Marketing & Social Media Policy

Approved by the Board, 13 January 2024

1.   Purpose

1.1     The purpose of this policy is to ensure that GOC’s marketing and social media activity complies with the legal requirements incumbent on the club and protects the reputation of the club. These requirements include charity law, data protection and discrimination.

2.   Policy definitions

2.1     “Marketing” refers to any activity designed to promote the club and its services, e.g. web content, social media and advertising

2.2     “Social media” refers to a variety of online communities e.g., blogs, social networks, chat rooms and forums. This policy covers all of these.

2.3     “Volunteer” refers to Board members, Group Co-ordinators and other members of GOC as well as any contractors who use social media on GOC’s behalf.

2.4     “User” refers to GOC members and non-members who follow or use GOC’s social channels or website, and any other interested audience members or stakeholders.

3.   Policy principles

3.1     GOC aims to offer an efficient, high standard of service and maintain transparency in our member service and decision-making processes.

3.2     We expect volunteers to act carefully and responsibly to protect our club’s image and reputation.

3.3     Volunteers will follow our Privacy policy.

3.4     All volunteers are expected to display courtesy and respect to our users.

4    Guidance for all volunteers marketing GOC

4.1       This policy should be read alongside the Privacy policy which is particularly relevant to volunteers who are making use of the GOC website and database.

4.2     Volunteers must not:

  • Create or transmit material that might be defamatory or incur liability for the club.
  • Post messages, status updates or links to material or content that is inappropriate. Inappropriate content includes: pornography, racial or religious slurs, gender-specific comments, information encouraging criminal skills or terrorism, or materials relating to cults, gambling or illegal drugs. This definition of inappropriate content or material also covers any text, images or other media that could reasonably offend someone on the basis of race, age, sex, religious or political belief, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law. Note this is non-exhaustive.
  • Use GOC platforms or social media to show support or opposition on any LGBTQI+ or other social or political campaigns or changes in the law. This includes not “liking” or showing approval or disapproval for campaigning messages from other individuals or organizations regardless of how well respected those people or organizations may be.
  • Use marketing or social media for any illegal, immoral or criminal activities.
  • Use GOC’s social media and marketing platforms to solicit for personal gain.
  • Send offensive or harassing material to others via social media.
  • Broadcast unsolicited views on social, political, religious or other non-GOC-related matters.
  • Send or post messages or material that could damage GOC’s image or reputation – this extends to commenting on or reposting of others’ content on social media.
  • Discuss Board members, Group Coordinators, volunteers or other members without their prior approval.
  • Reveal any personal or identifying information of Board members, Group Coordinators, volunteers or other members without their written consent.
  • Post, upload, forward or link spam, junk email, chain emails and messages.

4.3     In general, volunteers must only post updates, distribute messages or otherwise use marketing channels in line with the club’s objectives and in line with its values. For instance, volunteers may use GOC marketing channels to:

  • Respond to public enquiries and requests for information.
  • Share blog posts, articles and other content created by the club.
  • Share insightful articles, videos, media and other content relevant to the club, but created by others.
  • Provide users with an insight into what happens within the club.

4.4       Increasingly, users make use of social media channels to seek information, guidance, raise concerns or generally comment. In the handling of these and when posting on GOC’s behalf, we expect volunteers to act carefully and responsibly to protect our club’s security, image and reputation, and in conjunction with any other relevant guidance.

4.5     GOC’s volunteers using social media must:

  • Remember they are dealing with real people and be respectful, polite and patient when engaging in conversations on GOC’s behalf.
  • Be empathetic and think of how you would feel if you were on the receiving end of any message or interaction.
  • Recognise that while social media activity may be between them and an individual, the power of social media lies in the ability to share; always pause and think before you post.
  • Remove offensive content as quickly as possible.
  • Correct any misleading or false content as quickly as possible.
  • Refrain from engaging in party political debate or dispute.
  • Report any misuse or abuse online to ensure the necessary steps are taken to address this.
  • Report any data breach as soon as possible in line with the relevant policy(s).
  • Not speak on matters outside their field of expertise.
  • Not post discriminatory, offensive or libelous content and commentary.

4.6       Only volunteers who have been authorised to use the club’s marketing and social media channels may do so. Authorisation can only be granted by the relevant GOC Board member. Allowing only designated people to use these accounts ensures the club’s social media presence is within the bounds of law, consistent and cohesive.

4.7     Any volunteer given password access may not change passwords to exclude others who have been authorised by the club. If passwords must be changed due to a security issue the volunteer must immediately bring this to the attention of the relevant Board member and provide them the new password

4.8     Volunteers must not make any kind of personal attack or tasteless or offensive remarks to individuals or groups.

5.   Policy review schedule

5.1     This policy was approved by the GOC Board on 13 January 2024.

5.2     This policy is scheduled for review by January 2025.

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