1          Background

The CMAA Academy of Country Music (The Academy) uses social media as a means to disseminate content and to facilitate communication in the delivery of programs, as well as to promote The Academy, its activities and the activities of its employees and students.

The Academy also uses social media to communicate with students, prospective students and the general public. The Academy recognises that its employees and students also use social media for a variety of purposes, some of which may relate to The Academy and others which are for solely personal use. 

2          Purpose

This policy provides a framework to ensure that all social media content generated on behalf of The Academy is produced, delivered and managed in a way which is consistent with The Academy’s policies and brand. 

This policy also aims to inform the users of social media on how to use social media within the guidelines of The Academy’s Behavioural Code of Conduct and other related policies, and to ensure that social media is used in a legal, ethical and responsible manner.

3          Scope

This policy applies to all users of The Academy’s social media and Communications App including, but not limited to:  employees, students, students’ parents and/or guardian/care givers, contractors, third parties, agency staff and visitors to The Academy. 

These users may represent The Academy via social media, or identify themselves with The Academy while communicating via social media, or use The Academy’s resources to access social media for their professional or personal use.

4          Definitions 

“CMAA” means the Country Music Association of Australia
“The Academy” means the CMAA Academy of Country Music

Employee means a person who carries out work in any capacity for a person conducting a business or undertaking, including work as: an employee, contractor or subcontractor, an employee of a contractor or subcontractor, or an employee of a labour hire company assigned to work for The Academy, an outsourced employee, an apprentice or trainee, a student gaining work experience, volunteer. 

Prospective student means a person (whether within or outside Australia) who intends to become, or who has taken any steps towards becoming a student.

Student means all Academy students, including students who are currently enrolled with The Academy and students who have previously enrolled, and in the case of Junior Academy, extends to their respective parents/guardians/care givers.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) means all forms of intellectual property rights throughout the world including (present and future) copyright, registered patent, design, trademark and confidential information, including know-how, trade secrets, signs, distinctive marks, biological material, devices, models, formulae, graphs, photographs, drawings, business plans, methodologies, inventions, policies, records, memoranda and notes. 

Moderation means the act of reviewing and approving content before and/or after it is published on a social media platform.

Post means a piece of writing, image, or other item of content published online, typically on a blog or social media website or application.

Social media means all internet-based publishing technologies. Most forms of social media are interactive, allowing authors, readers and publishers to connect and interact with one another. The published material can often be accessed by anyone. Forms of social media include, but are not limited to, social or business networking sites (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn), video and/or photo sharing websites (e.g. YouTube), business/corporate and personal blogs, micro-blogs (i.e. X, formerly “Twitter”), chat rooms and forums.

Tweet means a message up to 140 characters and/or an image posted on X.

5          Policy Statement 

The Academy encourages the use of social media and at the same time, must ensure that its content and use enhances the reputation of The Academy and is managed within a clear and accountable framework consistent with The Academy’s policies and procedures. 

The intention of this Policy is not to inhibit appropriate innovation or creativity.  Social media can be used in three main ways at The Academy:

  • in an official capacity on behalf of The Academy (currently limited to specific employees);
  • in a professional or personal capacity within The Academy; and
  • in a purely personal capacity, independent of The Academy.

Social media platforms are moderated in accordance with their own terms and conditions, which may apply over and above this Policy. All social media users are expected to comply with these terms and conditions.  

The Academy will provide its employees and students with an Information & Communication Technology (ICT) resource, specifically “an app”, which is to be downloaded by all staff and students.  This app has been designed to log attendances and inform all staff and students of any/all Academy activities during a student’s time on campus.

All online Academy-related communication must be through the APP. Employees and students must not set up Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, or similar group chats during the course of The Academy.

Employees are not to engage in any online communication with students outside of this APP whilst contracted to The Academy.

If an employee and student have a disclosed pre-existing professional relationship prior to attending The Academy and there is a need to communicate about non-Academy matters (e.g., publicity releases, gigs) using other forms of communication is acceptable.

Staff, students and employees can access personal or professional social media, when appropriate, and The Academy encourages the tagging and sharing of Academy-related posts and upcoming events.

5.1       Academy Generated Social Media

The Academy maintains a range of Academy generated social media and as such, moderates all content posted by social media users to those platforms. The Academy reserves the right to edit, amend, delete or otherwise respond to any posts published on Academy generated social media where considered necessary.

The Academy does not endorse nor take responsibility for content posted on Academy generated social media by third parties.

