Web and Social Media Policy

This page contains the full web and social media policy for University College Cork and the associated appendices that support the policy. This is a comprehensive page with a lot of information. Use the on-page navigation to navigate to specific parts of the policy or appendices. 

Web and Social Media Policy

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Version Number: 2.0

Revision date: Tue, 14 Jun 2022 17:30:00 IST

Policy Owner: Vice President for External Relations


Policy Contents


1 Purpose

This policy has three key purposes 

  • To ensure that we manage the university’s web, social media and other digital communication channels (our “Digital Estate for Communications” -  see Definitions) according to best practices and to the highest possible quality.  
  • To provide standards for how we create and maintain content on these channels.  
  • To provide guidance and direction to students and staff of the University on the University’s expectations regarding the use of social media platforms and websites by Staff and Students, so that these tools are used in a responsible manner having due regard to the rights and reputation of the University and others.  

The objectives of this policy are: 

  1. To outline the management and governance of the University’s Digital Estate for Communications. 
  2. To provide governance for the development, deployment, delivery and maintenance of the University’s online Digital Estate for Communications. 
  3. To inform ‘Users’ of the University rules in terms of websites, both internal and external, and social media. 

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2 Policy Scope

This document covers

  1. policy, procedures and standards for the University’s Digital Estate for Communications and
  2. the use of social media and websites by staff and students of the University.

This Policy governs the Digital Estate for Communications and applies to all Users as outlined in our Definitions. Nothing in this policy should be taken as a limitation of the academic function of the University, particularly in relation to the provision of digital assets for learning and teaching or research purposes. For the purposes of this Policy:

  • Where users have created digital spaces that serve a dual role for both academic material and promotional or informational material, the University will give primary consideration to the academic nature of the material within those spaces.
  • Where we refer to content or digital content in this policy, we are not imposing rules that would dictate the content of pedagogy or content used in the delivery or teaching or research.

3 Roles and Responsibilities

The following groups are responsible for the governance of the University’s Digital Estate for Communications: 

  1. Steering Groups (IT and External Relations)
  2. The Digital Estate for Communications Group (DEComms Group)
  3. Content Providers 

3.1 Steering Groups

See the for detailed information on the role and responsibilities of the steering committees.

3.2 The Digital Estate for Communications Group

See the for detailed information on the structure and responsibilities of the DEComms Group

3.3 Content Providers

Heads of UCC organisational units (including student clubs and societies) are the Content Providers for their organisational units and hold ultimate responsibility for their organisational unit’s portion of the UCC Digital Estate for Communications. They may delegate day-to-day responsibility to a member or members of their organisational unit, to other members of the university, or to an external party, to create and maintain the Digital Estate for Communications of that organisational unit. See for detailed information on the role and responsibilities of the Content Providers.


4 Policy Text

   
4.1 Content Principles for UCC Websites and Social Media  4.2 Rules for UCC Websites and Social Media 4.3 The University Website
4.4 Think before you post 4.5 Social Media Use 4.6 Official University Social Media Accounts
4.7 Third party social media platforms 4.8 Compliance with Policy 4.9 Notice and Takedown

4.1 Content Principles for UCC Websites and Social Media

We have a number of principles that must apply to content on our Digital Estate for Communications. Content must be:

  • Timely, relevant and accurate to the audience for whom it is developed
  • Easy to find and easy to understand
  • Inclusive and accessible to all
  • Convey the University’s messages in a way that reflects UCC’s values and priorities
  • There to serve a purpose
  • Consistent in use of language style, structures, voice and tone
  • Extensible and reusable where possible across the digital estate for communications
4.1.1 Supporting standards

4.2 Rules for UCC Websites and Social Media

The University website (*.ucc.ie) is our most powerful communications channel and has a significant impact on how we engage with our audiences, how we deliver our messages and brand, and how we enhance our reputation. Social media channels created on behalf of the University or a University Organisational Unit are likewise important communications channels for the university.

Users must use the University website and social media channels created on behalf of the university (and any other channels covered by this Policy) in a responsible manner having due regard to the rights and reputation of the University and of others. In particular, Users are required to comply with the following rules:

