Each member of the PLNU community — staff, faculty, students, alumni, and friends — plays a critical role of brand ambassador. It's a role that carries both responsibility and pride. To help make that process easier, browse from a menu of policies related to PLNU's brand, web presence, and more.
PLNU’s trademarks and copyrights are the intellectual property of PLNU and are for PLNU use only. Since its founding in 1902, PLNU has spent substantial time and resources developing the goodwill and reputation associated with the PLNU trademarks and copyrights.
To steward the PLNU brand, the use of PLNU trademarks or copyrights is not allowed in the sale, promotion, or endorsement of third-party educational services or related merchandise.
PLNU's educational services are supported by the sale of merchandise through its online and on-campus stores. As the owner of its intellectual property, only PLNU has the right to profit off derivate works, including promotional items including clothing and apparel, class rings, or other PLNU-branded materials.
For purposes of protecting PLNU's reputation and maintaining its intellectual property rights, requests for third-party usage or licensing will be denied. Any unauthorized use of PLNU’s intellectual property may amount to willful infringement and entitles PLNU to take legal action.
Social Media Policy
For Administrators of Official PLNU Social Media Accounts
Social media has evolved as a primary source of communication and entertainment in our culture and PLNU enthusiastically encourages its use as a means of engaging with the world around us. Social media is a powerful tool to share relevant university news, listen to perceptions about PLNU, inspire faith, and connect with the broader world community. However, there are inherent risks, responsibilities, and liabilities that come with its use, so we have established the following guidelines.
This Social Media Policy exists to ensure that internal and external audiences engage with a holistic, accurate picture of PLNU’s Christ-centered mission, and to help protect the university’s
reputation as its digital footprint expands.
Who is This Policy For?
This policy is for anyone who uses any form of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, Flickr, any type of web blogs, etc.) to communicate digitally, on behalf of or in connection with any PLNU-affiliated entity (academic departments, centers, athletic teams, student and faculty clubs and organizations, etc.).
If you have been asked to start a PLNU-related social media account as part of your job at the university, but have not yet done so, please read the document below and follow the steps before completing the Application for Official Status.
Who is This Policy Not For?
This policy is not for PLNU staff, faculty, students, and administrators wishing to create and maintain a personal social media account.
Perks of Official Status
PLNU-related official accounts have access to a number of benefits exclusive to the official status title:
Opportunity for your content to be posted and reshared on PLNU’s primary social channels and other official accounts.
Recognition in the Social Media Directory of PLNU’s website (pointloma.edu/social).
While departments, clubs, and groups often desire to have social media accounts, they are necessary in few instances. Before you start a social media account ask yourself:
- Who is our audience?
- What do we want to accomplish with social media?
- How much time do we have to manage our account?
- Would it be more effective to have existing PLNU social accounts share occasional updates for us?
When launching a new official PLNU social media account please make sure to meet the criteria in the order below before moving forward:
- Read and familiarize yourself with this document.
- Answer the questions provided in the “Starting a Social Media Account” section below to determine whether or which social media accounts should be launched.
- File an application for official status for review.
- Meet with a member of PLNU’s social media team to address your status and discuss your goals.
- For the approved account(s), begin populating the account(s) with two weeks or more of consistent posts. Share it initially with a small group of peers to get overall comments or feedback. Adjust accordingly.
- Begin sharing your content with your audience and interacting with your followers!
All social media accounts that meet the criteria for an official status from PLNU (described under “Who is This Document For?” above) must be registered with PLNU Marketing & Creative Services (MCS).
Administrators of officially recognized accounts are responsible for consistent monitoring and management. Administrators can contact the Content Strategy Manager in MCS for consultation.
- In the event that an account administrator departs or changes jobs, the Social Media Specialist should be notified. Arrangements should be made for a new administrator and account access for the former administrator must be removed.
