Be Smart, Be Respectful, Honor God
These Online Social Media Principles are intended to outline how these values should be demonstrated in the social media space and to guide your participation in this area, both when you are participating personally, as well as when you are acting on behalf of Adult & Teen Challenge. It is critical that we always remember who we are (a ministry) and what our role is in the social media community (to share the gospel). The same rules that apply to our messaging and communications in traditional media still apply in the social media space; simply because the development and implementation of an online social media program can be fast, easy, and inexpensive doesn’t mean that different rules apply.
We encourage all of our representatives to explore and engage in social media communities at a level at which they feel comfortable. Have fun but be smart. The best advice is to approach online worlds in the same way we do the physical one – by using sound judgment and common sense, and by adhering to the Adult & Teen Challenge values.
Adult & Teen Challenge adheres strongly to its core values in the online social media community, and we expect the same commitment from all representatives – including representatives, interns, volunteers, and representatives of our agencies, vendors and suppliers. Any deviation from these commitments may be subject to disciplinary review or other appropriate action.
The Six Core Values of Adult & Teen Challenge in the Online Social Media Community
Transparency in every social media engagement. Adult & Teen Challenge does not condone manipulating the social media flow by creating “fake” destinations and posts designed to mislead followers and control a conversation. Every Website, “fan page”, or other online destination that is ultimately controlled by Adult & Teen Challenge must make that fact known to users and must be authorized according to applicable internal protocols in order to track and monitor Adult & Teen Challenge’s online presence.
2. PRIVACY PROTECTION
Protection of our students’ privacy. Most students sign a release to use their image when they come into the program. This gives an individual program the right to use their name and photo. This DOES NOT give representatives (representatives, interns, volunteers or agency personal representing the ministry) the right to post images of students on their personal pages.
Respect people, students, representatives, and others by never posting dishonorable content, such as racial, ethnic, sexual, or physical disability slurs. Also, be sensitive about other religious beliefs in social media.
Respect of copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity, music, and other third‐party rights in the online social media space, including with regard to user‐generated content.
Responsibility in our use of technology. We will not use or align Adult & Teen Challenge with any organizations or Websites that deploy the use of excessive tracking software, adware, malware, or spyware.
6. BEST PRACTICES
Utilization of best practices, listening to the online community, and compliance with applicable regulations to ensure that these Social Media Principles remain current and reflect the most up‐ to‐date and appropriate standards of behavior.
ADULT & TEEN CHALLENGE REPRESENTATIVES & REPRESENTATIVES SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITIES
Adult & Teen Challenge respects the rights of its representatives and its authorized agencies’ representatives to use blogs and other social media tools not only as a form of self‐expression, but also as a means to further Adult & Teen Challenge’s business. It is important that all representatives are aware of the implications of engaging in forms of social media and online conversations that reference Adult & Teen Challenge and/or the representative’s relationship with Adult & Teen Challenge and its ministries, and that representatives recognize when Adult & Teen Challenge might be held responsible for their behavior.
Our Expectations for Representatives’ Personal Behavior in Online Social Media
There’s a big difference between speaking “on behalf of” Adult & Teen Challenge and speaking “about” Adult & Teen Challenge. This set of 7 principles refers to those personal or unofficial online activities where you might refer to Adult & Teen Challenge.
- Adhere to all Adult & Teen Challenge policies. All Company representatives, from the Chairman to every intern, are subject to Adult & Teen Challenge’s policies in every public setting. In addition, other policies govern representatives’ behavior with respect to the disclosure of information; these policies are applicable to your personal activities online. Anything posted reflects on ALL Adult & Teen Challenge organizations world-wide.
- You are responsible for your actions. Anything you post that can potentially tarnish Adult & Teen Challenge’s image will ultimately be your responsibility. We do encourage you to participate in the online social media space, but urge you to do so properly, exercising sound judgment and common sense.
- Most students sign a release to use their image when they come into the program. This gives an individual program the right to use their name and photo. This DOES NOT give representatives (representatives, interns, volunteers or agency personal representing the ministry) the right to post images of students on their personal pages. Representatives may share a post that has been posted by the center but cannot initiate the post personally.
- Respect people, students, representatives, and others by never posting dishonorable content, such as racial, ethnic, sexual, or physical disability slurs. Also, be sensitive about other religious beliefs.