  • Do not use UCC Digital Estate for Communications channels to contravene or breach laws, specifically in relation to privacy rights, defamation law and data protection law
  • Do not use UCC Digital Estate for Communications channels to engage in any form of bullying or behaviour which is illegal or likely to cause harassment to others (e.g. stalking, grooming of minors, etc.)
  • Do not use UCC Digital Estate for Communications channels for any purpose which is prohibited under the terms of the University’s Acceptable Usage Policy.
  • Do not post any material which breaches the intellectual property rights of third parties (e.g. logos, written works, diagrams, pictures, music, video/film clips, etc.); where necessary the express permission of the rights holder should be obtained.
  • Do not post material which would identify a third party (e.g. comments, photographs, video clips etc.) without the express permission of the third party concerned.
  • Do not post material which is confidential and proprietary to the University or which could have the effect of damaging the reputation of the University or the privacy or reputation of any third party.
  • Ensure that information posted is accurate and not misleading.
  • Do not post material for the purpose of embarrassing people or which will bring that person or the University into disrepute.
  • Do not use the name of the University, including any emblems or logos, to promote their own commercial objectives or activities.
  • Do not use the name of the University, including any emblems or logos to imply that the University endorses an activity without its prior written consent.
  • Respect University time and property: University IT Resources are reserved for the use of Staff and Students for University related business, research and study.

4.3 The University Website

The website is the sole property of UCC; while certain staff will have access to edit certain portions of the site, create new content, and remove old content, the site and all its sub-sites remain the property of the University.

Users must use their organisational unit websites to communicate in a responsible manner having due regard to the rights and reputation of the University and of others and in accordance with the rules outlined in this Policy.

4.3.1 The University Homepage

The University website homepage is ultimately the responsibility of the Vice-President for External Relations (who may delegate day-to-day management to a nominated person).

  • Any requests for changes to the University homepage design or to the overall UCC website design must be made through the DEComms Group and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Any requests for content changes on the University homepage must be made through the defined request queue and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Content on the homepage should always support the strategic goals of the University.
4.3.2 Information security on the UCC website

The UCC website is a significant channel for the dissemination of UCC information. Content Providers must keep this in mind when developing content for their websites. Consideration must be given to safeguarding the availability, confidentiality and integrity of the university’s information and attention paid to how the University’s information can be used by external parties for personal and illegal gain at the expense of the University or its Users.

4.4 Think before you post

Even where websites or social media accounts have been deactivated, copies of user information may still remain online. Before posting content on a website or social media platform, users should consider the permanent online footprint they may be creating when doing so. The nature of the internet provides unique opportunities for copying and dissemination of information, regardless of the originator’s intentions. Users should think carefully about whether they are happy for their information to be made available in this manner, not just now, but into the future (such as in the context of exams, future job applications, etc.). The potential for copying information on the Internet makes it difficult to permanently delete user content and information. 

4.5 Social Media Use

  • Do not excessively duplicate previously posted communications (other Users may consider this as spam).
  • Do not impersonate any other person nor engage in trolling (intentionally insulting and harassing people via the Internet), discriminatory or any other illegal activity.
  • Do not degrade, bully or intentionally offend staff, students or others or use these tools to bring the reputation of the University into disrepute.
  • When posting as individuals, Users are asked to consider that it may be appropriate for them to identify any personal views expressed by them, on third party websites, as their own and not representing the University (for example the following disclaimer is often stated on twitter accounts: “all views expressed here are my own and don’t reflect the views of my employer”). Please refer to the Acceptable Usage Policy, Personal Websites Section for further clarification.
  • While recognising the importance of academic freedom, Users must ensure that they adhere to this Policy for any official University accounts and any University organisational unit accounts.
  • While recognising the right to maintain their own personal social media accounts, Staff and Students must be aware that the same University standards of conduct apply to online matters (even if using personal accounts) as to offline/’real world’ issues for disciplinary purposes.

4.6 Official University Social Media Accounts

External Relations shall maintain the official University social media account on any given social media platform. There is a list of official University social media accounts.

  1. Only the President, the Vice-President for External Relations (or their nominee) may approve the set-up of an official University social media account on behalf of the University.
  2. The operation of some official University social media accounts may be devolved, with permission from the Vice-President for External Relations, to an office other than offices within External Relations.
  3. All official University social media accounts shall be operated within the rules established in this Policy.
  4. All official University social media accounts shall contain a link (where feasible) to this policy

4.7 Third party social media platforms

Third party social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok and others that may arise, are used at the user’s own risk and since the University has no control over these sites, the University cannot take any responsibility for data stored on these sites. Users should familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions governing all social media platforms and adhere to these conditions, in addition to the regulations set out in this Policy. Users should ensure that they protect themselves, read and familiarise themselves with any privacy policy governing the platform to ensure that they are happy with the uses and disclosures that may be made of their data. It is recommended that users maintain the highest possible privacy settings (i.e. “private” profile on Facebook). Users should be aware that this security may not be possible on some services (such as Twitter or LinkedIn). 

While the University does not specifically monitor social media and other sites of Staff or Students, it expects its Staff and Students to conduct themselves in a manner which respects others and University standards of conduct applicable to staff and students. 

