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Social Media Policy

Policy Number: Communications UR - 3
Effective Date: July 1, 2011
Responsible Officer: Executive Director of Marketing & Communications



The purpose of this Policy is to manage the use of social media for the official business purposes of the College.



Social media is the use of web-based technology to communicate in an interactive manner; examples include Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter, YouTube and blogs. Social media is a prominent form of communication, and because of that, posting information to these types of sites poses challenges for all members of the Drexel University College of Medicine community, including administrators, physicians, faculty, staff, residents, fellows, and students.

Drexel University College of Medicine respects your right to interact knowledgeably and socially, however interaction with social media can greatly impact you, our patients, our colleagues and our students. Therefore, the entire Drexel University College of Medicine community has a responsibility to maintain the integrity of the institution no matter where, when or how they interact with social media.



The Drexel University College of Medicine social media guidelines apply to any use of social media for promoting the College, departments within the College, physicians, faculty and staff of the College, and medical practices related to the College.



This policy applies to the Drexel University College of Medicine community, including administrators, physicians, faculty (including non-compensated faculty), staff, residents, and fellows.



“Social Media” – Web-based technology used to communicate including:

  • Blogs (web-based journals)
  • Collaborative websites (e.g. Wikipedia, etc.);
  • Message Boards;
  • Social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter);
  • Podcasts (multimedia distributed over the Internet);
  • Video Sharing (e.g. YouTube).



  1. Drexel University College of Medicine Official Facebook and Twitter Accounts
    Drexel University College of Medicine’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts will be maintained by the Office of Communications & Marketing, which uses social media to supplement traditional media relations and marketing efforts.
  2. Before setting up any Social Media accounts to use for the official business purposes of the College, you must seek approval and guidance from Drexel University College of Medicine’s Office of Communications & Marketing.
  3. You must use the Drexel University College of Medicine logo and name properly. (Guidelines are available from Communications & Marketing).
  4. It is the responsibility of the administrator of a Social Media account to monitor the social media site; content must be current and accurate.
  5. Posting on behalf of Drexel University College of Medicine is not a right; it can be rescinded at any time.
  6. Be responsible for your posts and remember, what you post is a reflection upon Drexel University College of Medicine and you.
  7. All Social Media accounts for the College’s business should be linked to
  8. Protect Privacy
    1. It is never permissible to share patient information under any circumstances. All HIPAA rules apply to social media outlets.
    2. Refrain from sharing information about patients’ families, or the College staff, employees and donors without attaining proper permission from them or the Department of Communications & Marketing.
  9. Provider - Patient Communications
    Provider – Patient Communications must not take place on Social Media sites. College Providers must redirect any patient communications to the clinical practices, so that no medical advice or protected health information is communicated to a patient on a Social Media site.
  10. Protect Proprietary Information
    Do not share any information that may compromise Drexel University College of Medicine intellectual property, business practices or financial interests, or similar sensitive or private information.
  11. Compliance with all College Policies
    Communications on Social Media sites for College purposes must comply with all applicable College Policies.
  12. Media Interaction
    Social media may generate interest from the press (print, television, radio, online). If you are contacted in any way by a member of the media about a Drexel University College of Medicine-related posting, please contact the Office of Communications & Marketing at 215.255.7330 or before responding.
  13. Drexel University College of Medicine has the right to amend this Policy at any time.
  14. Violations of this Policy may lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination from the College, and in some cases civil and/or criminal liability.



  1. Posting on Personal Sites
    Employees are encouraged to share Drexel University College of Medicine news and events that are a matter of public record, with their family and friends. We advise linking straight to the information source as the most effective way to pass along news on personal sites.
    1. Do not use the Drexel University College of Medicine logo on your personal site;
    2. Do not use the Drexel University College of Medicine logo or name to promote or endorse any product, cause or political party or candidate; and
    3. Make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of the college. A disclaimer, such as, "The views expressed on this [blog; website] are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer," may be appropriate.

      Before Using Social Media
      Assess the implications of “friending,” “liking,” “linking,” “following,” or accepting a request from another person. There is the potential for misinterpretation of relationships such as doctor-physician, faculty-student, supervisor-subordinate and staff-student in social interactions. If you are in doubt, please contact the Department of Communications & Marketing.
  2. Think Before Posting
    Take great care and be thoughtful before placing your identifiable comments in the public domain as these posts will be permanently connected to you.
  3. Understand Your Responsibility and Know You Are Liable
    Drexel University College of Medicine employees are personally responsible for the content they publish on their own social media sites and the sites of others. All copyright infringement, defamatory, proprietary, libel or obscene (as defined by the courts) laws apply. You are responsible for monitoring your social media site(s) and for deleting posts which do not adhere to these guidelines.
  4. Social Media is a Public Forum
    There is no such thing as a private social media site. Show respect to others and don’t use language that could be deemed offensive. If you make a mistake, admit it and correct it as soon as possible. If you join a social network, make sure you have the time to contribute on a regular basis.



FTC Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising; 16 CFR Section 255.



  • Marketing, Advertising and Promotional Materials (UR-2)
  • News Media Relations (UR-1)
  • Code of Conduct (OGC-5)
  • Email Policy (IT-1)
  • Acceptable Use Policy (IT-2)
  • HIPAA Privacy and Security Policies and Procedures (IM & IS)