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IndyBar Adopts Policy on Social Media

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More and more social media is being used as not just a personal form of communication, but as professional communication, as well. Recognizing the need to interact with its large membership, the Indianapolis Bar Association established a presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. As the use of this communication has grown, so has the need for guidelines for bar leaders, staff and members. At its March meeting, the IndyBar Board of Directors adopted a formal policy which is reprinted here.

The Indianapolis Bar Association (“IndyBar”) recognizes that social media is an important tool in an association committed to meeting the present and future needs of its members. The IndyBar further recognizes that it is prudent to adopt policies and best practices as it pertains to social media and social networking. The following guidelines will be used by the IndyBar in its use of social media resources.

1. Social media tools are used to promote IndyBar programs and initiatives, including member events and public services. Content should not promote political, religious or social issues unless these issues are addressed in a formal position adopted by the IndyBar Board of Directors.

2. Any member of the public may become a follower or fan of the IndyBar’s social networking sites. These sites may be created to allow followers or fans to post comments. In its sole discretion, the IndyBar has the right but not the obligation to delete comments deemed inappropriate or to block a fan or follower. The purpose of this policy is to allow the most efficient means of monitoring content and upholding the reputation of the Bar and the integrity of the sites.

3. The IndyBar will maintain one official presence on any social networking site in order to maintain control of content, provide for the most effective use of staff time and avoid confusion over what is deemed the official Bar message. Bar Sections, Committees, Divisions, and Task Forces are encouraged to submit appropriate information through communication with their Bar staff liaisons. Approval for new accounts must be sought from the Board. As of the date of this Policy, the Law Student Division maintains a separate social networking site, the existence of which is both approved by this Board and subject to all other applicable policies set forth herein.

4. The information on IndyBar social networking sites should be professional in nature and regularly updated with postings on Bar events and news. Official site content such as logo and mission will be updated only as needed and approved by the Board.

5. Unless previously approved for publication in another format, unofficial photos and videos will not be posted unless permission is obtained from the individuals appearing in them. Members may be asked to sign a photo release form at Bar events in order to streamline posting procedures.

6. Site administration, including set up, content development and management, and promulgation of rules of etiquette with respect to IBA social media are the responsibility of the IndyBar staff with input from members with regard to the information posted.

How long before you “friend”, “tweet” or “link up” with the Bar?•

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