4.8 Compliance with Policy

The University reserves the right to monitor, intercept and review, without notice, the postings and activities of staff, students and alumni on the UCC Digital Estate for Communications where there is reason to suspect that this policy is being breached, or where the University deems it necessary for other legitimate reasons.

Contravention of University policy may lead to the user in question being blocked from the University’s social media and websites and where they are a member of staff or a student of the University, disciplinary procedures may be invoked in accordance with the appropriate University procedures. 

4.9 Notice and Takedown

The University operates a notice and takedown procedure:

  • In the event of discovering content that has been posted to a UCC website or social media platform that is thought to contravene the UCC web and social media policy and/or is potentially illegal, users can send notice to decomms@ucc.ie to request to have the posting removed.
  • The DEComms Group will review the content to decide the most appropriate course of action and may, at its discretion, remove it as soon as is practical. Where appropriate, the DEComms Group may send a notice to the original poster informing them of the reason for the removal of content and where they are a member of staff or a student of the University, disciplinary procedures may be invoked. 

Even if content does not necessarily contravene the policy, individuals may request content be removed from UCC web and social media. Members of DEComms Group will evaluate such requests on a case-by-case basis with best efforts made to make sure no individual appears in UCC non-academic content if they don’t wish to, even if permission was previously granted.


5 Supporting Procedures, Policies and or Statutes

This Policy must also be read in conjunction with all relevant University’s policies and procedures, including, but not limited to:

 


Relevant Statutes

Information posted to the Digital Estate for Communications must adhere to all applicable laws and legislation, and also the University policies and procedures listed below. All Users should ensure compliance with all relevant University policies and procedures. Particular attention should be given to the following (each may be amended from time to time):

  • Data Protection Acts, 1988-2018 
  • General Data Protection Regulation, 2016 
  • Copyright and Related Rights Acts, 2000-2007 
  • Defamation Act, 2009 
  • Child Trafficking and Pornography Acts, 1998-2004 
  • Employment Equality Acts, 1998-2015 
  • Equal Status Act, 2000 
  • Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, 1989 
  • Irish Human Rights and Equality Act, 2014 
  • The Universities Act, 1997 

6 Breach of Policy

If any breach of this Policy is observed, then disciplinary action may be taken in accordance with the University’s disciplinary procedures (Principal Statute for Staff and Disciplinary Procedure for Students), as well as referral to An Garda Síochána or other regulatory bodies. Suspected breaches of this policy may be reported in the first instance to decomms@ucc.ie 



7 Review and Approval

The University reserves the right to amend this Policy at any time in any manner in which the University sees fit provided it does so in compliance with the University’s policy approval procedures. 

Any such revisions will be noted in the revision history of the policy and by continuing to use the University’s Digital Estate for Communications following any updates you will be deemed to have accepted the revised terms of this policy. 

Approval Date

Tue, 14 Jun 2022 11:35:00 IST

Summary of Policy Changes

Date of next review: 14 June 2023

Version NumberRevision DateSummary of Changes
0.1 18 Sep 2012 Draft received from OCLA
0.2 9 Oct 2012 Draft updated in newly approved format and suggestions accepted
0.3 06 Nov 2012 Revised OCLA draft
0.4 21 Nov 2012 Include revised external parties definition
0.5 28 Nov 2012 Include Student Union feedback
0.6 18 Jan 2013 Changes based on Further Revisions of the document
0.7 21 Feb 2013 Incorporate feedback from IS&ER committee
0.8 08 Mar 2013 Incorporate feedback from IT Staff
0.9 14 Mar 2013 Incorporate feedback from IS&ER committee
1.1 11 Apr 2013 Incorporate feedback from College of Business and Law
1.2 14 May 2013 Clarifications from the College of Business and Law
1.3 27 May 2013 Minor changes from Academic council
1.4 01 Sep 2016

2016 review: Strengthen monitoring and consequence for inappropriate use - by OCLA.

