• 1.  Overview:

Online and Social media is fundamentally changing the way in which work is conducted, thereby offering new ways of engaging with colleagues, residents and the public at large. Social media is a new model for interaction and can assist in building stronger, more successful relationships and interacting in a timely way.  

  • 2. Definitions:

CAO means the Chief Administrative Officer of the Town of Nipawin.

Council means the Town of Nipawin legislative body.

Employee means a person who is employed by the Town, including permanent, part-time, seasonal, and casual.

Representative means Council, committee and/or advisory group members, including committee members appointed by Council, contractors with the Town of Nipawin, and volunteers.

Online media means websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking, including but not limited to:

a) Website

b) Social networking: Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, wikis

c) File sharing (including video and photo): Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo,     Instagram 

d) Blogging: corporate, personal or blogs hosted by mainstream     media websites

e) Forums, discussion boards (i.e. Yahoo groups, Google Groups),     news article comments

f) Online encyclopedias (i.e. Wikipedia)

g) Geo-mapping: Google maps, Bingmaps

Town   means the Town of Nipawin, its employees, or its duly authorized   representative.

  • 3. Purpose

To set and clearly communicate policies for the Town of Nipawin employees and representatives for the Town of Nipawin maintaining or participating on personal and official social media channels.

a) The purpose of this policy is to:

(1) Ensure that the use of social media platforms do not breach confidentiality, compromise public safety or discredit the character and integrity of the Town, citizens, employees, Council, or representatives;

(2) Establish guidelines for the Town’s usage and work with Social media;

(3) Ensure that communications on behalf of the Town are well coordinated, accurate, accountable, and responsive to the needs of the organization and community.

b) This policy applies:

(1) When an employee or representative for the Town of Nipawin is authorized to represent the Town of Nipawin on social media platforms and are using a social media platform for Town of Nipawin business purposes; and

(2) When an employee or representative for the Town of Nipawin chooses to reference the Town of Nipawin, its representatives, employees, services and/or other Town of Nipawin business when using a social media platform in a personal capacity.

  • 4. Responsibility

Any person wishing to initiate a social media site on behalf of the Town of Nipawin shall complete an Online Media Account Application and submit the application to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) or designate for review and approval prior to proceeding. (Appendix I)

a) The CAO or designate will review each application and may request further information before making a decision.

b) The CAO or designate has the authority to approve or decline an application based on its sole discretion.

c) Any employee or representative for the Town commenting in an official capacity on Town of Nipawin social media platforms must be an authorized commenter.

d) There must be a minimum of three (3) account administrators.

e) The account name, username, password and the names of the three (3) administrators will be kept on file.

f) Any account administrator that is no longer a Town of Nipawin employee or representative for the Town of Nipawin will immediately be removed as an account administrator, as part of the regular employee termination procedures.

  • 5. Principles

a) The Town supports open dialogue, responsible engagement, exchange of ideas and learning.

b) Professional duties and responsibilities of all employees and representatives for the Town of Nipawin remains intact regardless of the medium used to communicate.

c) The Town of Nipawin believes that the highest standard of conduct among Town of Nipawin employees and representatives is essential to maintain and enhance the public’s trust and confidence in the delivery of Town services. (Employee Code of Conduct Policy, 2018)

d) The Town core business is that of municipal business; employees and representatives must ensure that non-work related social media activities do not interfere with commitments, either directly or indirectly, to the employer, residents of the community and the public.

e) The Town supports the value in using social media to exchange ideas and build meaningful relationships to improve service to the residents of Nipawin.

  • 6. Scope

These guidelines apply to:

a) Town Employees, either actively employed by the Town or on some sort of leave of absence, and 

b) Representatives of the Town including contractors engaged by the Town and volunteers. 

