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State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010  


Basic  Social  Media  Guidelines     Overview  of  Social  Media     Just   as   the   Internet   and   e-­‐mail   revolutionized   business   in   the   past   15   years,   social   media   is   changing   the   way   that   people   access   information   and   communicate   with   businesses   and   their   government.     Because   effective   communication   with   citizens,   legislators,   media,   and   other   public   and   private   sector   partners   is   central   to   a   successful   and   responsive   state   government,   state   agency   communications   directors   are   encouraged   to   consider   agency   participation  in  social  media.         Social   media   networks   provide   opportunities   for   Ohio   government   to   deliver   highly-­‐accessible   content   through   a   variety   of   new   channels   and   platforms.     Participation  may  augment  current  communication  strategies  to  reach  a  broader   audience,   encourage   greater   citizen   engagement   and   better   connect   Ohioans   with  state  services.  


The decision  to  engage  in  social  media  should  be  made  after  careful  evaluation   in   the   context   of   a   comprehensive   communications   plan.     This   document   is   intended   to   provide   basic   information   to   assist   state   agency   communications   directors  as  they  begin  to  develop  social  media  communication  plans.     Communications  directors  and  communications  departments  are  encouraged  to   develop  agency-­‐specific  policies  or  guidelines  on  the  use  of  social  media.  These   guidelines  will  evolve  as  new  technologies  and  social  networking  tools  emerge.     Current   examples   of   social   media   platforms   include,   but   are   not   limited   to,   Facebook,   YouTube,   and   Twitter.     While   a   specific   tool   or   platform   may   not   prove  beneficial  to  an  agency  as  a  whole,  keep  in  mind  that  it  may  be  a  perfect   fit  for  a  specific  program  or  initiative.         Participation  Guidance       Agencies  should  maintain  an  official  “Ohio”  presence  on  social  media  platforms.   Social  media  platforms  should  include  professional,  official  communications  and   branding  that  represent  the  State  of  Ohio,  supplementing  an  agency’s  Web  site,   marketing  materials,  and  press  releases.    

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010  

Agency   communications   directors   are   ultimately   responsible   for   all   content   management   on   social   media   platforms.     Therefore,   a   deliberative   decision-­‐ making   process   is   recommended   before   content   development   and/or   management   responsibilities   are   assigned   to   other   agency   employees.     The   following   are   a   set   of   generally-­‐accepted   standard   practices   for   social   media   engagement:       • Protect   Sensitive   or   Personal   Information.     The   State   of   Ohio   is   entrusted   with   citizens’   sensitive   and   personal   information.   When   sharing   content   on   social   media   platforms,   do   not   share   personal   or   confidential   information.   If   there   is   any   question   as   to   whether   or   not   information  is  sensitive  or  personal  in  nature,  consult  with  agency  senior   management  and  legal  counsel  before  sharing  content.     • Be  Accurate.  Before  posting  content  or  responding  to  comments,  ensure   that  the  information  or  response  is  accurate.  Accuracy  is  critical,  because   content   on   social   media   platforms   is   extremely   visible   and   can   be   replicated  in  multiple  locations  within  minutes.       •

Correct Mistakes.  If  a  mistake  or  inaccuracy  is  found,  correct  the  mistake   and  communicate  its  subsequent  correction  clearly  and  quickly.  

Be Considerate.   Ensure   that   all   communication   is   professional,   respectful,  and  factual.  Remember  that  all  content  represents  the  State   of  Ohio.  

Respect Copyrights   &   Trademarks.   When   posting   content   do   not   infringe  upon  copyright  or  trademark  protections.    

Use State  E-­‐mail  Addresses  &  Strong  Passwords.   State  e-­‐mail  addresses   should   be   utilized   to   confirm   to   users   that   the   content   provided   is   official.   Personal   e-­‐mail   accounts   (non-­‐state,   e.g.   private   yahoo   or   Gmail   accounts)   should   not   be   utilized   for   official   state   agency   communications   through   social   media   platforms.     Accounts   should   use   strong   passwords   (letters,   numbers,   and   characters)   to   ensure   optimal   security   and   reduce   possible   security  breaches.    