- If you are creating profile pictures or cover images for your official PLNU social media accounts, please work with MCS to ensure logos and imagery comply with PLNU brand standards. Contact MCS for design assistance.
Each approved account must add the Content Strategy Manager as an administrator. While the Content Strategy Manager does not intend to actively engage in maintaining these sites, this allows the university to properly track accounts and ensure access in the event of an emergency or the departure of the main administrator.
Social media channels at PLNU must be continually updated and monitored. Accounts that have been inactive for more than one year may be subject to deactivation or deletion.
Need Help With Social Media?
For additional guidance and resources on social media best practices, both for individuals and PLNU account administrators, please visit pointloma.edu/social or contact the Content Strategy Manager in MCS.
Social Media Guidelines For Official PLNU Accounts
The most important thing to remember when officially producing social content is that the profile represents PLNU and should therefore be in line with the university's overarching mission and brand. Does it reflect one or more of the following pillars:
- Generous, Rooted, Authentic Faith
- Inspirational Mentoring and Service in an Engaged Community
- Critically Exploring Life’s Profound Questions and Actively Pursuing Knowledge and Truth
- Discovering and Cultivating Your True Potential
- Fully Becoming Who You Are Called to Be
Content should resonate with your audience and be relevant to your area. If you’re ever unsure if content is fitting and appropriate to post, run it by others on your team. When in doubt, don’t post. If you are unsure how to handle a post, contact Marketing & Creative Services.
Use messaging, language, and images that are true to your area and PLNU, and what the university represents. Ensure content is accurate, linked to an original source, and if a mistake is made, acknowledge the error and correct it quickly.
Make sure that you have all the facts before you post. Cite and link your sources back to the original source whenever possible.
Social media management is a 24-hour job: keep tabs on what is happening on your social media platforms. Be ready to respond in a timely fashion. Don’t wait a day to answer a question; users expect a quick response.
Content should seek to inform and engage your audience and extend their relationship with your area and with PLNU. Be collaborative with your colleagues across campus; connect, link, and include them when an opportunity for partnership arises.
Treat anyone who comments and posts with consideration and kindness. Sometimes you may need to remove inappropriate content or respond to negative remarks. Never use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, or profanity; don’t ridicule, exploit, or demean persons on the basis of their age, color, creed, handicap, national origin, race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. Show proper consideration for others’ privacy and for topics that may be considered sensitive — such as politics, race, gender, and religion.
Do No Harm
Ultimately, you are solely responsible for what you post online (on behalf of PLNU or personally). You must ensure that your use of social media does not harm or otherwise injure the university, its faculty, its students, its alumni, or its employees.
Do not post confidential or proprietary information about PLNU, its students, its alumni, or its employees. Use good ethical judgment and follow university policies and federal requirements. Do not discuss a situation involving named or pictured individuals on a social media site without their permission.
Follow Best Practices in Security
Don’t allow someone else to create and manage accounts on your behalf unless you have total access to the logins, passwords, and procedures for those accounts. Change your logins and passwords periodically and do not share them with unauthorized individuals.
Use of the PLNU Logo and Brand
Do not use any versions of PLNU logos or marks on your personal online sites. Any other use of PLNU’s logo must be approved by Marketing & Creative Services. Do not use PLNU’s name to promote or endorse any product, cause, political party, or candidate.
Associates should not speak to the media on PLNU’s behalf without coordinating with the Office of Public Affairs. All media inquiries should be directed to PLNU’s Public Affairs Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or (619) 849-2298.
Social Media can be extremely useful in a crisis. In the case of a campus-wide emergency direct all posts and comments to the main PLNU social media sites (Facebook and Twitter) and/or the primary PLNU website unless other instructions are given.
All PLNU faculty, staff, and students are responsible for understanding and adhering to these Social Media Policy guidelines. Failure to comply with them may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. Please note, all state and federal laws, and PLNU systems policies apply when using social media tools whether posting as an individual or as a representative of PLNU.