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Media Policy

1.0 Summary

Social media – such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and so on – are important channels of communication and also archiving. For TASA, one of our key goals is to promote and celebrate Australian sociology, and properly utilising social media are crucial in continuing to achieve this goal. Australian research excellence measures also increasingly make use of social media analytics such as ‘Altmetrics’ to reveal the reach and impact of research. Social media can be used to connect with our own members (internal comms), extend our reach to future members (recruitment), share the work of our members (showcase), and raise the profile sociology as a discipline to a much wider public (disciplinary advocacy). These functions align with our broader communications objectives.

This document maps out our social media strategy and guidelines for implementing this strategy.

2.0 Background

TASA currently has an active and wide-reaching social media presence. Our main social media channel is Twitter. At the time of writing (5/11/18) our @AustSoc account has 3385 followers, and more than 25,000 tweets. Our conference hashtags (eg #TASA2016, #TASA2017) are very active, and create a ‘backchannel’ of conference chatter, networking, and also serve to disseminate what happens in our conference beyond its boundaries. For instance, #TASA2016 had almost 4000 posts with 564 unique contributors. Almost all of our current Exec use Twitter. We also have an Association-level account for postgraduates (@tasapostgrads), our journals, and many of our Thematic Groups also have separate accounts. We also have a Facebook page ( that we also use for live video streaming at the conference, alongside a YouTube channel (, and a SoundCloud account ( that are used as archives of audio and video recordings.

3.0 Guidelines – Association Level, @AustSoc

  1. Access – The @AustSoc account is managed by the Executive Officer, with access also given to the Public Sociology (previously Public Engagement) Portfolio Leader and other Exec as determined by the Exec. During the annual conference, the Chair and/or delegate of the LOC will also be given access to tweet about the conference and post to the Facebook page.
  2. Scope – Tweets should focus on our primary goal of promoting and celebrating Australian sociology, especially the work of TASA members, and drawing attention to high-impact activity by our members. There should be three main ‘types’ of tweets:
    1. Showcasing – Linking to member publications, media appearances, etc.
    2. Promoting TASA Activities – Calls for papers, advertising seminars sponsored by TASA, drawing attention to TG activity (RTs or quote-tweets of TG tweets), advertising scholarships, reminding people of deadlines, etc.
    3. Job advertisements – members can ask use to promote job advertisements for free. Non-members are asked to pay for full coverage (including coverage in the newsletter and regular tweeting/RTing) we will tweet all job advertisements relevant to our members given their importance for our large number of postgraduate members and members looking for work.
  3. Tone – Tweets should be professional in tone, and not appear to take side in potentially contentious issues. This includes RTs as these can be interpreted as an endorsement and do amplify the reach of the original tweet. Where there is uncertainty around a particular post or how to respond to a post, the EO can consult with the relevant Exec for input and advice.
    1. Elections – During TASA Exec election time, tweets related to the election should be limited to encouraging members to vote, rather than elevating or amplifying individual members as this could be seen as favouritism.
  4. Frequency and Timing – Importantly, quantity is not everything. While tweets should be regular, with at least a tweet every two to three days, it’s important not to post or RT too frequently, as this can dilute the impact of individual tweets and split attention. At worst, too many tweets might get us muted or unfollowed. Tweets should be posted or scheduled for optimum times, spread out to avoid the appearance of intense activity in limited bursts.
    1. Repetition of tweets should be kept to a minimum, with two to three ‘ICYMI’ (In Case You Missed It) re-posts maximum, spread over several days or weeks. We don’t want to ‘spam’ our regular followers with constant re-posts.
    2. Not all tweets we are tagged in need to be RT’d.
  5. Structure and Format – Wherever possible, tweets should tag members, include a link to more information, and/or include some kind of visual element – a photo or a screenshot of a flyer, for instance.

4.0 Guidelines – Thematic Group Level

  1. Scope – The TASA Exec encourages all Thematic Groups to maintain a social media presence, with Twitter being the social media platform of choice, but this is an optional commitment.
  2. Responsibility – Thematic Group Convenors (TGCs) are responsible for managing their group’s social media accounts, and adhering to these guidelines.
  3. Access – To ensure continuity between TGCs and to avoid accounts being lost over time, the login details for Thematic Group Twitter accounts are to be managed by the TASA Executive Officer ( Please consult the EO if you wish to change the password for your account or retrieve it. We also strongly recommend that a generic account be created to manage login details (via for instance) so that login details for these accounts can be passed on to new TGCs when transitions occur. Tying a social media account to a personal email address makes it difficult to pass on to new TGCs.
  4. Activity – Accounts should be relatively active, without more than a few weeks passing between tweets or re-tweets (RTs). Ideally, tweets will draw attention to the work of members of the TG, advertise upcoming TG events, and potentially spark conversation around topics of interest to TGs, by posing an open-ended question or asking for responses to an idea or article.
  5. Tone – Tweets should be professional in tone, remembering that by proxy the TG accounts also represent TASA more broadly. These accounts should be separate from personal accounts for individuals.
  6. Style – Over time, we are hoping to develop some stylistic consistency across our TG accounts with profile pictures and banners that capture something about the group, but also reference a common unifying TASA logo or scheme.
  7. Advice – The Public Sociology Portfolio Leader can provide guidance and feedback on initial setup and accessing Twitter’s analytics functions to see how effective your tweets are in engaging your followers.
Guidelines for TASA Twitter communications Pdf

