Quickly emerging as an important way for an organization to interact with members and the public, and vice versa, social networking offers an opportunity for outreach, information sharing and interaction. The KBA/KBF supports the use of social networking to help increase member engagement and access to information. The following policy applies to all KBA/KBF staff and board members and KBA/KBF Sections, Committees and volunteers. "Community” refers to all KBA membership. "Group” refers to a section, committee or board.
File Sharing. Section presidents and Committee chairs are responsible for uploading files/documents to group pages. Staff liaisons can assist with file sharing uploads, and can also offer live document editing to documents being actively drafted by the group (please contact liaison to set up conference call and online editing functions).
Blogs. Section presidents and Committee chairs ultimately decide content for group blogs. Submissions should be sent to leadership for approval. Individual KBA members are free to create and maintain their own professional, KBA-hosted blogs, but are subject to the same guidelines for use as noted here.
Forums. Any member of a group may post to that group’s forum. Staff liaisons moderate forums. If a questionable post (one in violation of one or more of the guidelines below) appears on a forum, the group’s staff liaison will bring the post to the attention of leadership for review and further action. Actions may include editing or removal.
Email communications to a group should be submitted to the Section president or Committee chair for review and issue.
All messages that are sent to the membership at large are sent via the KBA Weekly. The KBA Weekly is issued every Tuesday, usually in the afternoon. The deadline to submit content for the upcoming KBA Weekly is the Friday before the weekly is emailed. KBA Alerts and KBA Reminders are for BOG/BOT and staff use only.
Staff liaisons may create events for the website and/or group pages as necessary, whether for a meeting or featured event. Section meetings will be featured on Group pages only, whereas Committee meeting may be shown on both the Community and Group calendars due to their nature and frequency.
Non-KBA/KBF events may be featured in the KBA Weekly or as KBA News. A request to feature such an event should be submitted in writing to Meg Wickham, Director of Member and Communications Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (785) 234-5696 by the Friday-before deadline.
Sections and Committees may engage in social media (KBA’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn platforms) by contacting Meg Wickham, Director of Member and Communications Services, at email@example.com or at (785) 234-5696.
Guidelines for Social Networking
In creating content for the web – even informal content like a question posted to a KBA forum – you are representing yourself as a professional, the profession of law and perhaps the KBA. You must use sound judgment at all times – even those times when using unsound judgment would give a much more satisfying response!
- Be responsible. You are responsible for the material(s) you post. Consider the content; what you publish will be widely accessible for sometime, and in some cases, indefinitely. All statements must be true in both content and intent. Do not post private information about yourself or others without permission.
- Be upfront, identify yourself. Use your real name, and, if relevant, your role or interest in the topic discussed. When appropriate, make it clear you are speaking for yourself and not on the KBA’s or KBF’s behalf. No one but the elected president of the KBA or that of the KBF may speak for the organization.
- Be civil and respectful. It is OK to disagree with others, but do not use defamatory, libelous or damaging innuendo; abusive, threatening, offensive, obscene, explicit or racist language; or post illegal material.
- Be quick to correct an error. If you make a mistake, admit it and quickly provide the correct information. If appropriate, modify an earlier post to make it clear that you have corrected an error.
- Keep it relevant/add value. Write about what you know. Information can add value if it contributes to the legal community’s knowledge or skills, improves the legal system or public understanding of the legal system, or builds a sense of community.
- Follow copyright and fair use laws. Always give people credit for their work. Make sure you have the right to use material with attribution before publishing. It is good practice to link others’ work rather than reproducing it on your site. When in doubt as to the proprietary nature of material, don’t use it. Recognize the potential and legal consequences of any failure to follow applicable laws governing the use of others’ material.
- Protect proprietary and client information. Do not discuss or misuse proprietary or confidential information, and follow all professional and ethical rules governing the disclosure of information shared with you by clients.
- Avoid politics. Political endorsements or advocacy positions should be avoided unless they reflect official policy. Only the president of the KBA or of the KBF may speak for the organization.
- Comply with Kansas rules governing lawyer conduct. Comply with all legal restrictions and obligations governing professional conduct, particularly those regulating communication and advertising, when posting content to any social network.
- Do not violate antitrust laws. Antitrust laws prohibit postings that encourage or facilitate agreements between members of different firms concerning the following, as they pertain to legal services: prices, discounts, or terms or conditions of sale; salaries; profits, profit margins or cost data; market shares, sales territories or markets; allocation of customers or suppliers; or any other term or condition related to competition.
- Avoid blatant marketing. Blatant marketing or advertising by individuals is inconsistent with the purposes of general dialogue and information exchange and is not permitted. If you wish to advertise in one of the KBA/KBF’s media channels, please contact Meg Wickam, Director of Member and Communications Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (785) 234-5696 for rates and spots. Design services are also available. Staff, boards and official groups of the KBA/KBF may use media channels to promote KBA/KBF programs and services.
Enforcing these guidelines
The KBA/KBF reserves the right to monitor these sites and will take appropriate action to enforce these guidelines.