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010  

Avoid Advertisements,   Sponsorships   &   Endorsements.   When   possible,   Ohio   agencies   should   avoid   advertisements,   endorsements,   or   sponsorships  on  social  media  communication  platforms.      It  is  important   that   agencies   understand   that   context-­‐sensitive   ads   may   appear   on   some  platforms  that  do  not  reflect  the  views  or  positions  of  an  agency  or   the   State   of   Ohio.     This   should   be   considered   as   the   agency   evaluates   whether  to  utilize  a  particular  social  media  platform.     Misrepresentation.   If   a   user   is   authorized   by   the   agency   to   participate   in   social   media   platforms   that   are   not   sponsored   by   the   State   of   Ohio,   ensure  that  the  user  is  familiar  with  the  misrepresentation  requirement   in   Ohio   IT   Policy   ITP-­‐E.8,   “Use   of   Internet,   E-­‐mail   and   Other   IT   Resources.”   Concealing   or   misrepresenting   one’s   name   or   affiliation   to   mask   unauthorized,   fraudulent,   irresponsible   or   offensive   behavior   in   electronic  communications  is  strictly  prohibited.  

Stay within   Area   of   Expertise.   Consult   with   subject   matter   experts   and   obtain   assistance   preparing   responses   before   posting   content   to   maintain  credibility  and  relevancy.    

Please  remember  that  Ohio  IT  Policy  ITP-­‐E.8  applies  to  social  media  participation   as  well  as  any  agency  specific  policies  governing  appropriate  use.  Ohio  IT  Policy   ITP-­‐E.8   requires   individuals   participating   in   or   contributing   to   online   communities   to   be   approved   by   the   agency   and   specifies   that   they   must   fulfill   agency   education   and   awareness   requirements   prior   to   engaging   in   these   communities.     In   addition,   the   policy   outlines   what   is   considered   “unacceptable   use,”   such   as   violating   –   or   supporting/encouraging   the   violation   of   –   local,   state   or   federal   law.   The   policy   also   prohibits   soliciting   money   or   support   for   political   causes.   Prior   to   engaging   in   social   media   communication   please   make   sure   individuals   have   thoroughly   reviewed   Ohio   IT   Policy   ITP-­‐E.8   and   any   applicable   agency   policies.     All  content  represents  the  State  of  Ohio.  It  must  be  factual,  credible,   professional,  and  useful  to  Ohio’s  citizens.      

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010  


Content and  Engagement     Social  media  is  intended  to  be  very  accessible  and  interactive.    In  order  for  social   media   platforms   to   remain   relevant,   content   needs   to   remain   current.   Participation  in  social  media  platforms  will  require  a  significant  commitment  to   ensure   effective   and   sustained   engagement.   It   is   also   important   that   expectations   regarding   the   extent   of   interactivity   available   to   participants   are   clearly  communicated  through  a  given  social  media  platform.  

Agencies   should   establish   a   standardized   content   development   and   management   process   to   release   and   retire   content,   as   well   as   to   monitor   user   comments   if   enabled.   In   order   to   mitigate   the   risk   that   inappropriate   content   may  be  posted,  participation  should  be  limited  to  those  identified  and  assigned   by  agency  communications  directors.       Ohio  agencies  should  work  with  their  legal  counsel  and  collective  bargaining  to   ensure  that  bargaining  unit  contracts  are  not  breached  when  content  managers   are  assigned,  and  that  the  activity  falls  within  allowable  job  duties.       Ohio  agencies  should  determine  what  type  of  content  is  acceptable  and  what  is   not.    This  would  apply  to  agency-­‐provided  content  as  well  as  user  comments.  An   agency   may   want   to   consider   disclosing   that   it   reserves   the   right   to   delete   or   block  the  following  types  of  content:     • Vulgar  or  offensive  language   • Content   (or   a   user)   that   promotes,   fosters,   or   perpetuates   discrimination   on   the   basis   of   race,   creed,   color,   age,   religion,   gender,   marital   status,   status   with   regard   to   public   assistance,   national  origin,  physical  or  mental  disability  or  sexual  orientation   • Spam   • Content  that  advocates  illegal  activity   • Promotion  of  particular  services,  products   • Content   that   supports   or   opposes   political   campaigns   or   ballot   measures   • Infringement  upon  copyrights  or  trademarks   • Information   that   may   tend   to   compromise   the   safety   or   security   of   the  public  or  public  systems  

