Public Relations Policy

Public Relations Policy

Purpose:

The Griggs County Public Library has developed a public relations policy to ensure that the public receives consistent and accurate information regarding library policies, procedures, programs, resources, and services.  The purpose of this policy is also to ensure uniformity and continuity of messages, and that the best possible image of the Library is presented to the public. 

Goals:

The goals of the Griggs County Public Library’s public relations program are:

  • To promote community awareness of library resources and services;
  • To stimulate public interest in and usage of the library;
  • To develop public understanding and support of the library and its role within the community

Responsibility:

  1. In order to provide the most current and consistent information about the library, all contact with news media will be carried out through the Library Director or Board of Directors President. At times, they may refer the media to specific staff or board members. The Library Board President is the spokesperson for the Library Board of Directors. All inquiries from reporters or other media persons should be reported immediately to the Director.
  2. The Griggs County Public Library Director shall have the responsibility for coordinating public relations and public information activities. All publicity about the Griggs County Public Library shall originate within the Library.  
  3. In an emergency situation, the Library Director is responsible for all official statements to the public and media; in the absence of the director, statements will be made by his/her designee who has been placed in charge of the library. In the event that the library has to close due to an emergency, the individual in charge will notify the Board of Directors President and the media.
  4. Newsletters, brochures, press releases, and other promotional materials can be developed by any staff member and shall receive the approval of the Library Director prior to distribution.

Traditional Media and Promotional Materials

Local media will be utilized to keep the community aware of and informed about the resources and services of the Library.  Information on these resources and services will be sent in a traditional and/or online format, including but not limited to newspapers, radio stations, and regular mailings.  Press releases and promotional materials must be professional, accurate, and provide a positive imagery of the Library.

Social Media

“Social media” is defined as forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.  Library-sponsored media accounts are to be used to educate and inform the public of library programs, resources, services, and to engage with the community.  Social media sites have their own terms of service, privacy, acceptable behavior, and stated consequences for violating those terms of service.  These rules, federal and state laws, and the following guidelines established by the Library, must be followed.  These sites serve as a limited public forum for library users to discuss the library, literature, and library-related issues and to ask the library questions and provide customer feedback.

The Library reserves the right to monitor content on all of its social media sites and to remove messages or posting containing the following:

  • Comments containing hate, vulgar, obscene or libelous language.
  • Attacks on any ethnic, racial, economic, political or religious groups.
  • Endorsements of specific brand name products or services for advertising or marketing purposes, including political endorsements or advertisements.
  • Copy right violations.
  • Off topic comments.
  • Duplicated posts from the same individual.
  • Spam.

Only employees designated and authorized by the Library Director can post, delete, edit or otherwise modify content on library sponsored social media. Any such employee with authorization to add or modify social media content is required to follow these general guidelines:

  • Make sure all social media postings are accurate, without grammatical errors or factual misrepresentations.
  • Maintain privacy, confidentiality, and obtain permission to use another individual’s or organization’s content. If you are unsure whether or not to disclose any information, refrain from posting it.
  • Find ways to engage patrons, including the use of adding content that supports the Library’s mission.
  • Make sure all postings provide a positive reflection of the Library; all posts should be constructive and beneficial.

The library recommends against posting personal information to any social media platforms and is not responsible for personal information patrons post about themselves.

Permanent Page Visitor Blocks

When impermissible comments are posted, the library will follow these warning steps:

  • Warning 1: Staff removes the comment from the social media page immediately and privately (if possible) contacts the person who posted it.
  • Warning 2: Permits new posts from page visitors who have posted impermissible comments once, unless the new posts are also impermissible (and in such case are removed from the site).
  • Warning 3: The staff permanently blocks a page visitor who posts impermissible comments a third time.
  • Retains copies of all deleted inappropriate comments for a period of at least three (3) years to comply with the Open Public records Act (OPRA) document retention requirements.
  • In the case of spam and/or commercial advertisements, the library will immediately block the user from posting again.
  • Loss of posting privileges may be appealed to the Library Board of Directors.

Photography/Film

All photographers and videographers must seek permission from the Library Director before taking photos or filming at the library. Official identification must be shown. Unattended children may not have their pictures taken.

Public Records Requests

Requests from the media for public records should be handled promptly and be consistent with other Griggs County Public Library policies. All public record requests should be forwarded to the Library Director. When there are questions about whether the information requested can be released, the Library Director will consult with the library’s attorney.

Personal Opinion

When speaking to the public or the media about the Library, library Directors and designated staff should be careful to define when their remarks represent personal opinion. It should be clearly stated and understood that they do not represent the library at that time.

Employee Right to Engage

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) guarantees the right of employees to engage in, or refuse to engage in, certain protected concerted activity. These rights include, but are not limited to, the right of employees to discuss wages and benefits and other terms and conditions of employment with co-workers, management or a union or to take action with one or more co-workers to improve working conditions. The NLRA also protects the right of employees to refuse or refrain from participating in such discussions. Nothing in this policy is intended to restrict employee rights to engage in protected concerted activities, including discussions regarding wages and benefits or other terms or conditions of employment, or to otherwise discourage employees from seeking to improve their working conditions as guaranteed by the NLRA.

Approved by Board of Directors on 1/7/2021

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