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Communications and 614-293-3670


Social Media Participation Guidelines

The following applies to the use of The Ohio State University Medical Center resources used for social media
on social networking sites that include, but are not limited to, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and
Blogs. While we attempt to provide reasonable guidelines, as new opportunities and challenges emerge for
all of us, these guidelines will evolve.

These guidelines have been developed through benchmarking academic medical centers from around the
United States, and are required by the OSUMC Social Media Participation Policy. The Communications and
Marketing (C&M) Department is responsible for the administration of these guidelines.

There are two recognized uses for social media at OSUMC:

Institutional Use - in the name of, sanctioned by; or using the identity of any OSUMC entity that has
been authorized by your manager or C&M.

Personal Use - any use that is not in the name of, sanctioned by, or using the identity of an OSUMC
entity that has been authorized by your manager or C&M.

1. Institutional Use
All Institutional use of social media must be authorized by and executed in collaboration with the
Communications and Marketing department or your manager. There can be no OSUMC sites or pages on
YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc., unless they are developed or authorized by C&M. Any existing sites or
pages must be reviewed by the C&M Social Media Oversight Committee and may be amended or removed.
C&M or your manager will identify person(s) to be content owners of various OSUMC social media sites.

For Institutional Use of social media please observe:

a) Payment: If someone or some group offers to pay you for participating in an online forum in your
OSUMC role, this could constitute conflict of interest and OSU and Medical Center policies and
guidelines apply.

b) Community: By identifying yourself as part of the Ohio State/OSUMC community in such a network, be
aware that you are now connecting yourself to your colleagues, managers and even OSUMC patients
and donors.

c) Media Relations: If you are contacted by a member of the accredited media about a posting or
comment on a social networking site, you must immediately contact the office of Media Relations (3-
3737) before responding.

d) Content Owners: Content owner will be directed by Communications and Marketing and is responsible
for monitoring and maintaining Web content in the following manner. Content owner will:

i) follow all applicable OSU and OSUMC policies;

ii) develop a “listen first” strategy. Know what is being said about you and understand what your
target audience values before you engage in social media;
iii) ensure that content is current and accurate;

iv) ensure that content is authentic;

v) make corrections to content by preserving the original post and showing by strikethrough the
deletions to maintain integrity;

vi) link directly to original source material and online references;

vii) respond to e-mails and comments when appropriate;

viii) delete comments that contain profanity, are selling or promoting a product, are spam, or contain
material that is unlawful, hateful, threatening, harassing, abusive or slanderous;

ix) forward comments expressing dissatisfaction to the appropriate area and copying
Communications and Marketing for response and follow up;

x) refrain from engaging in communications that would not be acceptable in the OSUMC workplace,
will respect copyrights and disclosures and will not reveal proprietary financial, intellectual
property, patient care or similar sensitive or private information;

xi) be aware that any social media conversation, whether public- or private-facing, may be subject to
public records law requests and such requests should be directed to OSU Medical Center Legal

xii) secure the expressed consent of all involved parties for distribution or publication of free and/or
paid rights recordings, photos, images, video, text, PowerPoint presentations, artwork and

xiii) secure consent forms for release of information from patients before releasing any information
about the patient including, but not limited to, name, photograph, text, or video. Releases are
available by contacting the Media Relations Office. Completed releases are to be kept on file in
the Media Relations Office;

xiv) be aware that only patients may divulge their own private health information anywhere on the

xv) de-identify comments that identify a patient that is sent by anyone other than the patient (e.g.
patient’s spouse). All identifying information must be edited out of the post and a notation added
that identifying information was removed;

xvi) be responsive when patients, customers or employees ask a question, and respond in a timely
manner, even if to say you will get back to them shortly. Be sure to follow up with all involved
2. Personal Use
Personal Use of social media using OSUMC electronic resources, like the use of personal cell phones
and e-mail, should happen only during non-work time and in strict compliance with all other OSU and
OSUMC policies.

a) Use Of Resources: You may not use an address as a credential for personal
use social networking sites.

b) Employee Identification: Personal blogs, like personal Web pages, which present staff members in
their OSUMC roles, are governed by the Social Media Participation Policy.

c) Transparency: If you identify yourself as OSU Medical Center’s faculty or staff in any online social
medium or network, you must make it clear that you are not speaking for OSU Medical Center. Use this
statement: “The views expressed here are my own and not those of my employer.”

d) References: Supervisors (and all HR employees) are discouraged from providing online
references/recommendations for their reports.

e) OSUMC Feedback: Do you have an idea that could create positive change? Share it on Feedback

Version Date 12/10/09

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