RTOERO recognizes the importance of using social media networks in a collaborative manner to:
- engage current members
- connect with and recruit prospective members
- advance RTOERO’s political advocacy issues and activities
- support the work of the Foundation
- build relationships with partner organizations and others interested in the work of our organization
As a membership-based organization for the broader education community, RTOERO is committed to a social media policy that encourages the effective and creative use of various digital platforms, while adhering to legal, ethical and behavioural standards in keeping with the expectations of the education profession and sector.
This policy provides guidance for members, employees, volunteers and others posting information on our networks and the use of social media, which should be broadly understood for purposes of this policy to include wikis, message boards, chat rooms, electronic newsletters, online forums, social networking sites, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, RTOERO blogs, YouTube and other sites and services that permit users to share information with others.
This policy applies to all RTOERO members, staff and volunteers.
These guidelines are intended to protect privacy, confidentiality and the interests of RTOERO.
The Marketing and Communications department is responsible for ensuring that all RTOERO social media channels comply with legislation, RTOERO policies and brand standards.
The establishment of new social media networks for RTOERO districts, units or committees – such as blogs, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages – shall be done in collaboration with Marketing and Communications department staff. The RTOERO Coordinator, Marketing and Communications must be an administrator on all district social media accounts, as a risk-management provision to safeguard RTOERO from legal and reputational damage.
Each RTOERO district should have a Facebook page. It must be set up under the umbrella of the RTOERO Facebook page. Each RTOERO district Facebook page must use the approved version of their logo as the profile picture.
Best practices for RTOERO members, staff and volunteers
- Ask the Marketing and Communications department for advice. Districts interested in setting up their own social media account must consult with Marketing and Communications staff, who will assist the district in assessing the best social media channel for the purpose. Resources, training and best practices will be shared with the districts as required.
- Be a good ambassador. Sharing RTOERO messages assists the organization in reaching a wider audience.
- The online behaviour and messages of RTOERO members, staff and volunteers reflects on the organization. When using personal social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, be aware that members, employees and the public may be able to see your profile and interactions. Regardless of whether you’re posting personally or professionally or in your role as a volunteer or member, always be respectful, polite and honest. Recognize that you are legally responsible for anything you write or place online.
- Do not comment on legal matters unless you are an official spokesperson and have the legal approval of RTOERO to do so. Districts should use messaging provided by RTOERO when sharing organizational policies, initiatives, etc. on their social media sites.
- Be respectful. Do not use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity or engage in any conduct that would not be acceptable in RTOERO’s workplace, events or social gatherings. Avoid topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory.
- Protect your own privacy and security. Use security and privacy features to manage your online presence.
- Be positive and add value. RTOERO believes that sharing information and experiences benefits our entire community. Share the passion you feel for RTOERO and talk about the successes you have been a part of. If RTOERO employees and volunteers are perceived to be knowledgeable and helpful, this will reflect positively on the individual and the organization. Posting messages of support and encouragement are appropriate and welcomed. Avoid any messaging that might damage the reputation of RTOERO or that contravenes RTO/ERO policies.
- Comments from members and the public are welcome. Where appropriate and feasible, RTOERO will respond promptly to them.
- Strive to stay on topic, with content relevant to the topics under discussion.
- Refrain from sharing confidential or proprietary information about RTOERO, its members and employees, or programs and services.
- Refrain from any materials or information that contravenes RTO/ERO’s policies and non-partisanship.
- Act in compliance with all relevant regulations and legislation.
- Do not use RTOERO social media platforms for business or personal gain.
- Respond knowledgeably and accurately, using appropriate language. If unfamiliar with a topic, seek input before responding.
- Be mindful of all equity and inclusivity-related RTOERO policies, the Canadian Human Rights Act, Occupational Health & Safety Legislation, accessibility legislation (such as Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act) and other relevant legislation when posting content.
- Be aware that anything posted on the internet is traceable and can be retrieved even if deleted.
- Uphold copyright and trademark rules.
- Do not use another’s direct wording or copyright information as your own.
- Give credit to the original source of information, facts, stats, etc. that you are sharing.
- Do not use images from the internet as your own in social media posts or comments.
- Posting, sharing, commenting and/or engaging with content does not indicate an endorsement of the account owner or their products/services by RTOERO.
- RTOERO will not respond to comments that are in violation of the social media guidelines and other policies.
- RTOERO monitors all comments on our social media channels and may require members, employees or volunteers to remove postings, comments or any other social media submissions deemed to constitute a breach of this policy.
- Foul language, violent and/or sexual language, and hateful comments will not be tolerated and will be deleted.
- Inappropriate or inaccurate comments may be deleted.
- RTOERO reserves the right to remove any content that does not comply with the commenting guidelines.
- Employees may be subject to appropriate disciplinary measures for online behaviour that contravenes RTOERO policies.
Social media harassment or cyber-bullying
If a member, employee or volunteer is the subject of social media harassment or cyber-bullying as a direct result of their work or affiliation to RTOERO:
- Report the abusive post to the social media channel, e.g. Facebook.
- Do not engage in abusive discussions on social media, as this may escalate the issue and reflect poorly on both you and RTOERO.
- If applicable, members who are the victims of online harassment follow the steps outlined in the Code of Conduct.
- Employees who are the victims of online harassment should speak with the Director of Human Resources & Volunteer Engagement and/or, if applicable, the Director of Communications & Marketing.
Note: This policy is to be reviewed and updated annually or as required.
Revised April 2021
Approved by RTOERO Board of Directors March 2020
Previously revised: August 2019, April 2018, December 201