Subject: Social Media

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1 Policy Number: National Operating Policy #20 Subject: Social Media Approved: January 16, 2015 by the National Executive Council Last Revised: March 4, 2014 Social media is a tool that has been used to communicate the message of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI) to its membership, sponsors and the broader public audience. Although official communication on behalf of the organization is the primary responsibility of the NEC and Communications Committee, it is recognized that others within CIPHI using social media are key to CIPHI reaching its communication goals to promote the organization, and Environmental Public Health. This policy for social media use is designed to provide CIPHI with practical criteria for responsible social media use. While CIPHI encourages the use of social media to communicate about pertinent topics, executive members, volunteers and members at large must always remember their responsibilities to CIPHI s Code of Ethics. This policy is for CIPHI, its branches and any of its committees (i.e., NEC, BOC, COPE, or EFHC) who use any social media tools or online communication media for the purpose of communicating any part of CIPHI s business or interests. Defining social media Wikipedia describes social media as media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable communication techniques. Social media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue. Social media tools (or social media networking sites) include YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and others, where users can share content and information with one another. In communications, social media differs from traditional forms because there are more opportunities for two-way communication with the general public, which essentially means more ways for people to communicate with our organization.

2 Why personal and private are not the same While communication through social media networks is primarily a personal matter, this does not mean it is private. Written conversations inside these networks can often be found through search engines such as Google. Even in cases where only your contacts can see what you write, the permanence and transferability of anything published or posted online means that there is a possibility that what you have said may be made visible to a wider audience or taken out of context. As a result, all conversations within social media networks should be considered public rather than private. The roles of spokespersons in social media The NEC, BOC, EFHC, and COPE may designate official spokespeople for their respective work within CIPHI. This includes official social media communications on behalf of CIPHI where these services have been contracted or provided by volunteer or executive members. It is important that executive members, staff and members using social media do not misrepresent themselves as official spokespersons for the CIPHI unless designated to do so. For example, using the CIPHI emblems or logos in your avatar, profile picture, background or use of CIPHI in a username or Twitter handle would identify you as an official spokesperson and, as such, is not permissible for personal use. Criteria for social media use 1) Be a good ambassador While it is everyone s personal decision whether to use social media networks and tools, you should always be aware that your behaviour and opinions reflect on the organization. If you have identified yourself as being associated with CIPHI, your posts online may be interpreted as being the official voice of the CIPHI. This means one must be careful to uphold the Code of Ethics of CIPHI. 2) Use a disclaimer If you are using social media to talk about CIPHI s work, add a disclaimer to each page, making it clear that the views you express are yours alone. Be aware that this disclaimer does not change your obligations under the Code of Ethics. If you have an about me page on your blog, do not use photos where you stand in front of CIPHI logos or emblems since this might give the website or blog an official appearance. This includes photos for your Facebook page, Twitter avatar or other personal pages. Similarly, do not use direct references to the organization in your avatar or online name. The use of the disclaimer will differ only in cases where individuals are using social media tools in an official approved CIPHI accounts.

3 3) Think of the news, your family or friends and your boss Do not say anything online that you would not be comfortable seeing quoted on the news, being asked about by your family friends or having to justify to your boss. Written conversations inside social media networks can often be found through search engines such as Google. Even in cases where only your contacts can see what you write, there is a possibility that one of them will forward what you say and make it visible to a wider audience. As a result, personal conversation within social media networks regarding CIPHI should always be considered public rather than private. 4) Be positive and add value Feel free to share and discuss your experiences (subject to the limitations set out in Section 3). Share the passion you feel for your personal work with the CIPHI and talk about the successes you have been a part of. If CIPHI and its members are perceived to be knowledgeable and helpful, this will reflect positively on you and the organization. Do not comment on the quality of work done by you or a colleague either within CIPHI or other organizations. Posting messages of support and encouragement are appropriate. 5) Forward your concerns CIPHI and its branches work in complicated legal and operational contexts. People may misunderstand or choose to misunderstand us. If you come across a misrepresentation of CIPHI, please contact your National or Branch President to determine the best way to resolve the concern. In making approved corrections, be respectful and only provide facts. 6) Correct your own mistakes when you are aware of them. If you have made a mistake, be upfront about it and contact the National President or Branch President to discuss and resolve it. If you correct an earlier post in a blog, do so visibly (e.g. by using the strikethrough function and adding a paragraph that explains the update at the end). 7) Use your best judgment and consult the appropriate spokesperson for advice It is best practice to not publish anything that you are unsure of. If you have any questions about the appropriateness of an online posting or publication relating to CIPHI please ask the National President or Branch President for their advice. 8) Protect your own privacy A lot of websites allow you some form of control over who can see your material. Use these features and read all fine print. Please be advised that controlling your privacy settings on online social media websites does not necessarily mean that your communications will be private.

4 9) Protect privacy of others While CIPHI strives to be an open and transparent organization, there are situations including the BOC exam process, appeals, and some in camera meetings that must remain confidential to protect CIPHI s employees, members, candidates and its organizational integrity. The discussions of these confidential matters in social media will jeopardize the organization and may have legal implications. Refer to the CIPHI Policy NOP#8 for additional information. 10) Keep security in mind There are situations in our day to day activities where the mention of names, addresses, locations or details of activities may not be appropriate and could cause security issues especially for those involved in work deployments. Some of these activities would be more appropriate to share once all those deployments are complete and not while colleagues are away from home. 11) Spread the word and connect with your colleagues The use of social media is encouraged to share the successes of CIPHI as an organization. 12) Observe neutrality The principle of neutrality is especially relevant to social media. It is important not publicly express any opinions on events connected with political affairs or engage in political activities that could reflect adversely on CIPHI, except when there is an official position or advocacy statement. This does not mean that you cannot follow or be friends with political leaders or organizations as a means to stay abreast of what is happening in the community. 13) Remain factual Since CIPHI is a professional organization that is founded on evidence based decision making, it is critically important to only use credible sources. Credible sources would include peer review studies, official statements, articles or media that is objective in nature and based on proven facts is appropriate for re-tweets or sharing on social media. The sharing of articles or other social media that provide commentary that is not founded in factual information is not an appropriate activity. 14) Get Approval Are you ready to create an official CIPHI social media account? If you are, your concept must receive approval from NEC prior to the setup of any new social media account.

5 15) Account Access At least 2 people must be assigned to any official CIPHI social media accounts and those people must have administrative access with appropriate passwords. There will need to be a lead person on the account responsible to do the posting or clear communication between the two people as to the responsibilities especially when one or the other attends an official CIPHI event. This allows for succession and so that the accounts remain in CIPHI s control without having to involve the respective social media sites in removing or reactivating an account which can take time or maybe very difficult to prove ownership. The following are the official accounts of CIPHI: @ciphi_cope Facebook Fan Pages: CIPHI National, CIPHI COPE, and EFHC CIPHI must maintain clear control of official of all social media accounts. None Initial Draft- February 2014 Approved- January 16, 2015

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