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010  

As part  of  their  content  management  process,  Ohio  agencies  must  also  address   the   appropriate   transition   of   responsibilities   when   an   individual   is   no   longer   serving  as  a  content  manager.       IV.

Branding A  key  part  of  the  content  management  strategy  is  having  a  consistent  look  and   feel   across   all   Ohio   social   media   platforms.   Implementing   a   standard   branding   strategy  is  a  way  for  Ohio  to  establish  an  official,  identifiable  presence  across  a   number  of  communication  channels.   Agencies   can   contact   the   Governor’s   Office   of   Communications   for   a   current   copy  of  the  Ohio  branding  guidelines.  


Implied Endorsements     A   number   of   social   media   platforms   sustain   their   existence   by   selling   advertising   space   on   their   social   media   platforms.   As   a   government   entity,   the   preference   is   that  Ohio  content  does  not  exist  next  to  any  advertisements.       Social  media  platforms  such  as  Twitter  do  not  currently  have  advertisements  on   their   site.   However,   other   mainstream   platforms   such   as   YouTube   and   Facebook   do   allow   for   advertisements.   If   an   agency   is   planning   to   participate   on   a   social   media   platform   that   contains   advertisements,   agencies   should   review   the   platform  settings  to  disable  advertisements  when  possible.  This  will  help  a  state   government  agency  or  program  avoid  the  appearance  of  preferential  treatment   or   endorsement   of   a   certain   product   that   may   or   may   not   be   beneficial   to   its   citizens.         If   an   agency   is   unable   to   disable   advertisements   on   a   platform,   this   should   be   considered   when   making   a   decision   whether   or   not   to   utilize   this   service.     Agencies   must   be   aware   that   platforms   often   use   context   sensitive   advertisements   that   could   trigger   on   key   words   and   provide   advertisements   contrary  to  positions  of  the  agency  or  the  State  of  Ohio.    If  these  platforms  are   utilized,   disclaimers   may   be   helpful   on   both   the   platform   and   the   agency   Web   site.      

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010  



Personal Use  of  Social  Media     These   guidelines   focus   on   agency   participation   on   social   media   platforms;   however,  like  any  other  citizen,  state  employees  have  the  right  to  participate  in   social  media  on  their  own  personal  time  using  their  own  personal  IT  resources.  It   is   important   that   employees   understand   when   creating   content   or   posting   comments,   there   should   be   no   expectation   of   privacy.   Social   media   is   an   extremely   public   forum   and   the   lines   between   personal   and   professional   opinions  could  easily  become  blurred;  it  is  important  to  be  cognizant  of  this  fact.   A   good   rule   of   thumb   is   to   never   post   or   create   anything   that   would   be   potentially   embarrassing   or   considered   offensive.   Remember   that   even   if   information   is   shared   from   personal   accounts,   it   could   be   identified   by   the   press   and  reported  in  association  with  an  employee’s  professional  role.       In   addition,   Ohio   IT   Policy   ITP-­‐E.8   requires   public   servants   to   avoid   the   appearance   of   impropriety   and   avoid   the   appearance   of   leveraging   the   stature   of   the   state   in   the   use   of   their   assigned   state   e-­‐mail   address.   Official   state   government   e-­‐mail   addresses,   such   as   “”   or   “,”   should   not   be   used   for   personal   communication  in  public  forums.     Conclusion     Agency   communications   directors   are   encouraged   to   examine   the   benefits   associated   with   the   use   of   social   media   platforms.   Participation   in   new   communication  channels  that  reach  vast  and  varied  audiences  will  foster  a  more   open,  transparent  and  accessible  Ohio  government.       Agencies   contemplating   the   launch   of   a   social   media   initiative,   as   well   as   agencies   already   utilizing   social   media,   should   complete   the   “Plan   for   Ohio   Agency   Social   Media   Engagement”   template.     This   will   help   agency   communications   directors   think   through   social   media   engagement   plans   while   also  helping  the  state  to  establish  a  comprehensive  social  media  presence.     Additional  resources  are  also  available,  including  documents  on:   -

