Berkeley Lab social media guidelines
Read this before you tweet! These guidelines, developed by Berkeley Lab’s Public Affairs Department, are intended to help Lab employees who use social media in an official capacity on behalf of Berkeley Lab. Social media is a great way to engage a large audience, but there are ways to do it well—and not so well—so please read on.
These guidelines are for Lab staff interested in establishing a social media presence for a department, division, or user facility. They’re also for Lab staff using social media as an individual but representing the Lab in some way. For Berkeley Lab’s policies on basic computing and communications, which pertain to all Lab employees, read RPM 9.01 Computing and Communication and RPM 9.02 Operational Procedures for Computing and Communications.
A quick checklist for social media success:
- Add value: Make sure your social media posts add to the conversation. Stick to your area of expertise and provide unique perspectives on what's going on at Berkeley Lab and the world.
- Do us proud: Remember that any Berkeley Lab-branded social media channel is an extension of the Lab’s “voice.” Your posts should reflect Berkeley Lab’s values.
- It's a conversation. Talk to your followers like you would to real people in professional situations. Avoid overly pedantic or composed language. Bring in your own personality. Consider content that invites response.
- Be transparent. If you are posting about your work at Berkeley Lab, use your real name, identify that you work for Berkeley Lab, and be clear about your role. If you’re posting on behalf of a department or facility, make sure this is clearly stated.
- Think before you post: There is no delete button on the internet, and social media is about as public a stage as you can find. If it gives you pause, pause.
- Make a mistake? If you make a mistake, admit it. Be upfront and be quick with your correction.
- Play nice. Be respectful and considerate. Don't get into an argument with followers.
- Know what NOT to post. Ask permission to publish or report on conversations that are private or internal to Berkeley Lab. If you are unsure, ask the source of the information. All statements must be true and not misleading. Never comment on anything related to legal matters, litigation, or any parties we are in litigation with. Respect proprietary information, content, and confidentiality.
- Crisis communications? Leave that to Public Affairs. If an emergency affects Berkeley Lab and/or surrounding communities, communications from Berkeley Lab are carefully controlled via the Emergency Operations Center. This prevents confusion and misleading information. Refrain from releasing information on emergencies in your social networks.
Before establishing a social media presence, ask whether you’d be better served by working with the Public Affairs Department, which manages the Lab’s main: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and other pages. You may find that funneling information through these channels is a better way to reach a large audience. Information posted on these sites is intended for a broad audience.
If you are exploring establishing a social media presence on behalf of a division or department, please first contact Public Affairs to discuss the process, naming, graphics needs, etc. This will help ensure the continuity of the Lab’s online identity. We also want to include your site in the Lab’s social media page. Contact Public Affairs at x7292 or email@example.com.
A checklist to consider before you start:
- There is someone or a group of people who will have the job of monitoring and updating the site.
- There is enough material to make at least one post per week.
- There is an audience that will benefit from your social networking site.
Public Affairs’ policy on comments and moderation
Berkeley Lab respects different opinions and hopes to foster dialogue within our social media presences. However, comments on social media sites managed by Berkeley Lab Public Affairs may be removed if they violate our commenting policy. Comments may be removed if they:
- Contain obscene, indecent, or profane language;
- Contain threats or defamatory statements;
- Contain hate speech directed at race, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, age, religion, or disability;
- Contain sensitive or personally identifiable information; and/or
- Are completely out of context
Because of the anonymous nature of YouTube accounts, Berkeley Lab Public Affairs staff pre-moderate comments to videos posted on our YouTube channel before the comments are posted.
Video standards for Berkeley Lab’s official YouTube channel
Public Affairs, which administers the Lab’s official YouTube channel, has developed guidelines for what can be hosted on this site. The list includes:
- Professionally produced videos that promote the value of Berkeley Lab to a broad audience. Example: http://youtu.be/fZX6uGThHPk
- Lectures and events facilitated by Lab staff that are intended for a broad audience or a scientific discipline that is relevant to Berkeley Lab’s mission. Example: http://youtu.be/gen4l9EDOzI
- Videos that illustrate a scientific phenomenon or research, always used in conjunction with a news release or feature article: Example: http://youtu.be/nS-3CeuayBk
- In addition, videos that are produced at the Lab by individual departments are subject to review before being posted to the Lab’s YouTube channel for public view.
Contact Berkeley Lab Public Affairs at x7292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.