No Quarter Given Guidelines
The #noqtrgvn project is a social media project examining the experience of food culture in Leicester, and particularly our attitudes to sugar, carbohydrates and processed food. #noqtrgvn wants to:
- Provide an alternative citizen-led media outlet for discussing food issues in Leicester.
- Host an integrated online presence which will secure participation in multimedia content generation and circulation through the active use of social media
- Secure the participation of supporters of real food and culture activities from across Leicester’s communities (physical and virtual) and to promote their unique stories
In order to achieve these objectives, social media will permeate every part of the #noqtrgvn project. We will use it to generate awareness of real food in Leicester, and to generate interest in the reporter opportunities that exist, secure connections, and promote the stories of the communities, practitioners and participants involved.
#noqtrgvn will use the following social media channels:
Additional content on other websites (such as wordpress, instagram and audioboo) should be labelled and tagged “#noqtrgvn” so it can be found easily.
Twitter is the primary channel being used by the project. Each reporter will have access to the administration details of each channel to update, but will be guided by the overall objectives of #noqtrgvn when updating content and sharing to the different networks. Each social media channel will be linked with the #noqtrgvn website, so that new multimedia content generated and hosted can be amplified through the use of social media. Other relevant social media accounts will be utilised to further spread the #noqtrgvn message.
1. Securing connections
Social media relies upon the development and maintenance of strong relationships with influential people. Before posting content to social media channels it is important that #noqtrgvn is connecting with the right people. #noqtrgvn has been building up a social media presence by targeting those interested in arts and culture in Leicester, community media, citizen engagement and the media in Leicester. It is essential that #noqtrgvn is connected and follows/shapes the right conversations to ensure that it is viewed as a credible entity and viewed as an important source of media information.
The #noqtrgvn project is not, however, simply about online interactions. As representatives of #noqtrgvn, face-to-face interactions provide an opportunity to promote involvement in the project and then direct interested parties to the social media channels they want to use to follow and/or participate in the project. This dual approach has proved successful to date with traditional word of mouth being supplemented with online recommendations and endorsements. If, as a representative of #noqtrgvn, you have the opportunity to connect with interested individuals and organisations, then ensure that they are made aware of the many ways to connect to the project and get involved, through social media. Any #noqtrgvn hard copy marketing literature will align with the social media channels being used so that those using more traditional forms of communication can also follow the project (e.g. subscribing to the blog via email).
2. Create Engaging Content
In order for social media activity to produce the results expected, #noqtrgvn needs to sustain interest and involvement by producing relevant, vibrant and good quality content. The #noqtrgvn website will be the principal portal where video, audio and photographic content will be hosted and it is essential that this website is up to date, visually strong, interactive and contains dynamic content. Before the #noqtrgvn project commences there will be a regular flow of information uploaded to the website and then ‘pushed’ through the various social media channels. The participants and audience need to be directed to register their interest through the website and interactive social media content can help to drive that traffic.
3. Monitoring and Measurement
A crucial part of the #noqtrgvn project is that our activity is monitored regularly and the impacts (in terms of reach, followers, participation, etc) measured systematically. Good social media usage requires investment in financial and time resources and should therefore be judged according to the outcomes it produces. Measuring impact will take the form of number of followers, mentions and retweets on Twitter, likes and comments on Facebook and mentions of the project name on blogs, website and forums. Whilst these quantitative measures are appropriate to measure the project’s brand presence and reach on social media, they would only tell part of the story. To understand the sentiment being expressed about the #noqtrgvn project online it is necessary to utilize alternative tools based on the type of mentions, comments and retweets you are receiving and the nature of the conversations taking place online about the project.
Monitoring and measurement techniques are also important for evaluating whether or not social media interventions are producing the required return by driving people to the #noqtrgvn website which is where much of the content about arts and culture in Leicester will be available. #noqtrgvn will use tools like Google Analytics to provide a rich source of information which will be used to help understand the impact of our social media activities. It can not only tell us where the traffic is coming from, through a linking system called “backtracking” – it can break down statistics by location, device and google search keyword, allowing measure effectiveness of each opportunity posted.
Social media can also be a useful tool to develop relationships with individuals and organisations for future partnerships beyond #noqtrgvn. Building up a significant audience and set of strategic partnerships on our social media channels will help us to generate interest and leads which we will also need to cultivate effectively. The #noqtrgvn database of contacts will be maintained throughout the project (including social media details) so that the next phase of the project will already have a virtual infrastructure to build upon.
4. #noqtrgvn Social Media Guidelines
4.1. While it is important that representatives of #noqtrgvn understand the risks associated with social media usage (see section 5), it is important to emphasise good practice guidance before attention turns to some of the negative connotations. The key to success in social media is being honest about who you are, being thoughtful before you post, and respecting the purpose of the community where you are posting. As a ready reckoner, as representatives of #noqtrgvn, reporters should:
4.2. Be transparent: Be honest about your identity. Never hide your identity for the purpose of promoting #noqtrgvn through social media. A good resource about transparency in online communities is the Blog Council’s “Disclosure Best Practices Toolkit” at http://blogcouncil.org/disclosure/.