The Decision  to  Participate  in  Social  Media  


Privacy and  Security  

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010  


Public Records  and  Accessibility  


Research and  Strategy  


Training and  Transitioning  

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010  

  Making  the  Decision  to  Participate  in  Social  Media   State   agencies   are   encouraged   to   engage   in   social   media.     But   participation   may   not   be   right   for   every  agency,  program  or  initiative.       Most  importantly,  social  media  should  align  with  the  agency’s  mission,  objectives,  and  goals  and   augment   more   traditional   communication   methods   to   better   engage   with   agency   constituencies.     The   decision   to   utilize   social   media   should   be   made   in   a   collaborative   manner   within   departments.       Communications   directors   should   work   with   their   agency   director   and   other   agency   personnel   –   which   may   include   the   appropriate   line   of   business   managers,   communications   and   marketing   staff,   information   technology   representatives,   and   legal   representatives  –  throughout  the  decision-­‐making  process.     Agencies  should  develop  and  utilize  a  strategic  process  for  selecting  social  media  platforms.  An   agency  should  have  reasons  for  choosing  specific  social  media  platforms  and  should  be  able  to   justify  their  selection  decisions  within  the  context  of  a  comprehensive  communications  strategy.   Because   social   media   participation   often   requires   that   users   agree   to   certain   terms   of   service,   agency  legal  counsel  should  be  involved  in  the  authorization  process.     Agencies  considering  social  media  initiatives  should  complete  the  “Plan  for  Ohio  Agency  Social   Media   Engagement”   template.   This   will   help   agencies   think   through   social   media   engagement   plans   while   also   helping   the   state   establish   a   comprehensive   social   media   presence.     Agencies   that   launched   social   media   initiatives   prior   to   the   development   of   these   guidelines   are   also   encouraged  to  complete  the  template.  


