The Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Music Therapy Association (MARAMTA) recognizes the value of the internet in shaping public thinking about our organization and the services we offer to the community. We encourage leadership and committee members to use any tool available to increase membership, communicate with members and potential members, and increase positive exposure for the region. To that end, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and others should be embraced and used in accordance with the guidelines set by MARAMTA.
The following social media guidelines are for any internet-based, official MARAMTA or otherwise related online element.
MARAMTA is committed to supporting honest, transparent, and knowledgeable dialogue on the internet through the use of our website and social media.
I. MARAMTA Social Media Values
MARAMTA’s vision is to serve as a valuable resource for it’s membership. The following values provide the framework from which we use each online platform as a means of interacting with membership and greater community. Our online presence should reflect each of these values.
- Approachability: Communication should be open, helpful, and friendly. Emphasis should be given to encouraging dialogue and feedback from the community. Tone should be professional, but conversational in nature.
- Attentiveness: Questions and feedback should be responded to in a timely manner. Administrators should strive to direct community members to available resources whenever possible.
- Community: Social media platforms should support open dialogue and serve as a point of connection for community members.
- Diversity: The region recognizes that our community is composed of a diverse range of perspectives, programs, and philosophical orientations. Our platforms should reflect this diversity by encouraging a wide range of topics, perspectives, and opinions to thrive on our platforms.
- Quality: The MARAMTA should serve as a valuable and quality resource to its membership. All communications should be factual, professional, and relevant to the community.
- Solidarity: The MARAMTA serves as a direct representation of its membership. Social media should focus on providing content that is relevant to its membership and accurately reflects membership needs and interests.
When posting information to our social networks, one should carefully consider the following questions:
- Does this post align with our core values, code of ethics, and established code of conduct?
- Does this post serve a clearly defined purpose that serves the region in a meaningful way?
- Does this post reflect the region’s standards for professionalism?
II. Social Media Roles
The MARAMTA maintains several social media accounts, including a public Facebook page, a private Facebook group, and accounts on Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram. A complete listing of all social media account information, approved administrators, and access levels will be kept and maintained by the Public Relations Chair.
All official social media accounts are managed by the MARAMTA Public Relations Committee. The Public Relations Committee is responsible for the security of passwords and the maintenance of these accounts. The Public Relations Committee withholds the right to grant access to outside committee members to administrate platforms and post content.
Administrative access to any platform must be approved by the Public Relations Chair.
III. Social Media Content
The MARAMTA takes great pride in crafting content that is relevant and meaningful to it’s membership. We believe that social media platforms can be effective tools to help foster community, share resources, and promote professional discourse. The following items represent the type of content that the region will regularly post about on its online platforms.
- Resources for continuing education and professional development
- Information related to conferences and upcoming events throughout the region
- Job openings
- News, updates, and articles from the region’s website.
- Spotlight posts on regional members, business, or organizations
- News or research articles about music therapy or related disciplines
- Updates regarding relevant legislation or government relations efforts for music therapy
- Cross-posted content shared by AMTA, CBMT, Regional and State music therapy associations
- Important announcements
The region will also do its best to respond to any questions or feedback posed by membership in a timely and helpful manner.
The items listed above can be posted by any administrator without prior approval from the Public Relations Chair. There are several items that may require approval prior to posting. These items include:
- Content that is written by a music therapy student that would be shared on behalf of the region
- Content that may be controversial in nature and require a follow up plan for responding to feedback
If there is any doubt or questions about items that may be posted on any social media account, the administrator should seek input from the Public Relations Chair.
IV. Social Media Monitoring
All social media accounts will be closely monitored by the Public Relations Chair and designated administrator. Content that violates the social media code of conduct, which includes spam, advertising, offensive and harmful statements, purposefully inflammatory language, or foul language should be reported to the Public Relations Chair and removed immediately. The Public Relations Chair will privately respond to the individual who posted the reported content and provide them with a copy of the social code of conduct. Individuals who have been reported three or more times will be blocked from the platform.
V. Responding to Negative Comments
It is important to recognize that diversity within a community is a healthy and natural construct. Community members may disagree with the region or one another, and use social media to voice their criticism. While these conversations can be uncomfortable, it is important that these platforms be a place for open discourse. Therefore, administrators should not remove negative comments unless they directly violate the social media code of conduct.
Administrators should always respond to criticism or feedback in a way that is positive and helpful. They should avoid expressing personal opinions or engaging in debate and instead focus on providing resources that may be helpful in the situation.
If administrators feel unsure of how to respond to a specific situation that comes up online, they should connect with the Public Relations Chair for assistance.
VI. Responding to Positive and Neutral Comments
Administrators should be present and responsive on their social media platforms. Comments and questions should be addressed in a timely and helpful manner. It is important that all administrators be familiar with the different ways a member of the community may use the platform so they are prepared to respond accordingly.
Administrators should check accounts at least once a day to stay on top of communications with membership.
VII. Privacy and Permissions
Administrators should refrain from sharing personal information about its membership without direct permission from the individual(s) in question. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Photos or videos where the individuals are clearly identifiable
- Personal contact information
- Full names of individuals
Permission should be obtained in writing either via email, text, or signed document. At certain events, blanket permission statements may be used that would cover the use of any media footage obtained during the event.
Regarding the use of client information: Certain articles may contain information or media footage of music therapy clients and services. In order for the region to use these items online, the administrator must ensure that a media release has been signed and is being kept on file. Community members submitting content for the website or social media platforms that contain client information (including media), must show proof that they have obtained a media release prior to the content being posted.
VIII. Copyright and Attribution
- For content created and shared by the MARAMTA: The MARAMTA will give proper attribution and appropriately cite all sources for any external content that is shared on social media platforms. The region or content author must have appropriate permission to share any media items, including photographs or video footage to the website or social media platforms.
- Acceptable use of MARAMTA content: Community members are encouraged to share any articles, resources, or posts made by the region. The region should be given proper attribution for any content that is shared.