RISD account management
If you manage or contribute content to a social media account related to RISD, Jaime Marland and Danielle Mancuso (RISD’s PR team) will work with you to foster a strong and engaging presence in support of departmental and institutional goals and in alignment with RISD’s social media policies.
If you haven’t received an invite to the RISD Communicators Network yet, let Jaime and Danielle know.
If you’d like to propose a new RISD account, review RISD’s account approval process and then reach out to Jaime and Danielle.
Tips and best practices
If you manage or contribute content to one of RISD’s social media accounts, the following best practices will help you foster a strong presence and grow your audience.
Post consistently. Regularly monitor your account and share updates—ideally once a day on Twitter and once every few days on Facebook and Instagram. If you find that you aren’t able to make updates on a regular basis, it may make sense to close your account and share information through RISD’s institutional accounts instead.
Join the conversation. While it’s important to share your department/organization’s news and events, it’s also valuable to discuss broader topics that are of interest to your audience. Share information/articles and participate in conversations other people initiate.
Engage with your followers. Monitor what people are saying about you and foster conversations with them when appropriate. Seek to assist people who are looking for information. If you aren’t sure how to respond to a comment or concern, the PR team can provide guidance.
Use compelling images. Since RISD is an art and design institution, this is particularly important, especially on Instagram. If you’re posting multiple images from an event, be sure they are taken from diverse points of view and offer varied content (rather than, for example, sharing multiple wide-angle group shots). Use an in-camera/in-phone editing function when possible for quick cleanup of exposure and cropping/composition. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!
Be timely. Participate in the conversation as it happens and share current and relevant news. If you are sharing something that’s not very timely, let your followers know with a note. For example, “Great article from Thursday’s Providence Journal…”
Be accurate. Maintain your credibility by being a source of valid information. Avoid speculating and thoroughly research facts before posting. Cite your sources and provide links. If you find an inaccuracy in something you post, correct it as soon as possible. It is ideal to leave the original post visible and issue a correction to maintain transparency.
For information that is subject to change, such as a requirement or policy, it is often best to direct users to the place where the most current information lives (e.g., on risd.edu or events. risd.edu) rather than posting the information directly.
Build a strong and positive RISD presence. Our community’s numerous social media accounts collectively inform people’s opinions of RISD, so each account in the ecosystem contributes to determining the strength of RISD’s social media presence. Seek to showcase what makes RISD unique and special, and share information and engage in a manner that reflects RISD’s mission, campus culture and core values. Refrain from posting content and liking or following users or pages that reflect personal interests and/or that may be in conflict with RISD’s mission or values.
Respect your audience. When deciding what to share, keep in mind the diverse values and points of view in our community. Avoid content that may be deemed offensive or defamatory.
Spread the word about your account. Help build awareness, especially for new accounts, by posting your handles on your website if you have one and in other communications as appropriate. Reposting news from RISD’s main accounts can help you reach more people, too, since those accounts have large audiences.
Know how to handle an emergency. In the event of a crisis situation, it’s critical that everyone in our community receive consistent and up-to-date information. Make sure you are familiar with RISD’s emergency situation protocol, which states: In the event of a level 3 or level 4 emergency (e.g., major weather emergency or imminent danger on campus—see emergency.risd.edu for more information), the RISD Media Group will take operational control of all college-sponsored social media accounts. RISD’s official institutional accounts run by the Media Group will actively share the most recent updates about the situation. Managers of college-sponsored accounts are not permitted to post anything to social media (about the emergency or any other topic) until they receive authorization from the Media Group.
Keep up with the latest social media trends. Regularly reading social media news and information will help you stay on top of new features and best practices. For example, mashable.com, socialmedia.org and socialmediaforcolleges.com can be helpful resources.
Laws and regulations
Do not publish confidential information (being especially mindful of FERPA and HIPAA rules) or disclose proprietary information such as unpublished details or financial information about projects underway. Respect the wishes of our partners, alumni and donors regarding the confidentiality of current projects and/or donations.
Be cautious when representing minors. Before posting any content—photos, video or otherwise—on RISD social media channels, ensure that the parents/guardians of any included minors have given permission.
If you wish to post photos of students enrolled in CE programs, please contact Michaela Kellogg in RISD CE to find out if RISD has permission to do so. Permission can come in the form of an opt-in during course registration or a signed photo/video release form.
Additionally, never post “live” content that could communicate the current location of a minor. If a student could be identified in the content (photo, video or otherwise), posting during or immediately after an event or class is strictly prohibited. Wait 48 hours before posting to avoid location identification.
If you wish to post a photo of RISD students over the age of 18 and/or their work, best practice is to introduce yourself and ask permission before taking photos for social, and informing them that images may be used on RISD’s official social media channels. You could even go one step further and ask them their username(s), offering to tag them if they are interested.
As an art and design school, we strive to set a particularly good example in this area. Always attribute work to its author/source, providing links when possible, and ensure you have proper permission to post photos and videos.
Platform terms of service
Each social media site has unique terms of service: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, Vimeo. These are legal obligations that you agree to abide by when you use the platform. It is good practice to read them thoroughly and follow the rules. For example, it is against Facebook’s terms to use a personal account to represent something other than an individual (i.e., a business or an organization).