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Connecting federal employees, scientists, educators, and the public with their wilderness heritage

Social Media Strategy

Wilderness Connect maintains two social media channels for public consumption: Facebook and Twitter. The following social media strategy governs these channels:

Mission Statement

The wilderness agencies and the University of Montana are committed to providing outstanding service through excellent and accurate information that builds connections with all public groups as well as the practitioners and partners committed to excellence in wilderness stewardship.

Purpose

The wilderness agencies and the University of Montana will use social media as a way to foster meaningful connections to wilderness using today's widely-accepted technology. The hope for social media is to achieve informed and educational outreach to our audience.

Goals

The specific outcome is to create an informative online medium that showcases wilderness and its working community in a variety of positive ways to traditional and non-traditional publics. It will further improve public awareness of wilderness and welcome public feedback regarding programs, projects, experiences, and issues. In addition, the Wilderness Connect partnership encourages work to be completed by student staff. Through implementing these policies it is understood that students are learning to execute responsible communication as a public servant, as part of an education goal that both partners support. These policies serve to inform the training process for that result.

Audience

We expect to reach a diverse cross section of the public using various social media channels, but specifically look to reach those who are curious about wilderness, whether to visit or learn. In addition, we wish to serve the practitioner and partner who use social media to stay informed of emerging wilderness issues as a way to improve their professional ability to steward wilderness effectively.

Implementation

Content will be established, maintained, and managed on a daily basis by the Wilderness Connect communications program staff with general oversight by the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center Director and the University of Montana, Wilderness Institute, Director. If postings raise concern, both partners will review and decide on removal actions or clarifications.

Social media content will adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Posts will be relevant to designated wilderness areas, proposed/eligible wilderness lands, and current social issues affecting the wilderness stewardship of designation landscapes.
  • Posts will be factual, apolitical and unbiased, and in no way 'attempt to influence political or legislation action'. Factual requires primary source information, not opinions or interpretations of primary documentation often posted in news sources. Posts will not advocate for positions or support federal, state or local elected officials, or open or proposed legislation in state legislatures or Congress.
  • Posts related to wilderness legislation in Congress or wilderness-applicable issues must be factual.
  • Posts will not include calls to action.
  • Responses to users (with the exception of trolls) can be posted to clarify facts and answer questions. Incendiary comments or lines of questioning from users will be hidden or deleted.
  • A disclaimer will be posted on the page defining intent of the page and behavior expectations.
  • Information sources may, but are not limited to, include: Wilderness.net; Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, and the University of Montana; federal wilderness agencies; other federal, state, or local agencies; non-profit wilderness partners; academia; news outlets that directly relate to wilderness and are factual and unbiased; image/video libraries or un-copyrighted media from professional or agency photographers/videographers; wilderness users (through screened submissions). All original content (defined as content mined /created internally by Wilderness Connect communications program staff, as opposed to shared or retweeted content) must be un-copyrighted.
  • Posts can, but are not limited to include links, articles, images, illustrations/cartoons, video clips, blogs, remarks from agency or wilderness organization speeches or appearances, excerpts or summaries of news releases, reminders for application deadlines, upcoming events, program announcements, seasonal-themed information, or user engagement activities (ex. story sharing). Posts should contain visual elements whenever possible.
  • Hashtags appropriate to the nature of posts will be included.
  • Daily posting of content is desired, however, content may be timed to coordinate with current events or wilderness agency/University of Montana calendars.

Evaluation

Actively using social media tools will yield rewards over time, such as creating goodwill, generating awareness and developing a deeper understanding of our audiences. The evaluation of social media will be determined by follower growth, post reach, and other metrics provided by social media channels.