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Document Code No.: INF 10-3 (AEP)
Department/Issuing Agency: Department of Executive Services
Effective Date: December 6, 2010
Approved: /s/ Dow Constantine
Type of Action: New

Signed document (PDF, 164 KB)

1.0 Subject Title: Social Media Policy

1.1 Effective Date: December 6, 2010

1.2 Type of Action: New

1.3 Key Words: Interactive Web Communications, Social Media

2.0 Purpose: To establish standards, responsibilities and authorized use of King County Executive Branch social media. These standards ensure that county communications using social media tools are compliant with existing effective policies and legal requirements.

3.0 Organizations Affected: The authority of this policy extends to all offices and employees of the Executive Branch of King County government. It is intended to serve as a model policy for use by other independently elected officials and their organizations.

4.0 References:

4.1 RCW 40.14 -Preservation and Destruction of Public Records

4.2 RCW 42.56 -Public Records Act

4.3 King County Code, Chapter 2.12

4.4 King County Code of Ethics, Chapter 3.04

4.5 INF-17-2-3 (AEP) Public Records Act Procedures

4.6 Acceptable Use of Information Assets Policy

4.7 Enterprise Information Security Policy

5.0 Definitions:

5.1 "Authorized Agent" means any King County employee who been authorized by their elected official or the King County Director of Communications to post content on behalf of their agency or department to social media websites.

5.2 "Chief Information Officer (CIO)" means Executive Branch Senior Technology Manager.

5.3 "Director of Communications" means Director of Communications for the King County Executive.

5.4 "Social Media" means online technologies, tools and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives. Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. These sites typically use technologies such as blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis, and blogs to allow users to interact.

5.5 "Web Master" and "Web Team" means Central Information Technology and Communications staff responsible for the overall direction of and enterprise web pages.

6.0 Policies:

6.1 Any and all use of social media sites and tools for official King County business must conform to applicable federal, state and local law and King County policies and procedures.

6.2 The Director of Communications or designee will approve all social media projects and plans (see 7.2). Only authorized agents are authorized to conduct official King County business using social media sites and tools.

6.3 Authorized agents will provide the King County Web Team user names and passwords associated with approved social media activity.

6.4 The use of social media sites and tools in the conduct of official King County business will be limited to the list of approved sites and tools developed by the Chief Information Officer or designee and maintained by the Web Team.

6.5 Authorized agents will comply with the Social Media Handbook established by the IT governance structure and King County Public Information Officers.

7.0 Procedures

Action By: Director of Communications


7.1 Evaluate requests for social media usage.

7.2 Review and approve all Social Media projects and plans.

7.3 Approve list of approved authorized agents, which is to be provided by the King County Web Team and updated quarterly.

Action By: The Chief Information Officer (CIO)


7.4 Identify and approve all social media tools/web sites available for authorized use.

7.5 Work with King County Web Team to ensure that a list of approved social media tools/sites is maintained.

Action By: King County Web Team


7.6 Maintain a list of all approved social media tools and web sites.

7.7 Develop and maintain a handbook of social media best practices.

7.8 Develop and maintain a website that lists all authorized county social media activity.

7.9 Maintain a list of social media domains, active account logins and passwords.

7.10 Ensure that password security is maintained if the authorized agent is removed as an administrator.

Action By: Organization Management


7.11 Ensure that all employees are made aware of this policy.

7.12 Submit plans for approval if and when a department or agency wants to engage with social media on behalf of the county.

7.13 Take immediate steps to address any unauthorized use of social media tools and web sites.

7.14 Inform the Chief Information Officer and the Director of Communications when unauthorized individuals use social media on behalf of King County.

8.0 Responsibilities:

8.1 The Director of Communications will:

Coordinate a process for reviewing all social media projects/plans and for reviewing, approving, and maintaining a list of authorized agents, which will include their user names and passwords in use for the conduct of official King County business.

8.2 The Chief Information Officer (CIO) will:

Provide expert review and authorization of social media tools/web sites prior to their use in the conduct of official King County business.

8.3 The King County Web Team will:

Ensure that there is clear direction to authorized agents about their responsibilities, social media best practices, and authorized social media tools and websites.

8.4 Organization Management will:

Ensure that employees are aware of this policy and related policies and take appropriate steps to enforce compliance.

8.5 Authorized Agents will:

Comply with the Social Media Communications Handbook and ensure that records created for social media in the conduct of official King County business are retained in accordance with established record retention schedules.

9.0 Appendices:

9.1 Social Media Communications Handbook