State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010  

Research and  Strategy   Developing  a  plan  for  using  social  media  includes  reviewing  the  agency   and/or  program  strategy   and  goals,  and  mapping  them  against  social  media  initiatives.  Communications  directors  should   research   and   familiarize   themselves   with   a   particular   social   media   platform,   as   well   as   the   expectations  and  etiquette  of  utilizing  it,  prior  to  making  the  strategic  decision  to  engage.   While   assessing   the   possibilities   for   social   media   within   an   agency,   it   is   important   to   take   a   marketing  perspective  and  consider  all  of  the  possible  products  or  services  that  could  have  their   own  representation.    For  instance,  an  agency  may  have  a  social  media  presence,  but  they  may   have  a  separate  and  complementary  presence  for  a  division,  bureau,  outreach  effort,  event,  etc.     Making   a   map   or   chart   of   the   possible   uses   for   social   media   will   help   agencies   determine   a   starting  point.    Agencies  should  identify  their  purpose  and  goal  for  participating  in  social  media   platforms.   Each   requires   a   dedication   of   time   and   resources   for   management,   engagement,   and   analysis.     During  the  research  phase,  look  at  other  government  entities,  organizations,  and  businesses  to   see  how  they  are  using  social  media  and  expanding  partnerships.  This  is  also  an  opportunity  to   find  useful  communities  to  help  an  agency  be  more  effective  in  their  mission  and  achieve  their   objectives  and  goals.      Is  there  something  new  for  the  agency  to  offer  or  should  they  engage  in   an   existing   community?   What   existing   conversations   are   taking   place   where   the   agency   can   participate  or  add  value?   Social  media  provides  opportunities  for  relationship  building  and  engagement  with  real  people.     It   is,   however,   important   to   remember   that   social   media   can   blur   the   lines   of   “on   duty”   and   “off   duty”  and  agencies  and  staff  members  should  consider  their  behavior  a  reflection  of  the  state  at   all   times.     Agencies   should   strive   to   use   social   media   to   add   value   to   state   government,   increasing  engagement  with  constituents  and  communicating  more  effectively.   Remember  that  representatives  in  these  channels  function  as  spokespersons  for  the  agency  and   could   engage   with   anyone   from   a   citizen,   to   a   legislator,   to   a   reporter.     Part   of   the   planning   process  should  include  a  review  to  determine  whether  any  divisions  or  programs  have  already   established  a  social  media  presence.    In  general,  any  communication  in  these  channels  should  be   part   of   a   comprehensive   communications   effort   that   has   been   vetted   and   approved   by   the   agency  communications  director.       If  additional  guidance  is  needed  prior  to  developing  a  social  media  plan,  feel  free  to  contact  Cara   Keithley,  Chief  of  Communications  for  the  Ohio  Department  of  Commerce,  at  614-­‐644-­‐7115  or;   Ron   Sylvester,   Deputy   Director   of   Communications   and   External   Relations   for   the   Ohio   Department   of   Administrative   Services,   at   614-­‐728-­‐8698   or;  or  Governor’s  Office  communications  staff.      

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010  

Privacy and  Security     As   with   any   type   of   communication,   there   is   a   certain   degree   of   risk   associated   with   participation   on   social   media   platforms.     In   general,   agency   communications   directors   should   approach   social   media   engagement   with   common   sense.     Just   as   privacy   and   security   are   carefully   accounted   for   and   monitored   on   state   agency   Web   sites   and   personally   identifiable   information  is  not  shared  through  traditional  communication  mediums,  such  as  press  releases,   the  same  approach  applies  to  social  media  engagement.           When   sharing   content   on   social   media   platforms,   make   sure   it   is   public   content   and   not   confidential,   critical,   or   personally   identifiable   information.   Ohio   IT   Policy   ITP-­‐B.11,   “Data   Classification,”   outlines   the   various   data   classification   labels   that   each   agency   already   has   in   place.  Ohio  Revised  Code  Chapter  1347  also  provides  guidance  on  what  is  considered  personally   identifiable   information.   Agencies   need   to   be   mindful   of   these   requirements   when   deciding   what   content   is   appropriate.   In   order   to   ensure   that   content   managers   adhere   to   these   requirements,  formal  training  or  guidance  to  agency  employees  should  be  sought  out.  Failure  to   protect  confidential,  critical  or  personally  identifiable  information  exposes  not  only  the  state  but   individual   state   employees   to   significant   legal   liability   and   could   potentially   have   a   negative   impact  on  Ohio’s  citizens.       Examples   of   personally   identifiable   information   are   outlined   in   Ohio   IT   Bulletin   ITB-­‐2008.02,   “Privacy  Impact  Assessments.”  This  bulletin  also  addresses  privacy  impact  assessments  and  will   help  agencies  determine  whether  they  need  to  conduct  such  an  assessment  prior  to  launching   social  media  efforts.     If   state   agencies   are   participating   on   third   party   social   media   platforms,   they   should   include   a   disclaimer  on  their  pages  that  advises  users  that  they  are  no  longer  on  a  State  of  Ohio  site  and   that   the   privacy   policy   of   the   social   media   platform   applies.   A   link   to   the   platform’s   privacy   policy   should   be   included.   In   addition,   agency   communications   directors   must   work   with   agency   legal  counsels  to  review  the  privacy  statement  of  the  third  party  platform  and  ensure  that  it  is   not  in  direct  conflict  with  any  federal  or  Ohio  laws  or  policies  regarding  privacy  protection.       Social  media  platforms  are  easily  accessible  and,  typically,  new  accounts  are  quick  and  simple  to   establish  and  utilize.  However,  communications  directors  should  discuss  the  utilization  of  social   media   platforms   with   their   agency   information   technology   department   to   addressing   any   security  concerns  prior  to  launching  initiatives.        

