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WesternU / Public Affairs & Marketing / Brand Management / Social Media Guidelines

Social Media Guidelines

It is the policy of WesternU that University-sanctioned and branded social media sites should adhere to accepted set of standards and guidelines to ensure consistency in content and institutional branding when University sanctioned and branded social media is used.

Overview

Before deciding if a separate social media presence for a college or department is necessary, WesternU’s primary social media presences, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, should be considered as venues. Those with information appropriate for posting through WesternU’s social media should email the Marketing Director or the Chief Communications Officer to have them added. By creating or engaging in a social media presence, WesternU employees are making a commitment to maintaining it and keeping it updated. The existence of a “dead” Facebook page, or Twitter or Instagram feed affiliated with WesternU, reflects negatively on the University.

WesternU’s presences in social media are considered to be an extension of the University’s official publications and websites. Style and content guidelines that apply to the websites also apply to social media. For assistance, contact the Chief Communications Officer.

Content Guidelines
WesternU makes a strong and consistent effort to engage its internal and external communities on a wide variety of topics through the use of social media. The following guidelines should be followed when using WesternU’s social media sites:

Be authentic – We are responsible for our thoughts and opinions, thus, all comments and content must be from named individuals. Do not post using an alias or an identity other than your own.

Be respectful – Comments should not defame, attack or otherwise disrespect. Profanity, obscene content and personal attacks will not be tolerated.

Encourage conversation – To keep dialogue going on a topic, comments that appear to be commercial or that could otherwise be viewed as spam should be deleted.

Your posts are public – Whatever you post on a social media site instantly becomes public. Anyone with access to the Internet can view your activity on social media sites. Be sure not to post personal information – yours or someone else’s – on the web.

Additional Guidelines for Employees
Be transparent – It should be obvious that you work for WesternU if you are posting as part of your job. If you are posting about WesternU on your personal time, please identify your connection to the University. You need to be authentic and credible.
Keep confidential matters private – Do not post proprietary information about WesternU, including information about students, alumni or employees. All University and legal guidelines, such as FERPA and HIPAA, also apply to its social media presences.
Represent WesternU properly – Make sure that your supervisor has authorized you to post about WesternU on University-sponsored sites. If your post is responding to someone and you’re not sure about University policy, contact Public Affairs & Marketing. Verify information, links, images, etc. before posting. Be careful when choosing photos and other images to upload.

Additionally, it is essential that the University’s name and visual brand be represented correctly and with approved WesternU verbiage and iconography. The University goes by one of two names: Either “Western University of Health Sciences” or “WesternU.” These are the ONLY acceptable names to use when referencing the University. “Western,” “Western University,” “WU,” “WUHS,” or any other combination of names, or any acronyms, are not acceptable.

WesternU also has a limited number of visual brands approved for use in social media. For access to these logos and icons, contact the Chief Communications Officer and/or the Marketing Director. The Chief Communications Officer or Marketing Director MUST APPROVE of the visual brand’s use before it is used.

Do not engage the news media through social media. If a media inquiry or question about the University comes through a social media site, please immediately refer it to Public Affairs & Marketing.

Be a respectful community member – Should you disagree with others posting to a site, and wish to respond, keep your comments appropriate and polite. Ask Public Affairs & Marketing for advice on handling sensitive issues and topics.

Know where to turn for help – If you encounter a question you cannot answer, or if you see incorrect information about WesternU, contact the Chief Communications Officer or a member of the Public Affairs & Marketing staff for assistance.