SMPS believes in fostering a thriving online community and supports social media as a valuable asset for membership development and communications. The following policy outlines the legal and membership maintenance implications of social media use in regard to the organization.
Rules of Engagement
All members of SMPS are personally responsible for the content they publish on blogs, social sites, wikis, or any other form of user-generated media. Be mindful that what you publish will be public for a long time—protect your own privacy and that of SMPS.
- Members and moderators must make it clear that they are speaking for themselves and not on behalf of SMPS in their online publishing. Except in rare cases, members should not have a need to be discussing SMPS business matters in their personal online publishing.
- Members publishing content to any website outside of the SMPS HQ site, and it having relevance to work or subjects associated with SMPS, must use the following disclaimer: “The postings on this site or forum are my own and membership list and don’t necessarily represent SMPS positions, strategies or opinions.”
- All members must abide by and respect copyright, fair use, and financial disclosure laws.
- No member may provide SMPS or another member’s confidential or other proprietary information without headquarters (HQ) approval. Members and moderator musk seek HQ approval to publish or report on conversations that are meant to be private or internal to SMPS.
- Members or moderators will not cite or reference other members, SMPS partners, or suppliers without their approval.
- Members and moderators will not use ethnic or gender slurs, personal insults, obscenity, or engage in any conduct that would not be acceptable to the SMPS membership code of conduct. Members will show proper consideration for others’ privacy and for topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory—such as politics, religion, race, or gender preference.
- Members identifying themselves as representatives of SMPS must ensure that their profile and related content is consistent with how the overall organization wishes to present itself to the general public.
- Members will not post SMPS-related content which is provocative, such as inappropriate photographs or information.
- Members will not post SMPS-related content in reference to drinking alcohol or illegal drug use.
- Members will not bad-mouth other members in social media and other open general public forums.
- Members will not make discriminatory comments.
- Members will not share confidential information related to the organization.
- Members must be aware that violations of this Social Media Policy may result in membership termination.
- Members can post honest, informative, and respectful comments—no spam and no off-topic or offensive remarks.
- Members and moderators must not allow or post graphic, obscene, explicit, or racial comments or submissions that are abusive, hateful, or intended to defame anyone or any organization.
- Members and moderators must not allow or post solicitations or advertisements in SMPS-related social media outlets. This includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial, or non-governmental agency. Similarly, do not allow attempts to defame or defraud any financial, commercial, non-profit, or non-governmental entity.
- Members and moderators must not allow or post comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity.
The following two bullets cover your legal responsibilities and non-disclosure obligations as a member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services. Failure to abide by these two guidelines can result in legal liability and removal of membership status for individual members and/or moderators who allow individuals to post on SMPS-related online and social media platforms.
- Legal Liability
When members choose to go public with their opinions via a social media outlet, they are legally responsible for their commentary. Individual members and moderators can be held personally liable for any commentary deemed to be defamatory, obscene (not swear words, but rather the legal definition of “obscene”), proprietary, or libelous (whether pertaining to SMPS, individuals, or any other SMPS entity for that matter). For these reasons, members and moderators should exercise caution with regards to exaggeration, colorful language, guesswork, obscenity, copyrighted materials, legal conclusions, and derogatory remarks or characterizations. In essence, your social media use is at your own risk. Outside parties actually can pursue legal action against you (including SMPS) for postings that violate SMPS Member Social Media Policy.
- Organization Privileged Information
Any confidential, proprietary, or association/trade secret information is obviously off-limits for social media distribution per the copyrighted laws pertaining to SMPS and its intellectual property (Example: Webinars, Logos, Body of Knowledge, Domains of Practice, etc…) unless specified differently by HQ. SMPS branded materials and their trademarks are also off-limits without proper authorization per our national brand guidelines. Anything related to SMPS policy, inventions, strategy, financials, products, etc. that has not been made public cannot appear in your social media platform under any circumstances. Disclosing confidential or proprietary information can negatively impact our organization and may result in legal violations for the organization.