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010   Agencies  should  conduct  a  risk  assessment  prior  to  making  a  final  determination  as  to  whether   or  not  to  participate  in  social  media.  Ohio  IT  Policy  ITP-­‐B.1,  “Information  Security  Framework,”   provides  guidance  to  agencies  on  how  to  conduct  a  risk  assessment.     A  multi-­‐layered  security  strategy  is  required  to  provide  sufficient  protection  to  individuals,  the   agency  and  the  IT  infrastructure.     Individual   Security   Risks:   Social   media   platforms   all   collect   some   type   of   personal   profile   information,   including   name,   gender,   location,   employer,   photographs,   and   names   of   friends,   personal   interests,   and   affiliations.   If   someone   is   able   to   gain   access   to   this   information,   it   could   enable   identity   fraud   and   personal   attacks.   It   could   also   result   in   the   posting   of   fraudulent   profile  pages  and  messages,  defamation,  and  theft  of  artwork  or  intellectual  property.     Organizational  Security  Risks:  Since  organizational  profile  pages  are  only  protected  with  a  user   ID   and   password,   the   organizational   profile   page   can   also   become   an   object   for   attack.   Organizations  can  also  be  subject  to  defamation  and  identity  fraud,  which  can  lead  to  damage  to   organizational  image  and  reputation.       IT  Infrastructure  Risks:  Social  media  platforms  provide  an  opportunity  to  spread  malicious  code,   such   as   viruses   and   worms.   The   ability   to   use   mobile   devices   that   allow   the   exchange   of   rich-­‐ media  content,  as  well  as  text  messages  to  engage  in  social  networks,  intensifies  this  issue.       In   order   to   mitigate   these   risks,   it   is   important   that   agency   communications   directors   work   with   their  IT  representatives  to  ensure  that  Ohio  IT  security  policies  are  reviewed  and  implemented   where   appropriate.   Since   agencies   may   be   leveraging   third   party   platforms,   it   becomes   even   more  important  that  IT  security  personnel  are  involved  to  ensure  that  the  controls  in  place  on   third   party   platforms   satisfy   state   and   federal   IT   requirements.   Agencies   should   check   the   security   of   third   party   platforms   to   ensure   that   it   complies   with   state   and   agency   IT   security   policy.     Some  of  the  standard  security  practices  that  should  be  implemented  are  as  follows:     • Using  strong  passwords  (letters,  numbers,  and  characters)  on  all  accounts   • Scanning   uploaded   and   downloaded   content   for   viruses   and   other   inappropriate  code.   • Filtering  all  content  obtained  from  social  networks  for  malware   • Monitoring  content  on  a  regular  basis  to  detect  unauthorized  alterations     • Monitoring  staff  behavior  and  content,  and  gauging  the  success  of  security   controls  

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010   • • •

Allowing IT   security   personnel   to   have   full   access   to   read   all   content   uploaded  to  or  through  a  profile   Reviewing   the   organizational   profile   regularly   to   identify   visual   and   other   performance  problems   If   involved   on   multiple   social   media   platforms,   ensure   that   the   security   controls   for   each   type   of   media   have   been   analyzed   and   determine   if   varying  controls  need  to  be  implemented  for  each  type  of  platform  

