Information for the Pride team on using social media to promote the work of Congleton Pride.
This policy will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, at least once a year. Congleton Pride will amend this policy, following consultation, where appropriate. Date of last review: 19 May 2023.
- Guidelines – What does Pride use Social Media for?
- Social Media Governance
- Further guidelines
What is social media?
Social media is the term given to web-based tools and applications which enable users to create and share content (words, images and video content), and network with each other through the sharing of information, opinions, knowledge and common interests. Examples of social media include Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Social media is essential to the success of communicating Congleton Pride’s work. It is important for some the Pride team to participate in social media to engage with our audience, participate in relevant conversations and raise the profile of Congleton Pride’s work.
The difference between a personal and professional opinion can be blurred on social media, particularly if you’re discussing issues relating to Congleton Pride’s work. While we encourage the use of social media, we have certain standards, outlined in this policy, which we require everyone to observe. Publication and commentary on social media carries similar obligations to any other kind of publication or commentary in the public domain.
This policy is intended for all the Pride team members of all levels, volunteers and trustees, and applies to content posted on any Congleton Pride social media property or space. Before engaging in social media activity on behalf of Pride, a member of the team must read this policy.
This policy sets out guidelines on how social media should be used to support the delivery and promotion of Congleton Pride activities, and the use of social media by the Pride team in both a professional and personal capacity. It sets out what you need to be aware of when interacting in these spaces and is designed to help the Pride team support and expand our official social media channels, while protecting the charity and its reputation and preventing any legal issues.
Our Social Media Manager, a member of the Pride Communications Team, is responsible for the day-to-day publishing, monitoring and management of our social media channels. If you have specific questions about any aspect of these channels, speak to the Social Media Manager. No other the Pride team member can post content on Congleton Pride’s official channels without the permission of the Social Media Manager.
Congleton Pride uses the following social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok.
- Facebook page: www.facebook.com/congletonpride
- Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/259597534651224
- Twitter: twitter.com/congletonpride
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/congletonpride
- TikTok: www.tiktok.com/@congletonpride
Who is our audience?
The audience for our social media activity in Congleton Pride is wide and varied.
Our PRIMARY AUDIENCES for social media are:
- The Congleton LGBTQIA+ Community and Allies (in this document, where the Community is mentioned, this includes LGBTQIA+ people and Allies)
- Residents of Congleton who might come to our events or join Congleton Pride
Other important audiences include:
- Businesses, including potential or actual Sponsors
- Partners (Stalls, Entertainers)
- Parents / Schools / Teachers
- Other communities (e.g. religions / churches, refugees)
- Questioning / unsure of who they are / new LGBTQIA+
- Public Services (Council, Police, etc)
- Channels – Radio, Press
- Other Pride Groups in the local area, and occasionally, further afield
Guidelines – What does Pride use Social Media for?
All social media channels listed above may be used by Congleton Pride for one of the following purposes:
- Share information about upcoming Congleton Pride events and activities.
- Share Congleton Pride news and updates e.g. about sponsorship, membership or local stories
- Support the LGBTQIA+ community in a ‘safe space’.
- Share information about events, products and services that Pride members might be interested in and have relevance to Congleton e.g. a local retailer offering new Pride-specific merchandise, or a local event targeting the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Offer encouragement and signpost to other services if members of the Community need help.
- Celebrate the Community, with special ‘days’, ‘months’ and other celebratory stories such as emancipation and progress in Congleton and other parts of the world.
- Share other relevant news and events from the local area, such as the formation of a new Pride group or subgroup in a nearby town.
- Encourage participation in lobbies and campaigns for the rights of LGBTQIA+ people (non-party-political).
- Share and comment on other relevant news and events from the local area or further afield, such as changes in policy or legislation, updates to health advice relating to LGBTQIA+ people, research, education or other topics that might interest the Community.
The following may NOT be posted in Congleton Pride’s social media channels:
- Political campaigning (although lobbying as above, or celebrating that a political regime or party has introduced improved policies is OK).
- Advertising commercial events, goods or services EXCEPT where point 4 above applies.
- Repeat posts, ‘pinned’ posts, retweets, or other tools to ‘bump-up’ commercial posts, even when point 4 above applies. In other words, any post supporting a commercial activity will appear only once on any Congleton Pride page/group/channel, to ensure balance and prioritise community support.
- Disrespectful language or abuse, bullying, harassment or any activity in breach of Pride’s Equality and Respect Policy.
- Irrelevant or off-topic discussion (e.g. other local Congleton news, not related to the Community or Congleton Pride).
Social Media Governance
Organisation and use of Congleton Pride’s Social Media Channels
- The Social Media Manager, a member of the Communications Team, is responsible for setting up, overseeing and managing Congleton Pride’s social media channels. The Social Media Manager is the Administrator for all accounts. Only those authorised to do so by the Social Media Manager will have access to these accounts.
