Kellogg Social Media Guidelines

The Kellogg School encourages faculty, staff and students to engage in social media with the understanding that we are all ambassadors of the school. These guidelines outline what is expected when you discuss Kellogg-related topics or otherwise identify yourself as a Kellogg constituent.

1. Know our policies. The Northwestern IT “Acceptable Use” Policy applies if you are a member of the Northwestern Community and/or user of the University network. Kellogg’s Honor Code applies if you are a student at Kellogg. Kellogg’s Brand Standards provide guidance on voice and tone.

2. Follow copyright and fair use laws. Respect the laws governing copyright and fair use of copyrighted material owned by others. Typically, these laws allow you to quote only short excerpts of others’ work and you must attribute the work to the creator. A good social media practice is to link back to others’ work.

3. Truthfully represent fact and self. Blogs, microblogs, Facebook and other social media sites typically allow you to create a profile. While this need not be lengthy, you should accurately state your affiliation to Kellogg School. Kellogg discourages anonymous accounts, pseudonyms and other alternative screen names. For official accounts with Kellogg in the handle, please contact Marketing & Communications to obtain the correct form.

4. Disclaim. Be clear that what you say in social media is representative of your views and opinions and not necessarily the views and opinions of the Kellogg School. A common disclaimer for blogs or personal website would state, “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent The Kellogg School of Management’s positions, strategies or opinions.” You are ultimately responsible for your posts.

5. Protect private or confidential information. Social media blurs the lines between public and private information and between professional and personal lives. Once any form content (i.e. text, images, video) is digital, it can circulate and often will do so beyond your intended audience. Ask for permission if you want to post a photo or conversation that other parties may have considered private. Please don’t use public social media to discuss internal Kellogg matters.

6. Respect others. Kellogg welcomes, respects and honors diversity of customs, values and points of view. Be true to yourself online, but be cautious and respectful with potentially inflammatory topics like race, politics and religion. It goes without saying that ethnic slurs, personal insults and obscenity are discouraged in general and certainly not welcome in Kellogg forums.

7. Correct mistakes. We all make mistakes, but if you make them in social media, try to be transparent and correct them quickly. For example, if you take down a blog post and re-post it with a correction, note that you did so.

8. Don’t SPAM. Whether you blog, tweet or just post on Facebook, social media should be a two-way conversation. Overly promotional or repetitive posts that don’t generate response are often construed as SPAM, which doesn’t represent you or the Kellogg School well.

9. Share what’s valuable. Please feel free to link to non-Kellogg articles and content that have value to the Kellogg community.

10. Just ask. If you’re not sure whether or not it’s appropriate to post something related to Kellogg, please ask. Discuss with your manager, Student Affairs or Kellogg Marketing & Communications — we’re here to help and avoid problems down the road.

Questions?