Television, magazines, newspapers and social media have become an integral part of our personal and professional lives. Social media in particular has completely changed the way we communicate: we share our lives with others on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, and we find our information on blogs and forums. With the advent of the smartphone, this revolution has gained a new momentum. We have the world in the palms of our hands and are getting used to having everything accessible everywhere.
Social media has also brought about a great deal of change for Radboud University. It is not just our staff members who are active on the internet: the University, as an institution, has hundreds of accounts on Twitter, as well as Facebook and LinkedIn pages and groups. There are also more talk and debate shows on television than a few years ago. All this means that we have more intensive contact with the outside world, and we are more visible, both as an institution and as individuals. When we share our lives on media, social or traditional, our job is often part of it.
Radboud University supports open dialogue, the exchange of ideas and the sharing of knowledge. This is why Radboud University encourages its employees to be active in the media and on social media, both for work and leisure. In all this, employees are also ambassadors of the University.
If staff members share their academic insights in public debates, they may come under public scrutiny. The University is here for those employees and provides support where possible. If, as a staff member of Radboud University, you would like to discuss posts or reactions on social media, please contact communicatie [at] ru.nl
It is advisable for staff members who are active in the media or on social media to consider the following: how do I maintain my privacy, am I aware that the whole world can see me, what if others express negative opinions about me or my words? And equally important: am I being respectful in what I say about my job, colleagues and the University?
Do’s and don’ts on social media
- Be accurate and honest Make sure the facts are correct and cite your sources.
- Be authentic The internet is not a separate world, so be the same person there as you are offline.
- Think before you put something online Check whether it will embarrass you, others around you or the University.
- Pay attention to the relationship between your work and private life Realise that you can also be perceived as an employee of the University in your free time. Make it clear whether you are acting as a university employee or as a private person.
- Be aware of liability Consider copyright. Do not distribute information about or photos of individuals without permission. If you want to share articles from newspapers or magazines, you should only do so by sharing a link to the article. Taking a picture of an article and sharing it is not permitted.
- Correct mistakes If you make a mistake, admit to it and apologise if necessary.
- Consult your supervisor or colleagues if you have doubts If you are in doubt about putting something online or publishing it, it is probably not without reason. Discuss it with your supervisor or colleagues before posting anything online.
- Respect each other Use the same etiquette in traditional media and on social media as you would in the real world: be considerate of others, listen to each other and be respectful of differences relating to ethnic or national origins, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities.
- Talk about the University, but do not speak on its behalf. Do not use official logos as avatars on your private accounts. Do not post confidential information about Radboud University, its students, alumni or your colleagues.
If you have questions about social media and work, get in touch with communicatie [at] ru.nl.