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UMB believes in writing that is knowledgeable, accurate, professional, and appropriate for its audiences and UMB. Blog administrators are to write respectfully about UMB, its current and potential employees, students, community partners, and the community it serves, and honor the privacy rights of its audiences before writing anything that might be considered private or confidential.
Bloggers without permission may not sell any product or service that would compete with any UMB product or service. This includes, but is not limited to, training, books, products, and freelance work. The blog administrators are legally liable for anything written or posted online.
The Office of Communications and Public Affairs (CPA) has established guidelines for University-affiliated blog sites. Violation of these guidelines can lead to suspension of administrative privileges.
This policy is similar to UMB’s social media policy and is governed by the values, mission, vision, and administrative policies of the University.
Account Setup and Administration
CPA must approve all uses of University logos, including each school logo before a project is printed, published, or produced. Send PDF proofs to Laura Kozak, associate vice president, Communications and Public Affairs, for approval. Having a branding challenge? Share it with us. We are here to help and are confident that we can find a solution that meets University brand standards.
- Accounts made for a University unit must be created by an employee or representative who has been given authorization by the department head or supervisor appointed by the department head.
- Units must provide the University’s social media specialist with account information and contact information for individual(s) authorized by the department to create, operate, monitor, and edit accounts on an ongoing basis (i.e., page or account administrator).
- All blog sites created on behalf of the University must be linked to a department’s email account, never a personal email account.
- More than one University employee must have administrative access to the account.
- Students may not be named as administrators.
There are many considerations that need to be thought through as blog administrators prepare to launch a blog or retool an existing one. Here are suggestions to help set up a blog.
- No personal email accounts: Never use a personal email account or phone number to set up a University-affiliated account. Contact the Center for Information Technology Services (CITS) to create a branded University email account such as CPAblog@umaryland.edu.
- Naming: Choose a name that aligns with UMB to capitalize on brand equity and build credibility.
- Template: Choose a blog template that is easy to read and mobile-friendly. Keep in mind that dark backgrounds with light text, or vice versa, are hard for many people to read.
- About: Let people know more than what the unit is and does. Create a bio that fits the unit’s brand and notes that the unit is a part of UMB.
Profile picture: The avatar will help searchers see that the account is affiliated with UMB. Limit changing the profile picture to avoid confusion.
University blogs encourage followers to submit their own content to be posted online. Submissions should be relevant to the subject matter and will be reviewed accordingly. Credit of authorship will be given unless otherwise requested and links to related websites will be included where appropriate. It is the blog administrator’s responsibility to review the submission for appropriate content that aligns with University standards, then accept or deny it. If you are unsure about whether something is confidential, proprietary, or too private to share, don’t post it. Remember to follow University policies regarding confidential information, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Comment Moderation and Deletion
Anything posted on an official UMB blog — by the page’s administrator or followers — should be in good taste and appropriate for all audiences.
University blogs encourage fans, followers, and friends to share their thoughts with one another via comments on posts within the following guidelines.
- Comments must be relevant to a topic discussed and to the point.
- Comments should be constructive and absent of expletives, obscenity, and vulgarity, in accordance with University guidelines/core values.
- Posts that are abusive, contain profanity, threatening in tone, or devolve into personal attacks will be deleted.
- Posts with links that are determined to be spam or sales and advertising should be removed immediately.
- Account administrators reserve the right to review all comments and posted materials and remove such materials for any reason.
Unless a commenter goes against the page rules laid out, blog administrators should not delete comments.