- The Social Media Manager recruits and appoints a team of up to 5 Social Media Editors who have permission to post on Congleton Pride’s Social Media Accounts. They may organise themselves by channel (e.g. one for Twitter, one for Facebook and so on) or they may all have access to all platforms.
- The Social Media Editors’ job is to post and moderate content in compliance with this policy. They do not have permission to remove or add users, or create new social media channels for Congleton Pride.
- The Social Media Manager appoints ONE of these editors to be Deputy Social Media Manager. This person has full administrative access to the Facebook page and group, exactly like the Social Media Manager, and may create new SM channels if required and authorised by the Communications Team. No other user can add or remove other users from the Facebook page or group, or create new channels.
- All other social media platforms require an email address to login. The email used is email@example.com. Some also require a phone number. This must be the number of the current Social Media Manager. The Social Media Manager can share the password for the CongletonPride gmail account, and the passwords to relevant SM accounts to the Social Media editors.
- The logins, passwords and other security information for all of the Congleton Pride accounts are stored in a secure document on the firstname.lastname@example.org Google Drive. The 5 SM Editors have access to this drive via the Congleton Pride gmail account.
- If there is evidence that the gmail account or any of the social media channels has been ‘hacked’ or any login information may have been leaked, the Social Media Manager or Deputy Manager must immediately change all the passwords and, as soon as practicable, convene a meeting with the SM Editors to identify the source of the breach and share new security information.
- If there has been a security breach that may bring Congleton Pride into disrepute, the Social Media Manager or Deputy must call a meeting of the Pride Trustees to determine a course of action to protect the reputation of Congleton Pride.
- If anyone, whether a member of Congleton Pride or a user of one of our SM channels, breaches the standards and rules outlined in this policy, they may be removed from one or more of Pride’s SM channels at the discretion of the SM Manager or Deputy. This will normally be in consultation with the Pride Trustees unless the breach is clear and unequivocal.
Using Congleton Pride’s social media channels, as a Social Media Manager or Editor
- Be an ambassador for Congleton Pride. The Pride team should ensure they reflect Congleton Pride values in what they post and use our tone of voice.
- Make sure that all social media content has a purpose and a benefit for Congleton Pride, and accurately reflects Congleton Pride’s agreed position, where we have one.
- Bring value to our audience(s). Answer their questions, help and engage with them.
- Take care with the presentation of content. Make sure that there are no typos, misspellings, or grammatical errors. Also check the quality of images.
- Always pause and think before posting. That said, reply to comments in a timely manner, when a response is appropriate.
- If the Pride team outside of the Communications team wish to contribute content for social media (beyond commenting on and sharing existing posts), they should speak to the Communications Team.
- You shouldn’t post content about private individuals without their express permission.
- If sharing content or posts from 3rd parties, this should be clear in the post/message from Congleton Pride.
- If using interviews, videos or photos that clearly identify a child or young person, the Pride team must ensure they have the consent of a parent or guardian before using them on social media.
- Always check facts. We should not automatically assume that material is accurate and should take reasonable steps where necessary to seek verification, for example, by checking data/statistics and being wary of photo manipulation.
- Be honest. Say what you know to be true or have a good source for. If you or Congleton Pride has made a mistake, admit and correct it.
- Ensure all the content on social media is compliant with the Congleton Pride Equality and Respect Policy.
- The Pride team should not encourage people to break the law to supply material for social media, such as using unauthorised video footage. All relevant rights for usage must be obtained before publishing material.
- The Pride team should not set up other Facebook groups or pages, Twitter accounts or any other social media channels on behalf of Congleton Pride. This could confuse messaging and brand awareness. By having official social media accounts in place, the Communications Team can ensure consistency of the brand and focus on building a strong following.
- Congleton Pride is not a political organisation and does not hold a view on party politics or have any affiliation with or links to political parties. We have every right to express views on policy, including the policies of parties, but we can’t tell people how to vote.
- If a complaint is made on Congleton Pride’s social media channels, the Social Media team should seek advice from the Trustees before responding. If they are not available, then the Pride team should speak to the Communications Team Leader.
- Sometimes issues can arise on social media which can escalate into a crisis situation because they are sensitive or risk serious damage to the charity’s reputation. An example might include transphobic or homophobic trolling or threats. The Social Media Manager and Editors regularly monitor our social media spaces for mentions of Congleton Pride so we can catch any issues or problems early. If there is an issue that could develop or has already developed into a crisis situation, the team will do the following:
- Delete the post(s) if possible
- Report the perpetrator to the platform concerned
- Block the perpetrator
- Inform the Police, if applicable (e.g. if a hate crime or hate incident has occurred)
If any the Pride team outside of the Social Media team become aware of any comments online that they think have the potential to escalate into a crisis, whether on Congleton Pride’s social media channels or elsewhere, they should speak to the Social Media Manager immediately.
