The Pace Group, Inc. (Pace) uses social media in its work and recognizes that those who are involved in its work may also use social media either as part of their role or in their private lives. A written policy is therefor required for all staff, volunteers and stakeholders on the acceptable use of social networking at work.
The PACE Group, Inc. (PACE) encourages the responsible use of social media. The purpose of this policy is to set out what PACE excepts from our volunteers when using social media. It is important to remember that we are all ambassadors for the charity and that social media is never private.
The policy is solely for volunteers and aims to:
- Give clear guidelines on what volunteers can say about the organization;
- Comply with relevant legislation and protect volunteers;
- Help volunteer supervisors manage performance effectively;
- Help volunteers draw a line between their private lives and their volunteering;
- Protect PACE against liability for the actions of volunteers;
- Be clear about sensitive issues such as monitoring and explain how problems with inappropriate use will be addressed.
1. Policy Statement
1.1 PACE recognizes that the internet provides unique opportunities to participate in interactive discussions and share information on particular topics relevant to our work using a wide variety of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs and wikis etc.1. This policy aims to protect individuals volunteering with us in any role and to encourage you to take responsibility for what you write, exercise good judgement and common sense. (See 2.1)
1.2 Inappropriate use of social media can pose risks to our confidential and proprietary information and reputation, and can jeopardize our compliance with legal obligations. To minimize these risks, to avoid loss of work time and to ensure that our IT resources and communications systems are used only for appropriate business purposes, we expect volunteers to adhere to this policy.
2. Who is covered by the policy?
2.1 This policy covers volunteers. There is a separate policy for paid staff, consultants, contractors etc.
3. Scope and purpose of the Policy
3.1 This policy deals with the use of all forms of social media, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and all other social social networking sites, and all other internet posting, including blogs.
3.2 It applies to the use of social media both for volunteering and personal purposes, whether while volunteering or otherwise. The policy applies regardless of whether the social media is accessed using our IT facilities and equipment or equipment belonging o volunteers.
3.3 If a volunteer is found to be in breach of this policy the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, will address this issue.
3.4 Volunteers may be required to remove internet postings which are deemed to constitute a breach of this policy.
3.5 This policy links to all other policies therefore social media should never be used in a way the breaches any of our other policies such as equal opportunities, data protection etc.
4. Personnel responsible for implementing the Policy
4.1 All volunteer supervisors have a specific responsibility for operating within the boundaries of this policy, ensuring that all volunteers understand the standards of behavior expected of them and taking action when behavior falls below this.
4.2 All volunteers are responsible for the success of this policy and should ensure that they take the time to read and understand it. Any misuse of social media or questions regarding the content or application of this policy should be reported to PACE Executive Committee.
4.3 Any content which raises a safeguarding concern must be reported to a member of the PACE Executive Committee (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary).
5. Guidelines for responsible use of social media
The following sections of the policy provide volunteers with common-sense guidelines and recommendations for using social media responsibly and safely.
5.1 We want you to help protect our business reputation. Volunteers must not post disparaging or defamatory statements about.
a The PACE Group, Inc
b The PACE Group, Inc. staff, our clients, volunteers or members past or present
c Suppliers and Vendors; and
d Other affiliates and stakeholders.
Volunteers should also avoid social communications that might be misconstrued in a way that could damage our business reputation, even indirectly.
5.2 Volunteers are personally responsible for what they communicate in social media (as part of their role or on personal sites). Remember that what you publish might be available to be read by the masses (including The PACE Group, Inc.), colleagues, volunteers, future employers and social acquaintances for a long time. Keep this in mind before you post content.
5.3 A publicity consent form must be obtained prior to posting images or text which may be used on social media.
5.4 PACE does not permit tagging of vulnerable adults or anyone under the age of 18.
5.5 There is no obligation for volunteers link their personal social media to any PACE social media.
5.6 Volunteers are not permitted to set up social media accounts for work purposes without prior consultation with the PACE Executive Committee.
5.7 If you disclose your affiliation as a volunteer of PACE you must also state that your views do not represent those of the organization you are volunteering with. For example, you could state, "the view in the posting do not represent the views of The PACE Group, Inc." You should also ensure that your profile and any content you post are consistent with the image you present to those you work with as part of your volunteering role.
5.8 You can only use The PACE Group, Inc. email address if your volunteering role involves using social media on behalf of the organization.
5.9 You are responsible for the security settings of any social media sites you use and should ensure they are set to the appropriate level if you wish to limit who can see your information.
5.10 Remember that you must respect confidentiality at all times and protect confidential information. You should be mindful of Data Protection issues, if in doubt speak to the PACE Executive Committee.
5.11 Avoid posting comments about sensitive PACE related topics, such as our performance. Even if you make it clear that your views do not represent those of our nonprofit organization, your comments could still damage our reputation.
5.12 If you are uncertain or concerned about the appropriateness of any statement or posting, refrain from making the communication until you discuss it with a member of the Executive Committee.
5.13 If you see content in social media that disparages or reflect poorly on PACE or our stakeholders, you should report it to your Executive Committee.
5.14 The contact details of business contacts made during the course of your volunteering are regarded as our confidential information, and as such you will be required to delete all such details from your personal social networking accounts. Should you finish volunteering with The PACE Group, Inc.
5.15 Contact details of volunteers are subject to data protection. Staff are not permitted to access or store information on volunteers that would breach data protection.
6. Personal use of social media in the office environment
If using social media while volunteering; circulation chain letters or other spam is never permitted. Circulating or posting commercial, personal, religious, or political solicitations, or promotion of outside organizations unrelated to The PACE Group, Inc. work is prohibited.
Reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure information in the publication is accurate. However it is no intended to be legally comprehensive; it is designed to provide guidance in good faith, without accepting liability. If relevant, we therefore recommend you take appropriate professional advice before taking any actions on the matters covered herein.