4.3. Be accurate: Make sure that you have all the facts before you post. It’s better to verify information with a source first than to have to post a correction or retraction later. Cite and link to your sources whenever possible. If you make an error, correct it quickly and visibly.
4.4. Be respectful: If someone interacting with #noqtrgvn through one of its social media activities is dissatisfied then try to manage that experience with care. Acknowledge the concern publicly but then try to move the conversation off the social media channel to ensure that you can resolve the issue out of the public glare. The success of the project is dependent on #noqtrgvn being viewed as a credible media outlet and our behaviour online is an important element of this.
4.5. Consider your audiences: Social media span traditional boundaries between professional and personal relationships. As a representative of #noqtrgvn we encourage you to choose profile photos and avatars carefully. Be thoughtful about the type of photos you upload.
4.6. Think before you post: There’s no such thing as a “private” social media site. Search engines can turn up posts years after the publication date. Comments can be forwarded or copied. For #noqtrgvn it is important that we encourage retweeting, sharing links and generating mentions but as think carefully before you ‘endorse’ others’ activity. If in doubt, ask the No Quarter Given lead in your area.
4.7. Maintain confidentiality: If you discuss a situation involving individuals on #noqtrgvn social media channels, be sure that they are happy to be mentioned, otherwise avoid this degree of personalisation. As a guideline, don’t post anything that you would not be willing to discuss at a team meeting or with other #noqtrgvn representatives.
5. #noqtrgvn Social Media Guidelines for Use
5.1. Introduction: As #noqtrgvn extends its presence online through the website (www.noquartergiven.co.uk) and embedded social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr, Audioboo) it is important that all representatives of the project and those external agents interacting with #noqtrgvn are aware of good practice in using these digital resources and also understand some of the risks associated with inappropriate use. The purpose of this document is to ensure that all #noqtrgvn representatives understand and maintain good practice in the use of social media in relation to all communications about the project. The policy also details how the #noqtrgvn project manages the risks associated with inappropriate use of social media. The policy is supported by training for interns and reporters to ensure that the document is owned by all representatives. Copies of the policy will be received by all representatives when they sign up for involvement in the project.
5.2. Scope of the policy: This policy applies to the use of #noqtrgvn digital media resources (currently the website, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, AudioBoo and Flickr, but which will be subject to change over time depending upon requirement and demand) by all interns and reporters and those external agents involved in the project. Participation in #noqtrgvn through one of these roles implies acceptance of the terms and conditions within this policy. The same legal principles apply to the use of social media as apply to all use of the Internet.
5.3. #noqtrgvn social media risks and inappropriate use guidelines: Increased use of social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and other self-edited online platforms such as blogs and wikis has increased the risk of inappropriate content being published. It is not possible for access to these sites to be controlled by project staff (nor is this in the spirit of the openness and accessibility of the project) but #noqtrgvn reporters and associated externals) are expected to behave responsibly when using them. Representatives should be aware that much of the information published on these sites may be publicly available and should take precautions to ensure that the information communicated is appropriate and relevant to the #noqtrgvn project.
5.4. The sending of defamatory, abusive, pornographic, threatening, sexist, racist or other offensive material is strictly prohibited. The author of any libellous or offensive message sent by via the project’s social media channels will be personally responsible for the content and liable for any damage or subsequent legal action.
5.5. The legal status of correspondence directed via social media is broadly the same as written communications. The public nature of communication on social media channels makes it potentially less private than written correspondence and therefore increases some of the legal risks. These risks include libel, various forms of harassment and inadvertent contract establishment. Social media updates should therefore be treated the same way as formal project correspondence. Interns, reporters and other #noqtrgvn representatives are responsible for the content, dissemination and management of the communications they send via social media channels.
5.6. To safeguard the credibility of the #noqtrgvn project, one or more of the following will be considered unacceptable use and is likely to lead to disciplinary action:
5.7. Creating, transmitting, transferring, downloading, browsing, viewing, reproducing or accessing any image, material or other data of any kind, which contains unacceptable content, including but not limited to:-
- Sexually explicit messages, images, cartoons, jokes or any other material of a sexual nature
- Any other content which may offend, harass, provoke, demean, degrade or threaten any other person (whether a fellow reporter or a third party) whether on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, age, race, national origin, disability, religious or political belief.
- Any content that promotes or causes violence.
- Any content that is illegal, defamatory, malicious, libellous, derogatory or causes annoyance or needless anxiety.
- Any content that infringes or may infringe the intellectual property or rights of others.
6. Reporting: Any suspected breach of this policy must be reported in the first instance to the project leads, Rob Watson (email@example.com), De Montfort University, to allow investigation of the incident prior to taking appropriate action.
7. What can you do to help?
7.1. Identify your existing connections, establish what platforms that they use currently and follow or like these on social media channels
7.2. Identify the right sources of market intelligence not already part of the #noqtrgvn community and subscribe, follow or like these to ensure that the project is informed of developments
7.3. Amend your existing social media channels to reflect your involvement in #noqtrgvn during the course of the project
7.4. Ensure email signatures and other forms of communication from include links to #noqtrgvn social media channels.
7.5. Encourage personal accounts to reflect professional role (custom biogs, avatars for duration of the project – but also to begin to build up a network of contacts that can use during the event.)