This policy is intended to ensure that Rhode Island School of Design ("RISD") has a well maintained social medial presence by providing RISD community members direction for professional and personal communication on social media as it relates to referencing or representing Rhode Island School of Design.
This policy outlines the circumstances in which a social media account representing a RISD entity or group may be created and maintained on platforms including but not limited to Instagram, Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), Linkedin, TikTok and Snapchat. All social media accounts that represent the institution, both new and existing, must follow the policies outlined below.
Social media accounts that represent an official Rhode Island School of Design entity or group (e.g., a department or division) are considered to be sponsored by the institution; therefore, the creation of such accounts requires approval from both the Senior Director of Public Relations in RISD’s Marketing & Communications team and the head of the area requesting the new account. RISD Marketing & Communications is charged with developing and managing the institution’s social media strategy, which includes running the institutional accounts on Instagram, Facebook, X, and Linkedin and overseeing all accounts that represent the institution.
It may be useful for some departments or entities to create social media accounts specific to their areas, as having active and engaged specialized accounts can be a highly effective way to connect with specific audiences. Conversely, having several accounts at RISD that share the same or similar information, especially if some aren’t consistently active, can clutter and dilute RISD’s social media presence and make it more confusing for people to connect with RISD. To ensure that RISD has a strong and strategic presence on social media, RISD Marketing & Communications is charged with determining the right mix of social media accounts representing the institution.
To request a social media account, contact the Senior Director of Public Relations for consideration. In deciding whether to approve the request, the applicant will meet with the Senior Director or a Public Relations (“PR”) team designee to discuss how having an account might help achieve specific goals and contribute to RISD’s overall social media ecosystem. The requestor will also be asked about how the account would be managed to understand whether the specific department has enough capacity to create content, monitor conversations and engage followers.
If the account is approved, the PR team will help to set up the account and provide guidance on fostering a strong and strategic presence. All accounts must be set up with an institutional email address as the recovery email. If the account is student managed, a RISD employee must also maintain log-in credentials and is responsible for moderating posts. All RISD social media accounts must provide the PR team with the account username, password and name of the account manager. If the password is changed, the PR team is to be notified with the updated information. If the account is a Facebook page, each page should have at least two full-time employees of the college listed as administrators. The PR team may be available to serve as one of the administrators should that be needed. If uncertain that an existing RISD social media account has been approved and registered, please contact the PR team to check.
Once the account is active, it will be added to the social media account inventory the PR team maintains, and the main point of contact for the new account will join the RISD Communicators Network. This group connects community members across campus who speak for the college and museum, strengthening joint efforts by providing communications guidance and fostering strategic collaboration, coordination and sharing of information.
If an account request is not approved, the PR team will suggest ways in which a department’s news could be promoted through RISD’s existing social media accounts and other communications channels.
All RISD-approved accounts are subject to review. Additionally, if the department no longer wishes to maintain the account, the manager should inform the PR team.
Content & deletion policy
RISD social media accounts are intended to inform users of RISD-related news and events and to foster community. Anything posted on official RISD social media sites by employees or students, including RISD-funded organizations such as student clubs, should be in alignment with the institution’s values. The institution reserves the right to edit or delete disparaging, inappropriate and/or offensive posts, including content that violates RISD policy or federal or state law. Failure to remove or edit posts may result in approval status being revoked.
Emergency situation policy
In the event of a Level 3 or Level 4 emergency such as a major weather emergency or imminent danger on campus (see emergency.risd.edu for more information), Marketing & Communications will take operational control of all RISD-related accounts. Managers of these accounts are not permitted to post about the emergency or any other topic until they receive authorization from Marketing & Communications.
Class-based or project-based social media accounts
Social media can be a great way to build community within the classroom and share the work of a class or project. Often, this content is best served on departmental social media pages but at times, faculty or students may wish to create a social media account separate from departmental pages, specific to a class or project. Given the temporal nature of the activity on this type of account, an account approval process is not required; however, all class-based or project-based accounts should be registered with the department head or coordinator, providing them with the account name, manager and password information to ensure the account is managed and preserved beyond the class/project. These accounts will be subject to the same regulations as institutional accounts.
Student clubs and organizations social media accounts
Student clubs and organizations that are active, registered and approved by the Center for Student Involvement ("CSI") are exempt from the institutional account approval process and instead must go through the CSI social media approval process. To register, all student club and organization account managers must provide the CSI team with the account username, password and name of the account manager during student organization renewal processes each spring. If the password is changed, the CSI team is to be notified with the updated information. These accounts will be subject to the same regulations as institutional accounts and must also abide by the Student Social Media Policy and Guidelines and adhere to the Student Code of Conduct.
Employee personal use
Posting about RISD news and events through personal social media accounts can be an effective tool to promote RISD’s mission and build community. Employees are welcome to share and repost information that the institution communicates online and are encouraged to link directly to the information source to ensure accuracy. However, a personal post must not suggest that an unauthorized person is speaking on behalf of a department or the college. No one may use the RISD wordmark or Benson seal on personal accounts.
When using social media, be mindful of the impact postings can have, even unintentionally. While personal accounts may not indicate that the information is being disseminated by a person employed by or attending RISD, it is easy for others to make the connection. A post could negatively impact the RISD community and reflect poorly on the publisher.
Student personal use
Please see: https://policies.risd.edu/student-life/social-media-policy
Use of the RISD Seal
Please see: https://policies.risd.edu/policies/useoftheRISDwordmarkandseal/
This policy was created on: 7/15/2022
Review annually on the following date or as required by law: July 15th
Marketing & Communications
Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
Individuals/offices required for review and changes
Senior Director, Digital Experience
Senior Director, Public Relations
Office of the General Counsel
Director, Center for Student Involvement