Welcome! You’ve come to the right place to get connected with Virginia Commonwealth University. We’ve catalogued the university’s social media sites and organized them by area. Whether you want to become Facebook friends with fellow students in your academic program, watch YouTube videos about the latest advancements at the VCU Medical Center or network with alumni on LinkedIn, you can begin here.

If you manage a VCU-affiliated social media account or are thinking of starting one, here is information on social media guidelines and our approval form to register your accounts.

We also invite you to join our VCU Social Media Administrators Group. This group meets quarterly to explore best practices and key issues facing communication through social channels. Please email us at socialmedia@vcu.edu if you would like to receive communication about upcoming meetings.

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VCU social media guidelines

Virginia Commonwealth University encourages the development of new social media networks. Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube are wonderful ways to stay connected to VCU students and alumni.

The purpose of the VCU social media guidelines is to ensure proper portrayal, promotion and protection of the institution. These guidelines apply to all VCU affiliated social media accounts.

Members of the VCU community using social media are subject to the VCU Code of Conduct and/or the VCU Student Code of Conduct. Employees are also subject to the Commonwealth of Virginia state employee policy 1.75: Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media, Commonwealth of Virginia state employee policy 1.6: Standards of Conduct, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

Account approval

Your VCU-affiliated social media accounts are authorized through VCU University Relations. Accounts affiliated with VCU are required to:

  • Obtain authorization through VCU University Relations by submitting a VCU social media account approval form.
  • Any sites or pages existing without prior authorization will be subject to review when discovered and may be amended or removed.
  • Renew the social media account approval form whenever administrative or account changes occur. If an assigned community administrator of a VCU account leaves the university or no longer wishes to be a community administrator, it is the responsibility of the academic or administrative department to designate another VCU employee to be an administrator on the account and remove the former employee’s administrative permissions to the site.
  • Use an official VCU email account. This can be an email for an employee, department, division or program recognized by the university.
  • Assign at least two designated community administrators, one of whom should be a full-time faculty/staff member, for your social media account. Community administrators must be aware of this policy’s requirements, and adhere to them. Administrative specifications are as follows:

    • Community administrators engage in communications that are acceptable in the VCU workplace and respect copyrights and disclosures. Proprietary financial, intellectual property, patient care or similar sensitive or private content may not be revealed.
    • Community administrators are responsible for using good judgment when posting shared material and content. If it is not clearly obvious that the material was intended for public sharing on social media sites, it is the responsibility of the administrator to gain the expressed consent of all involved parties for the right to distribute or publish recordings, photos, images, video, text slideshow presentations, artwork and advertisements whether those rights are purchased or obtained without compensation.
    • Community administrators are responsible for maintaining an accurate, active and up-to-date social media presence.
    • Community administrators are responsible for constantly monitoring postings and comments to social media sites, and for deleting postings that do not adhere to our policies.
    • Community administrators must have an understanding of the state record management requirements of social media and when needed, retain proper records of communication to their social networking sites.
  • Provide links to your social media accounts on your website and from your social media sites back to your website.

Disclaimer

Where appropriate, include a social media disclaimer, or a link to the disclaimer on the VCU social media website, somewhere on your social media account, provided the site allows comments or posts by others. The content of the social media disclaimer is as follows:

This is a page designed to promote Virginia Commonwealth University. VCU encourages users to post comments, photos, videos and links that are respectful and meaningful on the VCU wall and within the comment threads of VCU content. Postings and comments that include sensitive data, confidential information, profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material are not appropriate and, in extreme situations, may be removed from this page.

You are fully responsible for the content that you share. Postings or comments made by individuals on this page do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of VCU or any of the university’s divisions. This page is not to be used for solicitation of sales and/or the promotion of any goods and/or services. We will take steps to block users who violate these posting standards.

Branding requirements

All university, college, school, department and unit social media channels should adhere to the VCU brand standards. This ensures that university-related accounts represent VCU appropriately on third-party social platforms and also facilitates your audience’s immediate connection of you to the university.

VCU’s social media branding requirements are:

  • All policies, procedures, and guidelines regarding university trademarks, names and symbols are followed for the social networking sites
  • Logo usage must be approved by VCU University Relations; additional requirements are listed on the VCU’s brand standards website
  • Review and follow the social media section in the VCU brand standards guidelines

Profile pictures

Two VCU-themed templates are available for creating avatars, or profile pictures, on unit-level Facebook and Twitter accounts. The VCU brand mark is restricted to primary university accounts; do not use the VCU brand mark as a graphical representation on school, office, department, division, etc., social media pages, unless it appears in a photo.

When possible, use images unique and relevant to your audience within these templates. Photos are preferred over text inside the templates because of sizing limitations in a small format. A bank of pre-formatted general VCU photos also are available for download on the VCU Identity site for any social media use, such as cover photos, profile pictures, etc. To access the downloads, visit identity.vcu.edu/downloads.

For an optimal look, we recommend that you use the correct specs for art on all social media sites.

For questions concerning use of the VCU brand on social media sites or to submit a design to the University Communications Review Committee, please call (804) 828-1463 or email identity@vcu.edu.

Twitter nomenclature guidelines

Use VCU in the @username and your official department, school or organization name, if possible, in the 20-character limit, as your “name” (personal identifier). Don’t use VCU alone.

For example:

  • @ugradVCU — VCU Undergraduate Admissions
  • @VCUTMLibrary — VCU Tomkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences
  • @StudyAbroadVCU — VCU Education Abroad

If you’re on or near VCU’s Richmond campus, use Virginia Commonwealth University as your location. Don’t use Monroe Park Campus or MCV Campus.

Facebook nomenclature guidelines

Use VCU with the official name of your college, school, department or organization.

Make sure to use the “company, organization or institution” category when creating your Facebook page. The right category will help with your search engine optimization.

Use your profile name to create a custom URL for your Facebook page to use in communications and on marketing materials.

Emergency and crisis communication

Emergency and crisis communications should always originate through VCU Police, VCU News or the main VCU social media accounts. Never share information that has not been verified through these channels.

Rumors in media about VCU

Do not share or retweet unsubstantiated rumors or content from other sources about university personnel, events or internal business. Those announcements will come from the university.

Threats of violence or inappropriate postings on social media pages

If a threat is known, or suspected to be an emergency situation, call VCU Police immediately at (804) 828-1234 to report the situation. If a credible threat is made or suspected against an individual or group, it shall be documented, removed and reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Upon discovery of any threats, harassment or personal information trolling, please report it quickly to a page admin. If a threat appears to be urgent, you are encouraged to report this to VCU Police. If it appears to involve only VCU employees and/or students, then consult the VCU Threat Assessment Team information available at threat.vcu.edu. All emergencies are to be reported to VCU Police immediately at (804) 828-1234.

If the situation does not seem to be a threat, then consult with the site administrator and supervisor in your area to determine whether or not to remove the content or to reply with an invitation to discuss the matter offline with the posting individual.