This policy is intended to provide employees and member volunteers of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) with clarity on the use of social media platforms in a positive and active participation that is done securely and responsibly.
This social media policy covers all individuals working at all levels, including National Council, employees, interns and member volunteers who represent AILA.
AILA has a developing presence across a limited number of social media channels, both at National and State Chapter levels. These channels are used as additional communication tools to complement AILA's existing communication and marketing avenues.
Our objective is to encourage online discourse, reasoned and friendly debate, and generally elevate the conversation within professional and public spheres.
Social media is used to communicate with members, the profession and the public regarding:
- AILA’s vision, mission and supporting objectives
- The Australian Landscape Values
- AILA National, State and industry news
- Landscape Architecture in the media
- AILA National and State events and CPD
- Updates from allied professional and research bodies
This document aims to ensure that the integrity of AILA’s brand, reputation, goodwill, intellectual property and confidential information are not compromised by ensuring that controls to prevent these unwanted events occurring are applied. The policy also sets out an expectation for people who do not officially represent AILA on social media, but their behaviour could have impact on AILA’s reputation and brand.
While Facebook and Twitter are the predominant social media channels used by AILA, this protocol may be applied in a common sense way to other social media channels used by employees and members, or by the organisation in the future.
Guiding principles and acceptable behaviours
All AILA members are bound by the AILA Code of Conduct. We have developed a specific set of behaviour guidelines, using the following guiding principles:
- Do not criticise members, employees or AILA
- Respond to others’ opinions respectfully and professionally
- Do not harass, bully or intimidate
- Posts of a political nature must be ‘in line’ with AILA’s position statements and/or media releases
- Promptly acknowledge and correct mistakes
- Disclose conflicts of interest
- Provide links to online references and original source materials directly, or reference the original authors
- Champion AILA and its activities
- Make positive, supportive, factual comments which support AILA’s core values
Identification is defined, for the purpose of this policy, as ‘how a social media bio, post, Tweet, account, blog or page description identifies that particular social media channel as being affiliated with AILA.
All uses of the AILA trademark online and in social media must be differentiated based on geographical location to ensure the public can find and obtain information most relevant to them. For example:
Social media account descriptions are also to be in a standardised format. For example:
Twitter Name: AILA_National
Bio: Official account of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. AILA is the peak national organisation representing and harnessing the collective interests of the Australian Landscape Architecture profession.
Facebook Name: AILAACTAustralianInstituteofLandscapeArchitects
About: Official account of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.
An official account that represents AILA should stipulate this within its bio, page or account description. An official social media page must be approved by AILA’s National Manager, Marketing & Development.
Social media accounts that are not official, but are set up by employees or members volunteers of AILA for personal reasons can have an affiliation to the organisation, so long as the following is undertaken:
- It should not have affiliation with AILA as the primary identifier
- It should stipulate that the opinions expressed are the persons’ own, and not that of AILA
- It should state a disclaimer that reposting, ‘likes’, retweeting, etc. do not represent the views of AILA
National Office & State Chapters
AILA's National Manager, Marketing & Development is responsible for all official use of national social media. At a State Chapter level, the State Chapter Manager or nominated staff member or member volunteer is responsible for all official use of state-based social media.
It is the duty of everyone who is affiliated with AILA to alert the National Manager, Marketing & Development or State Manager to content which may damage AILA and its reputation or which contains any inaccurate, misleading or deceptive information about AILA.
Inappropriate use of social media includes, (but is not limited to):
- Conducting private business on AILA’s social media presence
- Using discriminatory, defamatory, abusive or otherwise objectionable language
- Stalking, bullying, trolling, or marginalising any individual or group
- Accessing or uploading pornographic, illegal content, or offensive material that is considered likely to offend, provoke or attacks others is illegal
- Accessing sites that promote hatred or extreme or fundamental beliefs and values
- Promoting a direct affiliation to any political party
- Excessive debate on public policy, particularly around Landscape Architecture
- Uploading information of a confidential nature, especially in regards to AILA and its members
- Hacking or attempting to infiltrate AILA’s systems
- Criticising or denigrating AILA employees, members and volunteers
- Activity that brings AILA or the person’s professionalism or ability to act in a professional manner into disrepute
- Anything else that results in breaking AILA’s Code of Conduct
If you are not authorised to speak on behalf of AILA using social media, do not comment publicly about matters relating to your work or AILA without first seeking written authorisation from the National Manager, Marketing & Development.
Complaints through social media
Complaints or negative comments regarding AILA will be made through social media channels. Official users of social media are discouraged from arguing or refuting complaints or negative feedback through social media channels. This behaviour can antagonize or fuel further attacks on AILA's services, brand and/or reputation.
In the event of a complaint or negative comment about AILA it is important to address the comment as soon as possible by responding with the following, or a tailored version:
“Sounds like you have not had the experience you expected when engaging with AILA. Your feedback is important to help us improve AILA’s services. We will contact you directly to further understand your concerns.”
Social media is fluid, two-way, busy and often self-regulating. Social media can be used to disseminate information, but should be considered a form of two-way communication and a vehicle to listen to the ‘wider’ community views.
Organisations that heavily control content on their social media accounts through the deletion of questionable or disapproving content, significantly reduce the impact, and usefulness, of social media as a channel for information distribution.
AILA will not delete posts that are complaints, or negative, except when they breach any of the conditions outlined for employees and volunteers in the ‘inappropriate use’ section. Where possible, the administrator will contact the user whose post has been removed, providing them with an explanation why it has been removed and the necessary action(s) for it to be reposted. Information that is factually incorrect or accidentally omitted from an AILA authorised user may also delete or amend posts as required without contravening these guidelines.