1.5 16 Jun 2017 Merge content from ‘Digital Estate Governance Policy Version 1.0’ and extend scope of this policy to reference UCC websites.
1.6 19 Sep 2017 Converted from pdf to web format.
1.7 13 Feb 2018 Merge content from Social Media Notice and Takedown procedure and website procedure; updated digital estate composition to reflect broader associate membership
2.0 14 Jun 2022 Revisions made based on consultation between Jun 2020 - Jun 2022
  • Introduce additional governance structures, clarified roles and responsibilities to address challenges and issues identified in the approved web content strategy including additional reporting requirements for content providers
  • Updates to governance structures, roles and responsibilities following consultation with DEWG
  • Additional information added regarding sub-domains; adjustments to language around responsibilities
  • Clarified notice and takedown
  • Incorporate UCC policy framework advice including creation of appendix to contain terms of reference for DEWG and operational processes
  • Name change of DEWG to provide clarity around what this policy governs as Digital Estate is being used in UCC2022 to refer to a broader space.
  • Strengthened language around security related items: use of SharePoint websites for internal communications; only use T4 websites unless an exception has been identified in the procedure for UCC websites
  • Clarified the purpose of UCC website and it’s social channels for context
  • Introduced Content Principles
  • Remove duplication of points for social and web in rules and introduce that the rules apply to all DE Comms channels that UCC might use
  • Clarified that conduct of UCC staff and students on personal social media will be considered in the same way as conduct in the physical world and disciplinary procedures will apply in the same way
  • Added clearer definitions and adjustments based on advice from OCLA, to the purpose and scope of the policy to clarify that the policy covers activity by Staff and Students on social media and websites. Also moved roles and responsibilities of the three user groups to the Appendix as recommended.
  • Simplified language of the purpose section and scope section, including removing "non-academic content" but including definitive statement that the policy does not dictate learning, teaching, or pedagogy content, based on feedback from colleagues
  • Moved section on “think before you post” further up the document,
  • Added feedback from union colleagues on the phrasing of content principles. Adjustment to wording on final point of section 4.4

Approvals

  • DE Comms Group - 13 Aug 2020
  • External Relations Group - 19 Jan 2022
  • IT Steering - 27 Jan 2022
  • UMT - 1 Mar 2022
  • Audit and Risk Committee - 16 May 2022
  • Governing Body - 14 Jun 2022

Approval Body

Governing Body

8 Further Information

Contact Email:decomms@ucc.ie

Contact Name:

Chair, Digital Estate Communications Group
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Definitions

Please see the for a list of definitions common to all UCC IT policies and procedures.  For the purposes of this Policy, the following terms (which are used throughout this Policy) shall have the following meanings

TermMeaning
Alumni Graduates of the institution and others with a prior academic relationship, including non-graduates, certificate and credential holders, distance learners, lifelong learners, residents, post-docs, honorary degree recipients and honorary alumni.
Digital Estate for Communications (DE Comms)

Meaning the digital platforms or digital spaces through which we provide and communicate non-academic information about the University online, including:

  • The ucc.ie (http://www.ucc.ie/) domain and all subdomains and sub sites (excluding those sites whose primary purpose is the provision of digital assets for learning and teaching or research purposes)
  • Any externally hosted University website that has been developed for promotional activities on behalf of the University for any of its organisational units.
  • Official social media sites created by the University (including repositories of material for Staff and Students)
  • University profile pages created on third party sites and platforms, including but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and any other social media platforms or site that UCC may decide to us in the future.
  • UCC’s digital signage
  • UCC’s internal communications platforms including, but not limited to, SharePoint Communication Sites

And the content we deliver through those platforms.

Digital Estate for Communications Group (DEComms Group) 

The DE Comms group manages the day-to-day running of the University’s websites and social media presence. It is comprised of representatives of:

  • External Relations
  • Information Services
  • Registrar’s Office
  • Students’ Union

And others. This group was formerly known as the Digital Estate Working Group (DEWG). 

Content
  • Written content (including text),
  • image content (including images, photography and illustrated graphic content),
  • video content (including film, video and motion graphics such as animation),
  • Sound (including spoken word, music and other recorded sound),
  • and other forms of digital assets used to communicate promotional or informational messages to an audience.

We are not imposing rules that would dictate the content of pedagogy or content used in the delivery or teaching or research. 

Contributor  A person with permissions to add new content, or to change existing content but not remove or approve content for publication on the main UCC website through the T4 content management system 
External Parties  All the University’s subsidiary companies, contractors, researchers, visitors and/or any other parties who have access to the University’s IT Resources.  
External Relations group  The External Relations group sets the strategic direction for communications, media, marketing and brand impact activity in the university and as such plans and manages major communications campaigns and activities.   
Follow In the context of this policy, To “Follow” or “Following” a social media account can include Subscribing, Liking, Following, and any other platform specific way of two accounts making a direct connection between each other.
Heads of Organisational Unit (Heads) Heads can mean: a head of college or college manager; a director of a service or centre; a head of school/department/discipline or school/departmental manager; principal investigator for a research project, society auditor, club president or captain.
Internal Communications Non-academic communication and information directed at members of the UCC community of staff and / or students.
IT Steering The IT Steering committee has representatives from IT Services, OCLA and other data owners and stakeholders in the university, further details of which are available in the IT Policy Framework.
Moderator A person with permissions to add new content, change or remove existing content, and approve that content for publication on the main UCC website through the T4 content management system.
Policy This Web and Social Media Policy.
SharePoint The SharePoint platform for provisioning content for an internal audience within the University.
Staff All full-time and part-time employees of the University, including research Staff funded externally.
Student A Student, either full-time or part-time, registered with UCC.
T4 Terminal Four content management system for provisioning content to the www.ucc.ie domain
University IT Resources

