Lake of Bays updates its social media policy
Lake of Bays Council agreed to update its social media policy in the January 9, 2024, meeting.
Based on a current review, Council is updating the policy to better align with the current needs of the Township and users that are engaging with it.
The last policy was established in 2013, which is outdated given rapid and ongoing changes with technology. The Township has also hired a Communications and Digital Specialist to represent their presence online since then.
According to the staff report, the new policy will include Township practices, creation guidelines, oversight, and maintenance.
The report adds, “Staff are recommending the policy be updated to better protect the Township’s reputation and to ensure consistency and professionalism with how the Township communicates with the public via social media.”
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are now a primary method of engaging with the community and otherwise, with news and other real-time information. Therefore, clear standards and practices are essential for content and interactions.
The report indicates that expectations include “a respectful environment on all municipal social media accounts that will help ensure consistency, accountability, and transparency.”
It continues that the policy provides a clear guideline for both Township employees and Council members regarding social media engagement and the image they represent.
It advised the importance of providing clarity for the public as well. It said, “It is important that the public understands there are clearly defined rules for engagement from the Township’s Corporate social media pages to help support an enjoyable experience for all users.”
Mayor, Terry Glover, expressed concern to Council members about their use on social media. He said, “Maybe some of you might be corrected if you cross the line. So, we’re trying to avoid that. We’re trying to avoid any kind of an embarrassment for the Township as well as yourselves.”
He added that Covid represented a challenging time for social media users. He said, “During Covid we saw a lot of heightened engagement – let’s call it that – and it’s difficult not to push that button but I just wanted you all to be aware of it.”
More information about the Township’s policy is available on their website.