About eighteen months ago we began implementing a social media policy for all church staff. The purpose of this policy was to give our staff some guidelines of behavior and best practices in their personal use of social media during their employment at PCC.
Recently we began expanding the implementation this policy to other ministry teams and key workers. Because of their high visibility, we now include members of the worship band. We have also included workers in our teen ministry and children's ministry because of the sensitive nature of their enviroment; teens & children are very observant to adults and impressionable to their example. We are likely to expand even more. While this is an evolving document, here’s an excerpt from the policy as it stands now…
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and even e-mail are popular and powerful tools. They can be helpful if used correctly or dangerous if used inappropriately.
The bottom line is that you are responsible for what you write. The Internet is a public forum, and writing something is the same as speaking it from a stage. Even if you delete a blog post, RSS feeds will still contain your post. Once something is published, it’s impossible to take it back, so think before you update, and be responsible for your words.
Representation. As one who serves in ministry at Pace Community Church, you are seen by our members and others in the community as a representative of our church. Therefore, as in all areas of daily life, your conduct online should be of the highest integrity. Your character, integerity, morality, or life style should never be called into question by unwise posts.
Be nice and be positive. Like it or not, people will equate you and what you say with the church you represent; so even though you may be making a personal statement, people may not make the distinction between you and our church. Criticism, personal attacks, and online arguments are unwise.
Keep your cool and contain your anger.
Vulgar talk and questionable pictures are out of the question.
Loyalty. Always be loyal to PCC, its values and unique branding. Be loyal to one another.
Protect confidential information and conversations. Don’t discuss confidential church business online because the internet is a very public forum. It’s perfectly okay to talk about work and church related stuff, but don’t talk about sensitive things such as private conversations, finances, other church members, health concerns, counseling sessions, etc.
Don’t set up social media accounts using your PCC email address.
Press Inquiries. Your postings may generating media coverage. If a member of the media contacts you about your posting on a personal blog or other social network, contact your supervisor.