If employees and students find Academy generated social media content interesting or entertaining or useful to their professional or personal network, they are encouraged to re-share it. It must be noted, however, that while sharing such content is highly appreciated, it is absolutely voluntary, and employees and students should not feel compelled to disseminate Academy messages on their own social media accounts. 

5.2       Official Use of Social Media on Behalf of The Academy

As noted in clause 5, official use of social media is currently limited to specific employees within The Academy. Official use of social media includes, but is not limited to:

  • maintaining a profile page for The Academy on any social or business networking sites;
  • making comments on such networking sites for and on behalf of The Academy;
  • writing or contributing to a blog and/or commenting on other people’s or business’ blog posts for and on behalf of The Academy; and/or
  • posting comments for and on behalf of The Academy on any public and/or private sites.

The Academy endeavours to respond to queries posted on The Academy generated social media in a timely fashion.

The Academy monitors external, non-Academy generated social media and other websites in order to maintain an accurate and consistent image of The Academy.

If The Academy identifies a post which is considered to depict an inaccurate, misleading or deceptive image of The Academy, The Academy may:

  • correct the inaccurate or misleading content while responding to the post or tweet; or
  • request the site owner or administrator to moderate the post or tweet.

5.3       Professional Use of Social Media

Professional use of social media means an employee using a social media platform in a way which has a nexus to The Academy or is for a work-related purpose. The Academy recognises that engaging in social media can be an important part of day-to-day communications involving The Academy employees, students, prospective students, suppliers and other relevant parties.

The Academy also recognises that social media, by its collaborative nature, can be used as an important tool to enhance student experiences.

When participating in social media platforms for a work-related purpose, employees must ensure that all content: 

  • is in full compliance with all confidentiality and privacy obligations;
  • does not infringe any IPR of The Academy, the CMAA, other staff, students or of other third parties;
  • does not breach any contractual obligations;
  • does not bring the business of The Academy or the CMAA into disrepute in a manner that could reflect adversely on the business of The Academy or CMAA;
  • is not obscene, offensive, threatening, derogatory, defamatory, harassing or hateful to another person or organisation, in particular, to: The Academy, its employees, partner organisations (including CMAA), competitors, clients and customers, suppliers and other businesses with whom The Academy and/or its employees have dealings or may have dealings; and
  • is otherwise accurate and is not misleading or deceptive.

In addition, employees are reminded that when communicating for a work-related purpose they are representing themselves as employees of The Academy and must act in a professional manner, and should consider the following principles:

  • confining comments to area/s of expertise;
  • not mixing personal communications or opinions with professional communications;
  • posting meaningful and respectful comments while keeping the language professional and courteous;
  • being open, honest and transparent;
  • responding in a timely manner. If additional time is needed to research an answer, let the reader know it will take time and reply as quickly as possible;
  • checking the accuracy of all statements; and
  • keeping any response clear, appropriate and polite, even when responding to a negative or inaccurate comment.

5.4 Personal Use of Social Media

This Policy is not intended to govern the activities of employees and students using social media in their personal capacity, where the user makes no reference to The Academy, its employees, students, products or services. Employees are permitted to have access to social media platforms during ordinary work hours for limited and reasonable personal use.

However, the Policy applies to those employees and students who choose to make references to The Academy, its employees, students, products or services, irrespective of the social media platform used, the timing or the location of use.

Employees and students who choose to make such references when using a social media platform in a personal capacity must refrain from posting, sending, forwarding or using, in any way, any inappropriate material including but not limited to material which:

  • is intended to (or could possibly) cause insult, offence, intimidation or humiliation to The Academy, its employees and/or students;
  • is defamatory or could adversely affect the image, reputation, viability or profitability of The Academy or CMAA; and/or
  • contains any form of confidential information relating to The Academy or CMAA.

The Academy and CMAA company logo, branding or other marketing or intellectual property may not be used without permission from the General Manager or Administration Manager of The Academy.

Users of social media are encouraged to visit the Stay Smart Online website which provides easy to understand advice on how individuals can protect themselves online as well as up-to-date information on the latest online threats and how to respond. 

5.6       Breach of this Policy

Depending on the nature and severity of the breach, breaches may result in disciplinary action in accordance with an employee’s employment contract or a student’s terms of acceptance in their Letter of Offer.

If any person becomes aware of, or suspects a breach of this Policy, they should contact the General Manager or Administration Manager of The Academy. Any such contact will be treated as confidential, and any information disclosed will be properly investigated.