  • 7. Policy

a) The Town image as a professional organization comprised of professional employees and representatives is key to maintaining the respect of constituents. This image can either be improved or damaged by online and social media. The Town recognizes that employees and representatives may maintain or contribute to personal social media channels outside of job functions. Employees and representatives must therefore exercise caution with respect to comments posted concerning Town operations, business, employees, council, and representatives for the Town.

b) The Town monitors social media and reserves the right to prohibit, restrict, block, suspend, terminate, delete, or discontinue access to any social media site on Town networks/devices at any time.

  • 8. Personal Use

a) Employees and representatives for the Town of Nipawin are expected to be courteous, respectful and thoughtful about how other employees and representatives may be affected by postings. Postings that harass or threaten any Town employee, representative, official or violate Town policy shall result in disciplinary action.

b) Employees and representatives for the Town shall NEVER post or disclose any confidential information of the Town, Town employees, members of Council, members of the community, or other individuals or entity obtained in the capacity as an employee, contractor or volunteer. Consequences will be imposed.

c) Employees and representatives for the Town shall not imply authorization to speak as a representative of the Town. Employees MUST be explicitly clear about who the employee is representing and take responsibility for ensuring that any reference to the Town of Nipawin is factually correct and does not breach privacy and confidentiality requirements (as are outlined in the Town’s Freedom of Information Policy or in the Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act).

d) Individuals who may be identified as a Town employee or representatives for the Town are advised to conduct themselves in a professional manner.

e) Employees and representatives for the Town shall not use or provide photographs or other images of Town in a manner which might imply representation of the Town, without the prior written permission of the CAO.

f) Council or Town decisions and opinions which are not made public are considered confidential, thus Employees shall not discuss or publish these decisions and/or opinion on any Social media channel.

g) Employees and representatives for the Town shall not include the Town of Nipawin logo or trademark in postings unless prior approval has been provided.

  • 9. Official Use

a) The Town’s social media channels shall be used for business communications and for the purpose of fulfilling job duties in accordance with the Town’s goals and objectives, and not for personal use.

b) All postings on the Town’s social media channels shall be approved by the CAO or designate before such is posted or made public.

c) All content created by employees using the Town’s social media channels shall be professional, accurate, and concise.

d) Employees and representatives for the Town shall not engage in speeches that are offensive, false, obscene or sexually explicit or contains bias against a race, religion or sexual preference.

e) Employees and representatives for the Town representing the Town on social media channels are expected to conduct themselves at all times as representatives of the Town in a professional and polite manner.

f) Employees and representatives for the Town shall avoid posts that on the Town’s social media channels tend to diminish the reputation of the Town, its Employees, volunteers, contractors or Council members.  Postings are required to promote the Town’s image positively, minimize overly emotional language and promote the Town’s development.

g) Postings on the Town’s social media channels shall, as much as possible, minimize the use of personal names. Titles shall be used instead of names, except otherwise approved by the CAO.

h) Political opinion and affiliations shall not be posted on the Town’s social media channels.  Also included are opinions on Council and administrative decisions.

i) Quotes of Council and administrative members shall include the complete statement, not a selected excerpt which alters the spirit and intent of the overall statement.

  • 10. Town Representation

a) This policy does not intend to discourage or limit personal expression on social media channels. However, employees and representatives for the Town should recognize the potential for damage to the Town either directly or indirectly through the employee’s personal or official use of social media when a person can be identified as an employee of the Town. 

b) Accordingly, employees and representatives for the Town shall comply with this policy to ensure that the risk of such damage is minimized. Employees and representatives for the Town are also personally responsible for content published in a personal capacity on any social media channel as these are public communications and may be subject to disclosure in a legal process. 

  • 11. Process for Addressing Misuse

a) Employees and representatives for the Town found to be in contravention of this policy will be informed and given a request to respond in writing to prove that inappropriate behavior has not taken place.  The employee or representatives for the Town may also be required to give a commitment to adhere to the Town’s social media policy and follow directions to make amends where damage has resulted.

b) Continued defiance of this policy may result in verbal reprimand followed by a written reprimand, suspension, or in serious cases, termination of employment or privileges with the Town of Nipawin.

c) Where the Employee is a member of a union, this policy shall be carried out through contact with an appropriate union representative.