Online Communication Guidelines

The following guidelines are intended for all units, members, and officers participating in any internet based social media or communication that is associated with and/or endorsed by the APS.

If your unit is interested in participating in social media on behalf of APS, please email

1. Protect confidential and proprietary information. Do not disclose or use confidential or proprietary APS information or that of any other person or company in any online social computing platform. Members and staff should not be cited or referenced without their permission.

2. Respect copyright and privacy laws. It is critical you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use of copyrighted material, including APS’s own copyright and trademarks. Always properly cite your sources and post only items that are covered by fair use or published under Creative Commons. Otherwise, obtain record of permission from the owner of works. Please note: attribution does not always protect you from copyright infringement.

3. Adhere to APS policies. Do not post material that is unlawful, abusive, defamatory, invasive of another’s privacy, or obscene to a reasonable person. Do not endorse political candidates, parties, or statements that could endanger APS’s non-profit status. Additionally, always refer to APS’s stance on controversial topics by reviewing our published statements.

4. Do not share information or announcements related to unconfirmed programming. If you are unsure about any event, promotion, deadline, etc., contact the appropriate department for confirmation before sharing.

5. Always follow APS brand standards for all APS endorsed social accounts. Any blog, Twitter account, Facebook page, YouTube channel, etc. that is produced or supported by APS, will follow all APS brand standards, including color schemes, fonts and logo usage. Every online vehicle will feature the APS logo prominently. Always ensure the essence of APS’s messages remains true to our current priorities and mission, no matter what media is used. Using the APS Logo

6. Moderate actively. The social media team will work with each unit to develop a moderation plan on APS endorsed pages. If the content is positive or negative and in context to the conversation, then the content will not be removed, regardless of whether it is favorable or unfavorable to the APS. However, spam, unlawful, abusive, defamatory, invasive, or obscene comments will be deleted.

7. Respect your audience. Remember, APS is a global organization whose members reflect a diverse set of customs, values and points of view. Be respectful. This includes not only the obvious (don’t use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, etc.), but also proper consideration for topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory.

8. Add value. Social media will only be beneficial if you add value to your followers, readers, fans and users. There are millions of contributors out there. Social communication from APS should help members, non-members, students, partners, etc. It should be thought-provoking and build a sense of community. If it helps people improve knowledge or skills, build their business or career, do their job, solve problems, or better understand APS—then it’s adding value.

9. Don’t pick fights. Avoid unnecessary or unproductive arguments. When false or misleading comments are made, you may publicly correct the misinformed, but always do so with respect, stick to the facts, and identify your affiliation. When accusatory questions arise pertaining to APS’s stance on issues, always refer to the established statements as listed on the APS website. When in doubt, consult the APS social media team.

10. Be responsible and use your best judgment. Engage in social media conversations the right way. Remember there are always consequences to what you publish. If you aren’t an authority on a subject, don’t pretend to be. Don’t speak on behalf of APS if you aren’t giving an official statement from APS. If you’re about to publish something that gives you even the slightest bit of concern, consult your unit officers or the APS social media team. Ultimately, you have sole responsibility for what you post or publish in any form of online social media, so use your head!