Wood County Health Department Social Media Policy

Privacy policy word cloud

Healthy People of Wood County. Wood County Health Department
Social Media Policy

Wood County Health Department is committed to providing accurate and timely information to the community, policy makers, partner agencies, and other appropriate audiences.  Social media platforms which may include, but is not limited to, postings in online forums, blogs, etc. (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, health pages and blogs, media sites, etc.) are an important way to communicate with the public. Any online communication produced by Wood County Health Employees, Students or Interns must align with WCHD policies and applicable laws, including laws concerning PHI, HIPAA, common decency and information security policies established by the County. Social Media Policy is intended to guide health department staff in making decisions about communications and to define the expectations of employees to ensure appropriate use of social media electronic systems.

Wood County Health department supervisors may monitor content on each of the departmental social media sites to ensure adherence to the Social Media Policy for appropriate use, message, and branding consistent with the goals of the County and department. Violation of these standards may result in the removal of department pages from social media outlets.

  • Employees are allowed to associate themselves with the company when posting but they must clearly brand their online posts as personal and purely their own. The company should not be held liable for any repercussions the employees’ content may
  • Employees using social media are expected to be professional. Any online communication should align with Wood County Health Departments values.
  • Respect your audience. Post meaningful and respectful comments only. Do not use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, or engage in any conduct that would not be acceptable in the WCHD workplace.
  • Staff using social media are responsible for complying with applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and policies. This includes adherence to established laws and policies including, but not limited to copyright, records retention requirements, Wisconsin Public Records, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), First Amendment, privacy laws including HIPAA, common decency and information security policies established by the County.
  • It is the responsibility of all social media users to make reasonable efforts to post online only content that is accurate and up-to-date.
  • The department is encouraged to use social media tools for business reasons. Approval for use of these tools shall first be obtained by the department head or supervisor.
  • Employees shall represent themselves with integrity consistent with the employee’s duty of loyalty to the County when using social media.
  • To protect privacy, personally identifiable information shall not be included in social media content. This includes things like names, addresses, email addresses, and any other information that is considered confidential or protected under HIPAA and other confidentiality and privacy policies.
  • Pictures of Wood County business operations taken on personal cell phones or other personal devices are not allowed to be used on personal social media sites. This includes pictures of daily operations and all events or emergencies in which Wood County participates.
  • Supervisor approval must be obtained prior to posting pictures taken by agency staff on the department’s website, Facebook page, or other social media outlets. Appropriate releases must be signed by those in the photos prior to posting.  Clipart and other photos available in the public domain without copyrights can be posted as appropriate.
  • Inappropriate postings from outside users will be deleted as soon as identified.

**Some of the above guidelines were previously developed by Wood County Health Department 03/2009 and reviewed and revised most recently 7/2015.

Image from http://www.jbmediagroupllc.com/blog/social-media-policy-creation-2015/





  1. Great information for a social media policy; I do agree, though, that headings would help break it up and make it easier to read. Good work, overall!


  2. Brittney,
    Awesome. I would suggest using bold to highlight what you really want them to take away – and not bold what is meant to be explanations of the bolded text. I especially liked, points number 2, 3, 4 (HIPAA0, 8, 9 and the last bullet point. Just bold/highlight the important takeways to make it an easy read. Mic Drop!


  3. Oh, if only every county in Wisconsin had a social media policy! I feel every county supervisor should be aware of their county’s social media policy, even if they choose not to use it. I’ve worked in counties where the words “social media” weren’t spoken due to fear of technology! For the counties who embrace having proactive policies like this one, I’m sure, will find their greatest challenge is making sure each county department has consistent general social media policies for continuity. Thanks for sharing!


Thoughts, Suggestions, Kudos

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s