IT resources include those provided centrally by the University’s IT Services as well as those provided locally in its offices, departments, schools, colleges or other units. This includes University IT resources accessed remotely via without limitation:

  • The University’s network and connected networks and to all equipment connected to those networks physically or via wireless.
  • Any networks created independently off the campus network, if they are connected to the University network.
  • All University-owned IT equipment including servers, desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile devices and network-related equipment.
  • Any equipment owned by third parties, leased or personally-owned which use the University network, in conjunction with their work or study in the University.
UCC Organisational Unit UCC organisational unit can include colleges, faculties, schools, departments, research institutes, units, centres, administrative offices, service offices, student organisations such as the student’s union, societies or clubs.
University or UCC University College Cork – National University of Ireland, Cork
Users All Students, Staff, Heads, Alumni and External Parties.

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Appendix 1 - Digital Estate for Communications Group Terms of Reference

Skip to: Role and Responsibilities of Steering CommitteesRole and Responsibilities of Content ProvidersRole and Responsibilities of the DE Comms Group

Role and Responsibilities of Steering Committees

The Digital Estate for Communications encompasses the content on our Digital Estate and the platforms that enable the delivery of that content. As such, there are two strands to the steering:

  • IT Steering Committee
  • External Relations Group

The IT Steering Committee, further details of which are available in the IT Policy Framework, and the External Relations Group have the following responsibilities in relation to the Digital Estate for Communications:

  • To act as co-steering groups for the DE Comms Group, where IT Steering will have particular concern for the technical platforms and decisions relating to those platforms and the External Relations group will have particular concern for the content frameworks and decisions relating to Content
  • Executive responsibility for the policy and governance of the Digital Estate for Communications.
  • Executive responsibility for the strategic direction for the University’s Digital Estate for Communications.
  • Proposing and reviewing policies, procedures and standards to govern the University’s Digital Estate for Communications.
  • Ensure that the governance of the Digital Estate for Communications and its content are functioning correctly.

Role and Responsibilities of Content Providers

Heads of UCC organisational units are the Content Providers for their organisational units and hold ultimate responsibility for their organisational unit’s portion of the UCC Digital Estate for Communications. They may delegate day-to-day responsibility to a member or members of their organisational unit (or an external party), to create and maintain the Digital Estate for Communications of that organisational unit.

The responsibilities of the Content Providers include to:

  1. Create a digital communications plan (see Digital Communications Plan) for their organisational unit’s portion of the Digital Estate for Communications.
  2. Ensure that the non-academic content on their portion of the University’s Digital Estate for Communications adheres to University policy and the associated standards developed by DE Comms group to facilitate those principles.
  3. Submit a brief Digital Estate for Communications Report on the activity on their organisational unit’s portion of the Digital Estate for Communications to the DEComms Group.
  4. Adhere to the procedures for the University’s Digital Estate for Communications including:
    1. Appendix 3 - Procedure for Establishing and Maintaining a UCC Organisational Unit Social Media Account
    2. Appendix 4 - Procedure for Establishing and Maintaining UCC organisational unit websites
  5. Ensure that their portion of the University’s Digital Estate for Communications complies with all relevant University policies including security and data protection.
  6. Nominate a suitable member(s) of staff responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the portion of the University’s Digital Estate for Communications within their organisational unit
  7. Ensure that whomever they nominate has undertaken the relevant training as facilitated by the DEComms Group
  8. Enable the DEComms Group to maintain an accurate record of who is looking after the Content Provider’s portion of the Digital Estate for Communications.

Guidance on creating communications plans and Digital Estate for Communications reports can be sought from the DEComms Group. Guidance on creating content can also be sought from the DEComms Group through the DE Comms website or by email to decomms@ucc.ie 

Role and Responsibilities of the DE Comms Group

The responsibilities of the Digital Estate for Communications Group are to:

  • Set strategy and direction for the University’s Digital Estate for Communications and implement policy
  • Determine and define standards and guidance for design, development and content (with a promotional function or for the purposes of providing non-academic information) for the University’s Digital Estate for Communications and communicates those to Users.
  • Enable the operation of UCC’s Digital Estate for Communications.

