Communications and Social Media Policy

Social Media Administrators

Local PTA Units are encouraged to have an online presence through social media and other platforms. All PTA social media posts must be respectful, truthful, discreet, and responsible. Posts must be noncommercial, nonsectarian, and nonpartisan according to PTA policies. The purpose is to increase awareness, promote participation, and increase membership in PTA. Social media accounts must include “PTA/PTSA” or “Parent Teacher Association” to designate a different entity from the school. The administrators of social media accounts must be PTA Executive Committee or Board Members with a minimum of two administrators per account. The PTA has authority over the PTA social media accounts. Local PTA Units must respectfully work with their principals who shall be informed of any online accounts. Content must follow all school and school board rules, guidelines, and policies. No school may operate social media accounts with PTA/PTSA in its name.

Communication Strategy

Before posting on social media, take time to consider what information will be most useful for members and what communication methods will be most efficient. Use a variety of communication methods to reach all constituents. Not all communities have equal access to technology. Be aware of cultural and language differences and translate your materials into other languages as needed.

 

Social Media

Social media platforms allow PTA to connect to members and potential members in a very interactive way. PTAs can share information, photos, and videos that can help to increase membership, communicate with current and potential members, fundraise, generate positive exposure, receive feedback, and network. Use social media to teach, remind, and recognize the members. Consistently monitor the sites. Give credit where it is due. In the process of gathering ideas and being influenced by others, remember to provide a link to the original content and use the author’s name and/or organization whenever possible. Keep content and comments professional and respectful. Be consistent. Be sure to maintain consistency across platforms with PTA brand guidelines. Be safe. Be particularly mindful of child and family privacy.

 

Choose PTA individuals who are willing and able to provide high-quality basic social media posts, produce content, and moderate content posted by others. Disagreements are central to growing ideas, but do not attack anyone personally. Quickly address any inappropriate messages or misuse of the PTA brand. Be prepared to respond to negative or inaccurate posts if a reply is warranted; however, some negative comments do not require a response, while others should be taken seriously and addressed.

 

Personal lives and professional work can intersect on social media. Navigating between them can be difficult. Communicate the ground rules ahead of time to ensure that all volunteers are clear about the expectations. When volunteers communicate through social media, unless authorized to speak on behalf of PTA, they are representing themselves and should use a disclaimer that what is being said is representative of their own views and opinions. If an individual is speaking on behalf of PTA, that should also be made clear.

 

Privacy and Permission

PTA should not post photographs or images of any volunteers, families, children, etc., on any social media without having their express permission to do so. Secure a written consent form at events or at the beginning of the school year releasing the rights to use and post pictures. Do not discuss a situation involving individuals on a social media site that might identify the person. Don't post anything that would not be appropriate to present at a conference or in person. When sharing information from another source, assume that it is copyrighted and properly cite the source or provide a link to the original content.

 

AIM Insurance offers additional coverage for Media Liability to cover online liability.

Communications Overview

Remember, You Are Representing the PTA
  • Adhere to PTA policies regarding noncommercial, nonpartisan, and nonsectarian content.

  • Inform every family in the school about the aims and accomplishments of the PTA.

  • Encourage and highlight attendance at PTA meetings and family engagement in PTA programs.

  • Foster cooperation with the school in keeping parents informed about school functions, regulations, and procedures on child-related issues.

  • Inform the community about PTA activities and school functions.

  • Express appreciation to those participating in or contributing to programs.

  • Tackle barriers such as language and culture by translating materials.

 

Ensure Quality Communication
  • The principal is responsible for the accuracy of school information and compliance with the State Education Code and school district policy, while the PTA president is responsible for the accuracy of PTA information and compliance with PTA policies.

  • Use the PTA logo in all communications.

  • Abide by copyright laws and republish articles and art in an ethical manner.

  • Do not include photographs of or specific information (names, class, email, address, etc.) about adults or students without written permission.

  • Create visually interesting communications with careful use of photographs, bullets, quotes, and graphics.

  • Have 2-3 people other than the author proofread prior to publishing or posting.

  • Keep your message brief and to the point.

  • Arrange for translation services.

  • Date all materials.

 

Social Media Guidelines
  • All PTA social media posts must be respectful, truthful, discreet, and responsible. Posts must be noncommercial, nonsectarian, and nonpartisan according to PTA policies.

  • Have at least two administrators for each site.

  • Posts should be PTA-related such as flyers, events, grants, PTA and school deadlines, and other information valuable to PTA members.

  • Keep information current. 

  • Respond promptly to messages and comments. 

  • Cite or link the source of original content.

  • State when someone is speaking on behalf of the PTA.

  • Contact the insurance company to discuss additional coverage for Media Liability.

  • Consult Louisiana PTA for further guidance at President@LouisianaPTA.org.