CFPA Social Media Guidelines

In addition to these guidelines, please refer to the guidelines for using social media at Western Washington University.

Units of the College of Fine and Performing Arts

These social media guidelines pertain to your professional interests as a faculty or staff member of the College of Fine and Performing Arts and how you represent the university, the CFPA, and your department or unit.

The current units of the CFPA are

  • Art & Art History
  • Design
  • Music
  • Theatre & Dance
  • Western Gallery

Representing the University

Be responsible legally, professionally, personally. You are personally responsible for the content you post on university-managed social media properties – from blogs and microblogs to social networks, forums and other social media platforms. It’s important to be transparent to your audience when posting on behalf of the university about work-related matters or other issues related to the university.

Always show respect. Don’t publish content containing slurs, personal insults or attacks, profanity or obscenity, and don’t engage in any conduct on a social media site that would not be acceptable in WWU workplaces or classrooms.

When maintaining or contributing to university-managed social media properties, we should follow the same standards of nondiscrimination and social conduct as outlined by Equal Opportunity office at the university. We should also expect the same of our visitors to the university’s social media outlets.

Official Western Washington University social media properties should provide contact names and email addresses, or correct website URLs that point back to the university’s Web properties. If a departmental social media platform is not listed in the WWU Social Media Index please contact the CFPA Manager of Marketing and Special Events for guidance.


Follow copyright and fair use laws to the letter.

Federal Education Records Protection Act (FERPA)

Be aware of and follow FERPA and students’ privacy, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 protecting students’ personally identifiable information in educational records. Importantly, this may require the written consent of the student. When in doubt, get a signed photo release, available from CFPA Marketing.


Protect confidential or personal information from Western Washington University and of students, faculty or staff members. Assume conversations about Western Washington University are internal and private. Ask permission prior to sharing these conversations via social media properties.

Who are we?

As an overall strategy for the CFPA, we recognize that organizing our communication by the recognized Departments and affiliated units (Western Gallery) is the most effective way to coordinate our messages. Sub-unit or program level social media accounts aren’t encouraged. The current units of the CFPA are: Art & Art History, Design, Music, Theatre & Dance, and the Western Gallery.

If you wish to maintain an area or program social media presence to communicate with existing students, Facebook groups, Canvas, or other threaded membership boards are recommended. The number of potential channels, confusion with searches, and split attention of essentially unified audiences limits the effectiveness of all platforms and recognized units, and creates the potential for conflicting information on platforms that appear official.

Who can post?

All CFPA and Department social media sites are monitored (and moderated, where appropriate) by the Manager of Marketing and Special Events to ensure the community is following the unit-developed site and comments guidelines. If you would like to discuss creating a social media account for your WWU program or sub unit, please consult with the CFPA Manager of Marketing. In general, social media presence for sub units and programs of departments is discouraged.

We recommend that a single staff or faculty member take the lead on a given social media platform. That person can enlist the assistance of 3-5 content creators. Trusted student content creators are welcome and encouraged. The Manager of Marketing and Special Events generally manages access to those platforms through an enterprise product for each platform (e.g. Tweetdeck, HooteSuite, Facebook for Business).

All admins and content creators should read and understand these guidelines, as well as the WWU Social Media Guidelines.

Have a plan

Before debuting a social media initiative, you are encouraged to develop a social media strategy that should be a part of your unit’s overall communications plan. This strategy should be developed with the input of your Department Chair and the CFPA Manager of Marketing and Special Events before releasing the social media property to the public.

Talk with your Department Chair and/or the CFPA Manager of Marketing and Special Events if you have questions about how these social media guidelines fit with your unit’s communications plan, or if you have questions about the university-wide policies referenced here.

A social media strategy first involves an assessment of your

  1. communication goals and objectives
  2. audience needs and interests
  3. whether a given social media technology is an appropriate channel to meet those three essential needs
  4. maintenance and content creation resources


If your unit does not have an overall communications plan with which you can align your social media strategy, or if you need help conducting an assessment or developing your social media strategy, contact your Department Chair and/or the CFPA Manager of Marketing and Special Events.

Based on that evaluation, if your unit decides to pursue using a social media platform, the strategy you create should reflect five key areas

  • Listening: Find and monitor the conversations already taking place in the social media sphere about the university, your unit and your subject of interest.
  • Influencing: Identify and follow key influencers in your target subject of interest and learn what they find valuable in the social media realm, especially among students and faculty.
  • Engaging: Develop creative ways to provide value to your audiences through unique storytelling, events, and authentic contributions to the field in the voice of your area.
  • Converting: Persuade your audiences to act on behalf of the university and your unit, whether it’s for recruitment, event attendance, donating, or sharing influence or other needed resources.
  • Measuring: Set benchmarks for success before you begin, and revisit them to understand your outcomes. What was your most engaging content and why?

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