Strategy, Direction, Policy Responsibilities

  • Setting the strategic direction for the University’s Digital Estate for Communications
  • Implement the University’s marketing and communication strategies and communication plans using the UCC Digital Estate for Communications
  • Bring to life the core vision for the UCC website from UCC’s Website Content Strategy with the core principle that all content on UCC’s Digital Estate for Communications should be relevant, accurate and timely
  • Devise policies and procedures for the management of the University’s Digital Estate for Communications, specifically relating to External Relations content
  • Evaluate effectiveness, standards and policies for technology and content components
  • Make decisions regarding the funding, resourcing and strategic priorities of the University’s Digital Estate for Communications
  • Advise senior management on website and social media site content, including any breach of compliance with policy

Standards and Guidance Responsibilities

  • Recommend and manage the development of additional design templates, features, and functionality for UCC’s digital platforms, or changes to existing design templates, features, and functionality and make sure that all such changes and developments are in line with the University’s branding and visual identity standards
  • Provide content management standards to content providers (including language and visual style standards, content planning standards, measurement standards, content creation standards, and other standards that may emerge over time based on feedback and best practice) to ensure the quality of content on our Digital Estate for Communications and to ensure the integrity of that content
  • Establish technical standards for the delivery of the Digital Estate for Communications
  • Provide guidance and support to content providers to enable their compliance with the web and social media policy
  • Provide guidance and support for the publication of a central University content calendar
  • Change or update associated standards, guides, templates and other support documentation in line with best practice when appropriate
  • Inform content providers when associated standards, guides, templates and other support documentation has been updated or changed
  • Help content providers determine the size and shape of the portion of the UCC Digital Estate for Communications that will help those content providers realise their organisational unit’s goals and meet the needs of their audiences

Enabling Operations Responsibilities

  • Meet on a regular basis
  • Implement design templates, features and functionalities for UCC’s digital content platforms
  • Implement content and technical standards for the University’s Digital Estate for Communications
  • Facilitate relevant training to content providers or their nominees on maintaining aspects of the UCC Digital Estate for Communications
  • Enable content providers to fulfil their roles and responsibilities to the University’s Digital Estate for Communications
  • Convene sub-groups to discuss and implement improvements to the provision of non-academic information across all aspects of the Digital Estate for Communications
  • Review and make a decisions on requests for
    • new UCC websites;
    • new official University social media accounts and
    • new University organisational unit social media accounts
  • Establish a register of website and social media content providers and their delegates that gives transparency as to who owns which portions of the Digital Estate for Communications as well as what management plans are in place for each portion.
  • Report on project plans and developments to the steering groups at least once a semester.
  • To change or remove (or request content providers to change or remove) any aspect of a UCC website or web page or other part of the Digital Estate for Communications to ensure alignment with this policy and any of its related standards, processes, procedures or guidelines, to make sure content on our Digital Estate for Communications is timely, relevant and accurate
  • Facilitate, resolve and forward issues of non-compliance with the web and social media policy (or to convene sub-group to do same as and when necessary)
  • Escalate compliance issues with respect to legal and regulatory standards including accessibility, security, data protection and freedom of information.

Structure of the DE Comms Group

The Digital Estate for Communications group is made up of

  • the web content team from External Relations
    • head of the web content team, who will normally chair the group,
    • other members of the web content team
  • representatives of Media and Communications
  • representatives of Information Services
    • The UCC webmasters
    • The head of the Digital Services team
  • a representative of the Registrar;
  • and an officer of the Students’ Union as nominated by the Students’ Union executive.

Membership may be given to other members of the University community whose input to the management of the Digital Estate may be necessary from time to time such as, but not limited to:

   
Photographic Production Academic and research communities representative
Graphics Production Training service
Film Production Disability support service
Offices with a core student recruitment function Learning and teaching
Marketing and Brand Impact Office of corporate and legal affairs
Digital Marketing Irish language translation services
Alumni and Development  

The group may be divided into sub-groups who will consider specific areas for improvement to the Digital Estate’s technical infrastructure and improvement to the provision of non-academic content and information across the Digital Estate.

Appendix 2 – Required Content Providers’ Plans and Reports

Skip to: Digital Communications PlanDigital Estate for Communications Report

Digital Communications Plan

The Content Provider for an organisational unit (or their nominee) must create a plan that outlines at the very least:

  • Who is the audience for the relevant section of the Digital Estate?
  • What are the key messages that the organisational unit wishes to communicate for the relevant section of the Digital Estate?
  • What is the purpose of the relevant section of the Digital Estate?
  • Who will be inputting into the creation of content and who will have final say over content?
  • When is the relevant section of the Digital Estate needed for and for how long?
  • How is the relevant section of the Digital Estate going to be promoted?