Ohio   agencies   need   to   make   their   internal   and   external   users   aware   that   social   media   platforms   can  often  be  prime  targets  for  phishing  and  social  engineering  attacks.       Phishing,   or   “spear   fishing,”   is   an   attack   targeting   a   specific   user   or   group   of   users   and   it   attempts  to  deceive  the  user  into  performing  an  action  that  launches  an  attack  (e.g.,  opening  a   document   or   clicking   a   link.)   Spear   fishers   leverage   the   personal   information   they   uncover   on   social  media  platforms  to  build  trust  with  their  targets.  The  practice  of  whaling,  which  is  spear   fishing   a   high-­‐value   individual,   may   involve   sending   customized   documents   that   actually   look   like   internal   documents   to   spread   malicious   code.   Spear   fishers   may   use   URL   shortening   technologies  to  obscure  the  actual  Web  site  name.  Attackers  collect  personal  information  about   a  target  from  social  media  platforms  and  may  pose  as  a  “friend”  to  elicit  information,  action,  or   support.   Providing   security   awareness   training   to   social   media   platform   users   is   an   important   way  to  mitigate  the  risk  of  spear  fishing  or  social  engineering  attacks  being  successful.  

Due   to   the   open   nature   of   social   media   platforms,   the   opportunity   for   incidents   to   occur   is   significant.   These   incidents   can   take   many   forms,   such   as   the   implementation   of   fraudulent   sites,  false  and  disparaging  comments  on  Ohio  platforms,  or  the  posting  of  confidential,  critical   or   personally   identifiable   information.   Security   incidents,   such   as   the   introduction   of   malware,   can   also   occur.   Ohio   agencies   need   to   ensure   that   procedures   for   capturing   evidence   and   escalating   incidents   discovered   in   social   media   environments   are   integrated   into   established   incident   management   processes.   Ohio   agencies   should   involve   legal   and   communications   in   incident   management.   Agencies   must   ensure   that   clear   lines   of   responsibility   are   determined   and   communication   platforms   are   clearly   conveyed   to   all   state   employees   involved   in   maintaining  the  social  media  presence.       If   a   security   incident   has   been   identified,   agencies   need   to   follow   the   security   incident   response   procedures   that   were   defined   by   their   agency   in   response   to   Ohio   IT   Policy   ITP-­‐B.7,   “Security   Incident  Response.”    

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010  

Public Records  and  Accessibility   Ohio   agencies   should   be   aware   that   any   content   posted   on   social   media   platforms   could   potentially   be   considered   a   public   record,   and   therefore   original   content   must   be   retained   in   accordance   with   the   appropriate   state   and   agency   record   retention   schedules.   Ohio   IT   Policy   ITP-­‐E.30,  “Electronic  Records,”  outlines  requirements  for  agencies.  Archival  requirements  should   be   considered   when   designing   and   updating   social   media   platforms.     It   may   be   necessary   to   preserve  versions  of  the  platforms  for  a  certain  period.   Agencies   should   consult   with   their   legal   counsel   to   determine   public   records   requirements   as   they  relate  to  social  media  platforms.  Ohio  agencies  also  need  to  ensure  that  state  employees   involved  in  the  social  media  process  understand  the  public  records  requirements.   As   with   all   public-­‐facing   Web   pages,   Ohio   agencies   must   strive   to   ensure   that   any   content   provided   on   social   media   platforms   is   accessible   to   all   constituents.   The   State   of   Ohio   increasingly  serves  its  citizens,  businesses,  and  visitors  through  the  Internet.     If  Ohio  agencies  are  using  third  party  social  media  platforms,  it  may  not  be  possible  to  make  all   content   accessible.   There   are   third   party   social   media   platforms   that   do   not   provide   access   to   transcripts   or   captioning,   and   for   agencies   to   include   this   functionality   on   their   own   would   be   extremely   costly.   Therefore,   agencies   need   to   ensure   that   all   content   on   their   web   pages  is  accessible  in  accordance  with  Ohio  IT  Policy  ITP-­‐F.3,  “Web  Site  Accessibility.”     Non-­‐governmental,   third   party   platforms   should   not   be   the   sole   location   where   original   content   is   posted.   This   will   help   ensure   that   all   constituents   have   an   accessible   version   of   the   content   and  that  the  official  version  of  that  content  is  available  on  the  agency’s  Web  site.  It  is   important  to  keep  in  mind  that  not  all  Ohio  citizens  utilize  social  media  platforms.  