Guidelines for tweeting at TASA events

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Archived Policies
Archived Policies
This document sets out policies that guide the association’s media activities.

The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) was established in 1963 as the professional association for sociology in Australia. TASA members include sociologists and social scientists consisting of academics, postgraduate and undergraduate students, public servants, consultants and social researchers.

TASA aims to:
. further sociology in Australia
. provide a network for sociologists in Australia
. further links with other sociological associations
. address issues of relevance to Australian sociologists.

To fulfil our mission we use various forms of media to communicate with members and the general public. We are keen to encourage members to promote TASA’s aims through various media outlets (eg. newspapers, radio, television and online media etc). While there are many opportunities for us, there are sometimes risks in ‘going public’ and these guidelines will help ensure that when we enter the public space we do so with care for TASA’s reputation.

The main spokesperson for TASA is the President. When appropriate, s/he delegates to other members of the executive or members of the Association. For expert comment media are referred to the Directory of Research Expertise or to relevant members.

TASA’s approach to media activities is guided by these principles:

. Raising public awareness generally about sociology and sociological perspectives;
. Promoting TASA members’ research;
. Promoting and marketing TASA.

General media guidelines:

. Blogs, microblogs and other personal websites which do not identify the author as a TASA member, do not discuss TASA, and are purely personal would fall outside this guidance
. When using social media (including websites, Facebook, Twitter and so on) and you identify that you are a member of TASA it is important to note that the views expressed are yours alone and do not represent the views of the TASA
. TASA thematic groups should ensure that the views expressed are clearly identified as those of individuals and not of TASA
. If you have identified yourself as a member of TASA it is important that the information you disclose does not bring TASA into disrepute.

Issue management:
If feedback is received it shall be responded to in the following manner:

. If appropriate a direct comment may be made to the follower with a suitable response.
. If the feedback is offensive or profane it shall be ignored, and no direct response made.
. The EO and Digital Media rep shall be informed of any negative feedback immediately and preferably before any response is made.
. A regular report shall be made of any positive or negative feedback to the executive so that areas for future development or of community interest can be recorded.

Approvals and delegations:
. The Digital Media Portfolio Leader convenes a digital media working group to assist with the management and oversight of digital media.
. The executive officer maintains the website, uploads content, manages the YouTube channel, compiles the Members’ Newsletter and tweets within the agreed media and communications strategy.
. Final Nexus copy is uploaded once approved by editors
. Use of the TASA logo must be approved – a register of approvals should be maintained and reviewed on an annual basis
. The logo shall not be modified without prior approval

The TASA brand and logo
. Use of the TASA logo must be approved – a register of approvals should be maintained and reviewed on an annual basis
. The logo shall not be modified without prior approval

Youtube and audio / visual media
. Prior to recording or filming participants should be informed that the event will be recorded or filmed and provided with the opportunity not to be included.
. Release forms should be completed for video/ photographs

Youtube and audio / visual media
. Prior to recording or filming participants should be informed that the event will be recorded or filmed and provided with the opportunity not to be included.
. Release forms should be completed for video/ photographs – see link

Guidelines for blogging
These guidelines apply to TASA owned blogs

. We will strive to have open and honest dialogues with our readers.
. We will correct inaccurate or misleading postings in a timely manner. We will not delete posts unless they violate our policies. Most changes will be made by adding to posts and we will mark any additions clearly.
. We will disclose conflicts of interest.
. We will provide links to relevant material available on other blogs and Web sites. We will disclose any sources fully through credits, links and trackbacks unless the source has requested anonymity.
. We understand that respect goes both ways — we will use good judgment in our posts and respond to you in a respectful manner. In return, we ask the same of you.
. We trust you will be mindful of the information you share on our blogs — any personally identifiable information you share on a blog can be seen by anyone with access to the blog.
. We will respect intellectual property rights.

Kate Huppatz (L) and Steve Matthewman (R) congratulating Michelle Peterie on being the 2018 JoS Best Paper Award winner for Docility and Desert: government discourses of compassion in Australia’s asylum seeker debate

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