This plan will help Content Providers to determine the size and shape of their portion of the UCC Digital Estate that will help them meet to the needs of the organisational unit and the audiences of the organisational unit. DE Comms Group will provide guidance and support on how to create such plans where they do not currently exist.

The DE Comms Group will provide a template for such plans. The template may be updated from time-to-time to facilitate best practice.

Digital Estate for Communications Report

Digital Estate for Communications report outlines

  • Who are your current moderators?
  • How your Digital Estate for Communications activity has helped you to achieve your content plan
  • What major changes have been made since the previous report
  • How many pages have been added or removed from your website?
  • What changes have you seen in website analytics?
  • What social media channels their organisational unit is using
  • A link to the organisational units’ content calendar

The format of this report will be templated and adapted as best practice evolves and changes.

This report will help Content Providers to confirm the size and shape of their portion of the UCC Digital Estate for Communications that will help them meet the needs of the organisational unit and the audiences of the organisational unit. DE Comms Group will provide guidance and support on how to create such reports.

The DEComms Group will provide a template for such reports. The template may be updated from time-to-time to facilitate best practice.

Appendix 3 - Procedure for Establishing and Maintaining a UCC Organisational Unit Social Media Account

  1. Only the content provider (head of unit), or their nominee, may request the set-up of a University organisational unit social media account.
  2. You may devolve the operation of a University organisational unit social media account to specific named people within the organisational unit – you must inform the DEComms Group of who that is.
  3. It is not always appropriate for a University organisational unit to maintain its own social media accounts (depending on the platform and other circumstances) - You must consult with the DE Comms Group (via decomms@ucc.ie or online contact form) and answer the key considerations (Appendix 3.1) before setting up the account for your organisational unit.
  4. Social media accounts must be set up with a UCC organisation unit email address, where possible, so that continuity of account operation can be maintained when named operators within a unit change
  5. On the establishment of a University organisational unit social media account, the Digital Estate for Communications Group (via decomms@ucc.ie or online form) must be informed of:
    1. The type of social media account being established,
    2. The name of the social media account,
    3. The name(s) of the nominated staff member(s) who will maintain the account, and
    4. The web address of the account on the relevant platform.
    5. University Organisational Units must facilitate access to their social media accounts from representatives of the DEComms Group for the purposes of emergency updates and to facilitate content take down as a result of policy breach
  6. A University organisational unit social media account must have the initials “UCC” in the account name (preferably at the beginning of the name e.g. uccsport or uccenglish).
  7. Keep account names as short as possible within the context of the particular social media platforms
  8. Make sure your account “follows” the official University account on the particular social media platform
  9. Identify your account to the official University account on a particular social media platform so that the official University account can “follow back” for the purposes of sharing your content to the audience of the official University account
  10. The Digital Estate for Communications Group shall endeavour to maintain a public list of these web links, accessible from the University website at http://www.ucc.ie/en/connect/ (http://www.ucc.ie/en/connect/)
  11. The use of University branding on University organisational unit accounts is subject to consultation with External Relations.
  12. University organisational units should, where possible, provide a link to their University website from their social media account.
  13. University organisational units should, where possible, provide links/connections to other University organisational units’ social media accounts.
  14. All University organisational unit social media accounts shall be operated within the rules established in the Web and Social Media Policy.
  15. All University organisational unit social media accounts shall contain a link (where feasible) to this Policy.

The DEComms Group will endeavour to facilitate support and guidance for Staff on how to set up and maintain various social media accounts – contact decomms@ucc.ie for details on what is available.

Appendix 3.1 Key Considerations for setting up a UCC organisational unit social media account

Answer these questions and send to Digital Estate for Communications group.

  • Could your key content be shared through the main UCC social channels instead (or through your parent organisational unit e.g. School/College etc)
  • What channel are looking to create an account on?
  • What is the name of the account you propose to set up (UCC accounts should have the initials “UCC” in the name where possible)?
  • Do you understand your target audience?
  • Do they use the channel on which you are looking to create an account?
  • Can you outline the value will this channel bring to your audience?
  • Do you have the resources to create daily content?
    • Time
    • Budget
    • Skills and experience creating content in the right tone and with the right message
    • Skills and experience in maintaining the account
    • Skills and experience in building followers and building relationships with them
  • Is this social channel appropriate to the type of content that you want to create?
  • Is it the best channel for telling your story?
  • What are your targets and KPIs?
  • What value will this channel bring to your org unit?

Appendix 4 - Procedure for Establishing and Maintaining UCC organisational unit websites

For websites, each website must have one moderator nominated as primary moderator who will act as the primary point of contact between the organisational unit and the DEComms Group. A maximum of three members of staff may act as moderator. Exceptions to this may be made following consultation with DEComms Group. 