- Be a “scout” for compliments and criticism. Even if you are not an official online spokesperson for Adult & Teen Challenge, you are one of our most vital assets for monitoring the social media landscape. If you come across positive or negative remarks about Adult & Teen Challenge or its ministries online that you believe are important, share them by forwarding them to your supervisor to determine the appropriate response.
- Let the subject matter experts respond to negative posts. You may come across negative or disparaging posts about Adult & Teen Challenge or see third parties trying to spark negative conversations. Unless you are an official online spokesperson, avoid the temptation to react yourself. Pass the post(s) along to our social media spokesperson.
- Be conscious when mixing your business and personal lives. Online, your personal and ministry personas are likely to intersect. Adult & Teen Challenge respects the free speech rights of all its representatives, but you must remember that family members, donors, colleagues, and supervisors often have access to the online content you post. Keep this in mind when publishing information online that can be seen by more than friends and family and know that information originally intended just for friends and family can be forwarded on. Remember NEVER to disclose non‐public information of Adult & Teen Challenge (including confidential information), and be aware that taking public positions online that are counter to Adult & Teen Challenge’s interests might cause conflict.
Our Expectations for Online Spokespeople
Just as with traditional media, we have an opportunity – and a responsibility – to effectively manage Adult & Teen Challenge’s reputation online and to selectively engage and participate in the thousands of online conversations that mention us every day.
The following 9 principles guide how our Online Spokespeople should represent Adult & Teen Challenge in an online, official capacity when they are speaking “on behalf of Adult & Teen Challenge.”
- Be current in the social media trends and policies. All representatives who wish to officially represent Adult & Teen Challenge online must demonstrate their proficiency at using social media and their knowledge of our ministry.
- Follow our values and all other Adult & Teen Challenge policies. Our values provide the foundation for these Social Media Principles: “As a representative of Adult & Teen Challenge, you must act with honesty and integrity in all matters.” This commitment is true for all forms of social media
- Be mindful that you are representing Adult & Teen Challenge. As a ministry representative, it is important that your posts convey the same positive, optimistic spirit that Adult & Teen Challenge instills in all of its communications. Be respectful of all individuals, races, religions, and cultures; how you conduct yourself in the online social media space not only reflects on you – it is a direct reflection on Adult & Teen Challenge.
- Fully disclose your affiliation with Adult & Teen Challenge. Adult & Teen Challenge requires all representatives who are communicating on behalf of Adult & Teen Challenge to always disclose their name and their affiliation. It is never acceptable to use aliases or otherwise deceive people. State your relationship with Adult & Teen Challenge from the outset, e.g., “Hi, I’m John and I work for Adult & Teen Challenge….” This disclosure is equally important for any agency/vendor/partner/third party who is representing Adult & Teen Challenge online. They must disclose that they work “with Adult & Teen Challenge.”
- When in doubt, do not post. Representatives are personally responsible for their words and actions, wherever they are. As online spokespeople, you must ensure that your posts are completely accurate and not misleading, and that they do not reveal non‐public information of Adult & Teen Challenge. Exercise sound judgment and common sense, and if there is any doubt, DO NOT POST IT. In any circumstance in which you are uncertain about how to respond to a post, send the link to a supervisor.
- Give credit where credit is due and don’t violate others’ rights. DO NOT claim authorship of something that is not yours. If you are using another party’s content, make certain that they are credited for it in your post and that they approve of you utilizing their content. Do not use the copyrights, trademarks, publicity rights, or other rights of others without the necessary permissions of the rightsholder(s).
- Be responsible to your work. Adult & Teen Challenge understands that representatives engage in social media activities at work for legitimate purposes and that these activities may be helpful for ministry affairs. However, Adult & Teen Challenge encourages all representatives to exercise sound judgment and common sense to prevent online social media sites from becoming a distraction at work.
- Remember that your local posts can have global significance. The way that you answer an online question might be accurate in your part of the world, but inaccurate (or even illegal) in others. Keep that “world-view” in mind when you are participating in online conversations.
- Know that the internet is permanent. Once information is published online, it is essentially part of a permanent record, even if you “remove/delete” it later or attempt to make it anonymous. If your complete thought, along with its context, cannot be squeezed into a character‐restricted space (such as Twitter), provide a link to an online space where the message can be expressed completely and accurately.