Use of personal social media accounts — appropriate conduct
This policy does not intend to inhibit personal use of social media but instead flags up those areas in which conflicts might arise. When representing Pride, the team are expected to behave appropriately, and in ways that are consistent with Congleton Pride’s values and policies, both online and in real life.
- Be aware that any information you make public could affect how people perceive Congleton Pride. You must make it clear when you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of Congleton Pride.
- Pride members who have a personal blog or website which indicates in any way that they work at Congleton Pride should discuss any potential conflicts of interest with the Trustees of Congleton Pride and ensure there is no conflict of interest.
- Use common sense and good judgement. Be aware of your association with Congleton Pride and ensure your profile and related content is consistent with how you wish to present yourself to the general public.
- Congleton Pride works with several partners including entertainers, businesses and local government. If you have information about potential future partners, ensure this is routed to the appropriate team within Pride and don’t make public commitments without the authority of that team.
- If a Pride team member is contacted by the press about their social media posts that relate to Congleton Pride, they should route this to the Press Officer within the Communications Team.
- Congleton Pride is not a political organisation and does not hold a view on party politics or have any affiliation with or links to political parties. When representing Congleton Pride, the Pride team are expected to hold Congleton Pride’s position of neutrality. The Pride team who are politically active need to be clear in separating their personal political identity from Congleton Pride, avoid conflicts of interest when mentioning their work with Pride.
- Never use Congleton Pride’s logos or trademarks unless approved to do so. Permission to use logos should be requested from the Communications Team.
- Always protect yourself and the charity. Be careful with your privacy online and be cautious when sharing personal information. What you publish is widely accessible and will be around for a long time, so do consider the content carefully.
- Think about your reputation as well as the charity’s. Express your opinions and deal with differences of opinion respectfully. Don’t insult people or treat them badly. Passionate discussions and debates are fine, but you should always be respectful of others and their opinions. Be polite and the first to correct your own mistakes.
- We encourage the Pride team to share tweets and posts that Pride has posted. When online in a personal capacity, you might also see opportunities to comment on or support Congleton Pride and the work we do. Where appropriate and using the guidelines within this policy, we encourage the Pride team to do this as it provides a human voice and raises our profile.
Libel is when a false written statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation is published online or in print. Whether the Pride team are posting content on social media as part of their job or in a personal capacity, they should not bring Congleton Pride into disrepute by making defamatory comments about individuals or other organisations or groups.
It is critical that all the Pride team abide by the laws governing copyright, under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Never use or adapt someone else’s images or written content without permission. Failing to acknowledge the source / author / resource citation, where permission has been given to reproduce content, is also considered a breach of copyright.
Any communications that the Pride team make in a personal capacity must not breach confidentiality. For example, information meant for internal use only or information that Congleton Pride is not ready to disclose yet. For example, a news story that is embargoed for a particular date.
The Pride team should not post content that could be considered discriminatory against, or bullying or harassment of, any individual, on either an official Congleton Pride social media channel or a personal account. Please refer to our Congleton Pride Equality and Respect Policy.
Charities are legally allowed to campaign to bring about a change in policy or law to further their organisational purpose. In most cases, spending on charity campaigns that are in accordance with charity law will not be regulated under electoral law. However, the Lobbying Act, which was passed in January 2014, states that during national elections (known as regulated periods) spending on campaigning activities may be regulated.
Charities which spend more than £20,000 in England or £10,000 in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, during the regulated period, need to register with the Electoral Commission. To abide by the Lobbying Act, campaigning activities on social media must not be seen as intending to influence people’s voting choice. During these periods, all campaigning activity will be reviewed by the [job title].
The responsibility for measures of protection and intervention lies first with the social networking site itself. Different social networking sites offer different models of interventions in different areas. For more information, refer to the guidance available on the social networking site itself. For example, Facebook. However, if a the Pride team member considers that a person/people is/are at risk of harm, they should report this to the [job title] immediately.
Young and vulnerable people face risks when using social networking sites. They may be at risk of being bullied, publishing sensitive and personal information on their profiles, or from becoming targets for online grooming. Where known, when communicating with young people under 18-years-old via social media, the Pride team should ensure the online relationship with Congleton Pride follows the same rules as the offline ‘real-life’ relationship. The Pride team should ensure that young people have been made aware of the risks of communicating and sharing information online, and given guidance on security/privacy settings as necessary. The Pride team should also ensure that the site itself is suitable for the young person and Congleton Pride content and other content is appropriate for them. Please refer to our Safeguarding Policy.
Everyone is responsible for their own compliance with this policy. Participation in social media on behalf of Congleton Pride is not a right but an opportunity, so it must be treated seriously and with respect. The Pride team who are unsure about whether something they propose to do on social media might breach this policy, should seek advice from the Social Media Manager.