Creating a website is not a small job. It’s important that you consult with the DEComms Group in good time before commissioning any bespoke website design work or content creation services. 

  1. Only the content provider (or their nominee) may request the set up a UCC organisational unit website (and or an associated internal website.
  2. The content provider may devolve the establishment and maintenance of a website for the UCC organisational unit of which they are the head to specific named people within their unit or to approved external parties – you must inform the DEComms Group who that is.
  3. You must consult with the DEComms Group (via decomms@ucc.ie or website) before the website is created – it is not always necessary (or appropriate) for a UCC organisational unit to establish and / or maintain its own website (depending on the platform and other circumstances)
  4. You must request any new websites through the request form as provided by the DEComms Group
  5. The DEComms Group shall maintain a public list of UCC organisational unit websites, accessible from the UCC website, to the extent that it is practical to do so.
  6. You must adhere to the University’s visual identity standards and branding standards when creating the design and content of your website.
  7. You must operate your UCC organisational unit website within the rules established within this policy and its associated standards, guides and procedures.
  8. You must include a link to the University’s privacy statement, acceptable usage policy, cookie policy and legal browsing policy on your UCC organisational unit website.
  9. Your UCC organisational unit website must be hosted on the IT Services managed webservers. All UCC websites must be hosted on the IT Services managed UCC webservers.
  10. You must utilise the “www.ucc.ie” domain (or ucc.ie short domain) for your UCC organisational unit website (or if the site is entirely for an internal audience, the site can be implemented through a combination of the UCC SharePoint instance and/or other internal communications platforms).
    1. We will only consider creating sub-domains of the UCC domain for UCC websites when presented with a firm business or technical rationale as to why a site on the main ucc.ie domain is not suitable.
    2. We will only consider approval of the registration of external domains when presented with a firm business or technical rationale as to why a site on the main ucc.ie domain is not suitable (e.g. for shared research initiatives where UCC is one of multiple partners)
  11. You must use the content management systems that IT Services provides to implement your UCC organisational unit website.
  12. Website moderator(s) and / or contributor(s) must have completed the relevant training and/or achieved any relevant micro-credentials, as facilitated by the DEComms Group, in order to maintain consistent standards across the UCC website and sub-sites. Contact decomms@ucc.ie (or website) for information on how to access training resources
  13. Website moderator(s) and contributors must get the permission of the content provider (head of unit) or their nominee in order to be given access to the content management system to establish and / or maintain a UCC organisational unit website. You must send your request for access to the DEComms Group (via decomms@ucc.ie or other web form that may be established in future)
  14. We will create CMS accounts once we have confirmed that the person has completed the relevant training and/or attained the relevant micro-credential.
  15. The central online course prospectus is the primary source of course information for prospective students. You must link to information in the central online course prospectus rather than replicating or establishing course prospectus pages within your organisational unit website. This is to avoid divergent versions of course information being available online.
  16. Before your organisational unit site can be created, the requesting content provider must develop and provide a website project plan along with a content plan to the DEComms Group for review that includes:
    1. Functional unit readiness assessment (website projects are a significant undertaking and the organisational unit must have the time and resources to take on such projects)
    2. The contact details of the content provider and any website moderators and / or contributor(s),
    3. The content architecture of the website based on consideration of the goals and needs of your target audiences, and following our content planning process, which includes:
      1. An information architecture (outlining the structure of the site including the pages of the site and at what level of the site hierarchy they appear) using the IA Template
      2. A page record (also known as a page table) for each page on the website that outlines:
        1. The audience
        2. The purpose
        3. The key messages
        4. Certain specific meta data
        5. Core content outline
        6. Media content outline (what video, photography, graphic design content will be produced or sourced)
        7. Technical requirements for a given page (forms, databases, wikis, blogs etc)
        8. Who the author, subject matter experts, and editor are for the page
        9. The review schedule for the page
      3. A content calendar whereby the content providers and their site moderators outline the schedule for content creation, maintenance and review that they will follow to keep their content timely, accurate and relevant
      4. The visual design of the site (if different from the UCC visual designs available through the content management system(s)), an approved rationale as to why the standard design is not suitable, and a plan for the implementation of said design through the IT services provided content management system
      5. The DEComms Group will provide support and guidance on how to deliver these plans and assets to the DEComms Group for review
  17. Any exceptions to these principles must be approved by the DEComms Group and must be accompanied by a firm business or technological rationale as to why the standard procedure is not suitable.

External Sites

External sites are websites published on the ucc.ie domain (or other approved domain) where the audience is primarily external to the University.

Internal Sites

Internal sites are websites published on the University’s internally facing systems such as SharePoint where the audience is internal to the University. These sites are only accessible to those with UCC credentials.

 

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