have an easier learning curve for the first-time user” is fine; saying “Product X sucks” is risky, unsubtle and amateurish. Once again, it’s all about judgement: using your social media platform to trash or embarrass Carry Australia, our members, or your co-workers, is dangerous and ill-advised.
DISCLAIMERS Many social media users include a prominent disclaimer saying who they work for, but that they’re not speaking officially. This is good practice and is encouraged, but don’t count on it to avoid trouble – it may not have much legal effect. The Social Media Liaison or Carry Australia Communications Officer can provide you with applicable disclaimer language and assist with determining where and how to use that.
DON’T FORGET YOUR DAY JOB Make sure that your private social media engagement does not interfere with your job or commitments to Carry Australia and Vice versa, we don’t want Carry Australia taking over all of your spare time or taking you away from your family. Please let us know if you are struggling and need help, we are all here to support each other.
YOUR PRIVATE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS The following tips will contribute to successful use of social media. The best way to be interesting, stay out of trouble, and have fun is to write about what you know. There is a good chance of being embarrassed by a real expert, or of being boring if you write about topics you are not knowledgeable about. Do not post while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Quality matters. Use a spell-checker. If you’re not design-oriented, ask someone who is whether your blog/Page etc. looks decent, and take their advice on how to improve it. It may seem a minor thing but it does detract from our professional image. The speed of being able to publish your thoughts is both a great feature and a great downfall of social media. The time to edit or reflect must be self-imposed. If in doubt over a post, or if something does not feel right, either let it sit and look at it again before publishing it, or ask someone else to look at it first.
CONSEQUENCES Policy violations will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination for cause.
It is the responsibility of local sling group admin and/or Peer Educators to set up and moderate their own social media group and/or page (for example in Facebook) if they wish.
It is the responsibility of the Carry Australia Social Media Liaison and Communications Officer to ensure that the main Carry Australia social media accounts have adequate admin/moderators allocated.
Social Media Procedures
Local pages or groups
Assistance in setting up social media accounts, pages etc. and their settings can be obtained from Carry Australia’s Social Media Liaison or Communications Officer. When setting up a local page or group please bear in mind the following
- Your profile on social media sites/pages etc. must be consistent with your profile on the Carry Australia website or other Carry Australia publications. Profile information may be obtained from the Social Media Liaison or Communications Officer.
- Carry Australia logo should feature on the banner of your page or group.
- If you would like your sling meet events shared on the main Carry Australia Facebook page, add the Carry Australia Social Media Liaison or Communications Officer as an admin to your page and notify them when an event needs to be shared.
Carry Australia social media accounts
- If you have administration access to any of Carry Australia’s social media platforms do not change any settings or information on any of the Carry Australia bannered social pages e.g. the Notes section on Facebook without consulting the Social Media Liaison or Carry Australia Communications Officer.
- If you find any unfavourable or incorrect information about Carry Australia anywhere please contact a Committee member to review and edit anything that needs to be.
- Follow the rules and regulations of the social media platform you are using. If you break those rules the site may close down the Carry Australia page which we do not want.
- Be sure what you are saying is in keeping with official Carry Australia guidelines. If you are unsure, please check your response or contact the Carry Australia Committee for assistance. If research is required before answering a customer then there should be a short comment made acknowledging the question.
- The general reply time Carry Australia wants to see to posts is within 24 hours, preferably within 4-8 hours though. This does not include holidays but does include weekends that you have meets on where someone might be wanting more information before they go to the meet.
- Always sign off any posts or comments you do with your name followed by the acronym of the page you are on eg. If you post on the Babywearing Victoria Inc. page you would comment “XYZ Bianca@CarryAus”, this gives likers of the page the more personal touch and has shown to gain more interaction on the page when people know who they are talking to.
- Keep your comments positive and engage only if you can add value to the conversation. Speak from your own experience while keeping in mind the Carry Australia guidelines.
If you receive a public complaint via any of Carry Australia’s social media platforms, or by any local group page please request that the complainant lodge their written complaint via the complaints form on the Carry Australia website. Refer to the Carry Australia Complaints Policy and Procedures for more information.