Best Social Media Practice Guidelines
Social media can be an exciting and powerful way for chapters to connect with members and potential members. SMPS encourages chapters to follow SMPS via our social media channels and borrow content that is of interest to your members.
- Twitter: @smpshq
- Facebook: Society for Marketing Professional Services (https://www.facebook.com/SMPSHQ)
- LinkedIn Group: Society for Marketing Professional Services (https://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=113031)
- YouTube: Society for Marketing Professional Services (https://www.youtube.com/user/SMPSNational)
- Pinterest: Society for Marketing Professional Services (https://www.pinterest.com/smpsnational/)
- Instagram: SMPS Headquarters
These four recommendations provide a roadmap for constructive, respectful, and productive dialogue between members, moderators and their use of Social Media as representatives of SMPS. These are not “rules” and thus they can’t be broken. There is no hidden meaning or agenda. We consider these to be “best practices guidelines” that are in the spirit of SMPS culture and the best interest of all members, whether they use social media or not. We encourage all SMPS members to follow these guidelines, but it is not mandatory to do so.
- Be Respectful to other members and affiliates
Be thoughtful and accurate in your posts and be respectful of how other members may be affected. All members can be viewed (correctly or incorrectly) as representatives of the organization, which can add significance to public reflections on the organization (whether you intend to or not). Members, who identify themselves as members of the organization in their social media outlets and comment on the company at any time, should notify their chapter leadership of the existence of their social media outlet. To be clear, you are not being asked to alert your chapter of HQ leadership of all your posts, just to consider letting them know you have a social media outlet where you or others may write about SMPS. Whether your local or HQ leadership chooses to occasionally read your posts or not, the courtesy head’s up is always appreciated.
- Get Your Facts Straight
As a member of SMPS, you have the opportunity to contact other members and affiliates who are responsible for the products, services, or other SMPS initiatives that you may want to write about. To ensure you are not misrepresenting your fellow SMPS members or their work, consider reaching out to a member of the relevant chapter or HQ leadership team before posting. This courtesy will help you provide your readers with accurate insights, especially when you are writing or allowing others to write outside of your area of expertise. If there is someone in SMPS who knows more about the topic than you, check with them or HQ to make sure you have your facts straight before posting or moderating.
- Provide Context to Your Argument
Please be sure to provide enough support in your posting to help members understand your reasoning, be it positive or negative. We appreciate the value of multiple perspectives, so help us to understand yours by providing context to your opinion. Whether you are posting in praise or criticism of the A/E/C community, you and other contributors are encouraged to develop a thoughtful argument that extends well beyond “(insert) sucks”.
- Engage in Private Feedback
Not everyone who is reading your social media content will feel comfortable approaching you if they are concerned their feedback will become public. In order to maintain an open dialogue that everyone can comfortably engage in, SMPS members and moderators are asked to welcome “off-network” feedback from their colleagues who would like to privately respond, make suggestions, or report errors without having their comments appear in your social media outlet. Members may want to know what you think. If you have an opinion, correction or criticism regarding a posting, reach out to the member directly. Whether privately or on their social media wall, let the member know your thoughts privately.
Even though it is a personal decision to engage in social networking it can have consequences to the membership of SMPS. Therefore, you will be held responsible for the content you post. If you post content that limits your ability to effectively perform your duties as a member of SMPS, those limitations can impact your membership status.
- Develop a social media committee that serves at the direction of the Chapter Communications Chair/Committee.
- Name multiple administrators to each social media account. If only one administrator can be assigned to an account, make sure more than one person holds the username and password.
- Utilize a tool like Hootsuite that will allow you to schedule posts for times when you are unable to post live.
- Keep a social media calendar in your Board group in MySMPS or using another calendar tool so the Communications Committee and Chapter Board know when posts are going out.
- Divide up posts by type of event, member recruitment, general messages, etc. in order to share the workload and engage more volunteers.
- Provide links from your chapter website to your social media spaces and from your social media back to the chapter website.
- Follow SMPS brand standards and utilize chapter logos provided in the Chapter Board and Chapter Leaders libraries in MySMPS.