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010  

Training     State  agency  communications  directors  should  make  sure  that  they  and  their  designated  social   media   managers   are   comfortable   with   the   following   before   implementing   a   social   media   platform:     • Social  Media  Platform  Approval/Decision  Process   • Privacy  and  Security   • Content  and  Engagement   • Availability  of  Information  and  Public  Records   • Incident  Management  and  Implications  of  Personal  Use    

Transitioning   Agencies   should   determine   how   content   creation   or   management   responsibilities   are   transitioned   in   the   event   of   employee   termination   or   resignation,   including   turning   over   administrator   access   to   platforms,   changing   contact   information   and   e-­‐mail   addresses,   and   backing  up  primary-­‐source  content.        

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010  

State Agency  Plan  for  Social  Media  Engagement   1. Agency

3. Contact

2. Date


Title: E-mail: Phone: Address:

4. Social Media Project Status (check one):

Initial Planning Design Development Implementation Launched 5. Please identify the social media platform(s) on which the agency would like to participate:

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010  

6. In Your Agency, Have You Talked With (check all that apply) Communications

Information Technology


Program(s)/Business Unit(s)

Other Areas or Offices: _______________________________________________________

Agency communications directors should strongly consider collaborating with multiple disciplines or offices when developing social media strategies. Possible partners include communications, marketing, information technology, legal, and programs/business units. Please add additional areas or offices within your agency as dictated by your specific mission, goals, and objectives.


7. Description of Strategy Social media can provide opportunities for your agency, but entering this space also requires a commitment of time and resources to maintain relevance and cultivate relationships on these platforms. Please consider the overall strategy for your agency participating on the platforms you have chosen. Who is your agency aiming to connect with?

Are there existing communities that you can partner with?

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010  

How will this strategy affect your agency’s overall mission, goals, and objectives?

Provide a brief description here of your overarching strategy and explain how the chosen social media platforms(s) will better serve the State of Ohio. Why is this platform(s) the best solution for your agency?

For additional information or assistance in filling out this section, please see the “State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media: Research and Strategy” document.

8. Content & Engagement As you explore social media, your plans for managing content and fostering engagement may change. Still, there are important aspects to consider prior to launching these initiatives.

Which positions will be responsible for content creation and editing?

Will platforms require moderation?

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010   How frequently content will be updated?

What level of participation will be given to followers/visitors/users on social media platforms?

Please provide any additional relevant information on the agency’s strategic plan for managing content and engagement.

For additional information or assistance in filling out this section, please see the “State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media: Content and Engagement” document.

9. Social Media Branding To what extent does your agency utilize the State of Ohio branding guidelines? How does your social media presence also conform to these guidelines and the branding recommendations outlined in the “State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media?” Please consider backgrounds, colors, images, seals, logos, avatars, and fonts as possible items for branding. Your presence online should complement your Web site as well as your marketing materials to produce a comprehensive brand.

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010   Yes, both our agency and our social media presence comply with the guidelines. No (If no, please provide a brief explanation as to why your strategy dictates deviating from the State of Ohio brand)

10. Privacy and Security If there is some reason your agency privacy and security policies do not apply to social media, please explain:

For additional information or assistance in filling out this section, please see the “State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media: Privacy and Security” document.

State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media Last updated:  January  19,  2010   11. Public Records and Accessibility If there is some reason that your agency has not adopted a records retention policy for primarysource content in accordance with applicable state and agency records retention schedules, please explain. Other sources, such as the agency Web site, will be used to also share content available through social media platforms. The third party platform will not be the sole source for this information.

For additional information, please see the “State of Ohio Guidelines for the Use of Social Media: Public Records and Accessibility” document.


Ohio Social Media Guidelines 2010  
Ohio Social Media Guidelines 2010  

Social media policy and guidelines created for the State of Ohio in 2010 during Governor Strickland's administration.