OBR Social Media Policy

Whether or not you as an OBR board director choose to create or participate in a blog, wiki, online social network or any other form of online publishing or discussion is your own choice. In general, what you do on your own time is your business. However, activities OBR’s business interests are covered by this policy and guideline. This applies whether you engage in these activities in or outside of work, and whether or not you identify yourself as with OBR.

If you choose to participate in these types of online activities it is important that you understand what is recommended, expected and required, whether at work or on your own time. Accordingly, we have developed the following guidelines for you to follow when posting to a blog or some other form of social media like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or Linkedin.

Be thoughtful about how you present yourself in online social networks. The lines between public and private, and personal and professional are blurred in online social networks. If you identify yourself as an OBR director or are known to be one, you are now connected to OBR, donors and even OBR’s volunteers. You should ensure that content associated with you is consistent with OBR goals and objectives.

Respect your audience remember that OBR is a non-profit organization whose donors and volunteers reflect a diverse set of customs, values and points of view. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, but do so respectfully. This includes not only the obvious (no ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, etc.) but also topics that may be considered offensive or inflammatory. Use your best judgment, but if you need further guidance regarding what constitutes inappropriate communications please consult with OBR’s Executive Directors.

Respect the privacy of your fellow directors. Blogs, wikis, social networks and other tools should not be used for internal communications among directors. It is fine for OBR directors to disagree, but please don’t use your external blog or other online social media to air your differences. Do not discuss other directors or anyone associated with OBR without their permission

Use a disclaimer. When OBR wishes to communicate publicly it has an established means to do so. Only those individuals officially designated by OBR have the authority to speak on behalf of OBR. If you identify yourself as an OBR director, however, people may confuse your opinions with those of the OBR. In order to avoid this problem you must make clear that you are writing for yourself and on your own behalf, and not for OBR. At a minimum, we strongly recommend that you include a disclaimer similar to the following: “the postings on this site are my own and do not represent OBR’s opinions or positions.”

Protect OBR’s confidential information. As an OBR director you have an obligation to protect the confidential, and proprietary information of OBR.

In sum, use your best judgment. Remember there may be consequences to what you post or publish online including discipline if you engage in conduct that OBR deems inappropriate or violates any OBR policies. If you’re about to post something and you are concerned whether you are following these guidelines or any OBR policy, please discuss it with Executive Board before posting.