Social Media Guidelines for CDA Professional Development (PD)™ and Gold Standard (GS) Specialists™ The Council encourages and supports the proper use of social media as a professional communications tool for PD Specialists, GS Specialists, CDA candidates and others. Professional Development (PD) and Gold Standard Specialist (GSS) are required to uphold the integrity of the CDA Credential and Council in all instances where they represent the Council. The social media guidelines contained in this document are designed to ensure that the Council for Professional Recognition is professionally and accurately reflected in all PD and GS Specialists professional communications involving the use of email and social media of any kind. For the purposes of these guidelines, social media refers to but is not limited to the following sites or any online forum where text, videos/audio/digital or other images are used and distributed: • Popular social networks such as Twitter and Facebook • Photo-sharing websites such as Pinterest and Instagram • Professional social networks such as LinkedIn • Discussion forums such as the ones found on 4chan and Reddit • Question and answer-based networks such as Quora and Yahoo Answers • Review systems such as Yelp and Google Reviews • Video based websites such as YouTube • Blogs, websites, apps, or electronic newsletters. Additionally, these guidelines assist our external communities with the development and distribution of positive, accurate, informative and helpful social media posts. Why This Document Exists This document provides guidance to the PD and GS Specialist communities on the proper use of social media as it pertains to the Council for Professional Recognition, its branding, credentialing, employees, programs, copyrights and trademarked materials; and the Council’s rules managing the PD and GS Specialist’s social media use and public discussions and engagements. The Council requires that PD and GS Specialists be responsible for their own communications whether verbal, written, digital, audio or video. If a PD or GS Specialist engages in the use of social media for professional purposes, as it relates to: the professional services you perform as a PD or GS Specialist; the CDA credential; and, the Council, its’ employees, services or products, the Council requires you to adhere to these guidelines. Protecting the integrity of the CDA Credential and the Council’s Reputation Given that the CDA is both a domestic (U.S.A.) and international credential, it is important to remember that online posts of any kind can have a global impact. Your post should be professional, good-spirited and accurately reflect the mission, vision and work of the Council. Requirements: o Identity yourself as an Independent Contractor. A Council PD and GS Specialist must disclose and be clear, in all social media communications, that their affiliation with the Council is as an independent contractor who is not an employee of the Council. Any reference to or appearance of employment by the Council on social media platforms or any other communications or representations is legally inaccurate and should not be made. o Use of the Council’s name or brand products. The Council’s brand, name, logos, and products are copyright and trademark protected. Only employees or designated entities, with the Council’s written approval, may use the Council’s copyrighted and trademarked products and/or names. Only the Council for Professional Recognition and designated employees tasked to perform social media duties are authorized to use the Council’s products. Unless specifically authorized by the Council, you are prohibited from using the Council’s copyrighted logos, trademarked products and names in your social media Communications (personal and professional). This includes the use of documents (i.e., stationary or business cards displaying any Council logo). o CDA PD Specialists and Gold Standard Specialists are prohibited from using their affiliation with the Council in any media or printed materials endorsing the products of another company, organization, or affiliation. o PD and Gold Standard Specialists distributing the Council’s products – It is prohibited for anyone to offer Council retail products for free or a reduced price to the public. No other entity is authorized to sell any Council products or branding materials. Best Practices The Council encourages the following as best practice: o Think before posting. This is the golden social media rule. Ensure your posting (including but not limited to, updates, photos, statements) will not result in a negative effect. These include creating arguments and divulging sensitive information. Given the Council’s credentials are both domestic and international, remember that your comments and posts made on an online platform can have an international impact. Maintaining a “world-view” will help to create and sustain an inclusive global community. When commenting on the Council, state a disclaimer that your expressed views are your own and do not necessarily represent the Council. As a PD and GS Specialist you represent the Council and your posts should be transparent, good spirited and reflective of our mission and vision. o Sample Disclaimer – My expressed views are my own and do not reflect the work or opinion of the Council for Professional Recognition. o Check grammar and spelling before sending communications. o Refrain from making promises. The credentialing process (including awarding and denials) is determined by the Council through a process that assesses a candidate’s ability to successfully meet the requirements, submit documentation, pass examinations, and complete tasks. The Council prohibits a PD and GS Specialist from discussing scores and ratings or promising candidate success. This includes but is not limited to discussing how to pass exams, sharing exam questions and reviewing portfolios. These type of posts and/or discussions must not be shared on social media platforms. o Professional versus personal identity on social media – It may prove beneficial to create professional social media accounts to promote and protect your professional brand identity and provide information such as: enrolling in your training or one of which you are affiliated or to discuss how you personally conduct Verification Visits. o Complaints. Everyone makes mistakes. The Council values freedom of speech. PD and GS Specialist are encouraged to direct concerns to the Council by contacting our offices rather than posting on social media outlets (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org). o Negative Social Media Posts If there has been a negative or disparaging social media post regarding the Council refrain from responding. The Council prefers that you avoid the temptation to respond and forward the post to the Council’s spokesperson (email@example.com). The Council has a team of subject matter experts who will engage and respond based on the Council’s policies. o Don’t escalate issues. Responding to other social media users, especially concerning a contentious subject, can result in a heated argument. To avoid such arguments, it may be best to avoid commenting if you feel you may spark conflict. o Correct your own mistakes. When you make a factual error in a post, create an update to correct it. Deleting or editing the original post should come at your own discretion, depending on the situation. o Beware potential security threats. Hackers can use social networks to distribute spam and malware. They can also launch phishing attempts. You should report suspicious activity, including questionable comments and friend requests. o Be careful when sharing information about yourself or others. Hackers can also use personal information to their advantage. Remember Be professional - Be responsible - Be kind - Connect - Have fun!