13.1 4-H Curriculum/Publications:
- Over 150 projects offered through the Nebraska Extension4-H Youth Development Program provide hands-on learning experiences with the intention of helping youth identify potential careers that are of interest to them.
- Nebraska Extension may distribute materials to volunteer leaders and members. Curriculum is also available for purchase online. Promotional materials are circulated to prospective clientele and/or groups. Curriculum materials are available to all participants and volunteers in all delivery modes of 4-H. 4-H school enrichment programs are conducted on a voluntary basis in cooperation with Extension and are part of the 4-H program. Material used in such 4-H school enrichment programs is available on the same basis as all other 4-H programs.
- 4-H materials are not to be distributed on a free basis in credit situations but may be purchased by the college and/or school instructor.
13.2 4-H Communication Guidelines:
Nebraska Extension is an organization that is learner centered, provides trusted subject matter content, and is professional, relevant, and nimble in its response. Additionally, Nebraska Extension provides unbiased, research-based information for all Nebraskans.
All print and electronic communication (including newsletters, email, online social networks, etc.), which is distributed on behalf of the 4-H Youth Development Program, is a direct representation of Nebraska Extension and its brand. Because these items are being produced and distributed with tax dollars, it is important to think carefully about the content of all communication.
4-H communication should contribute to the overall educational mission of 4-H, empowering youth to reach their full potential working and learning in partnership with caring adults. When determining the appropriateness of information for 4-H communication, please consider the following questions:
- Is the information unbiased, not endorsing an organization/business?
- If the organization/business is for profit, would any organization/business be given an equal opportunity to provide educational events?
- Does the organization/business that is providing the information have youth educational goals that are similar to those of the Nebraska Extension 4-H Youth Development Program?
- Does the information that is being shared by the organization/business use the 4-H Name and Emblem correctly?
If a response of “yes” is given to these questions, then the item may be shared with a 4-H audience. However, at any time, Nebraska Extension 4-H reserves the right to discontinue the sharing of information, based upon a response of “no” to these questions.
The following are acceptable items that may be included in 4-H communication:
- Information regarding Nebraska Extension 4-H educational programs, events, workshops, etc.
- Information regarding events sponsored by 4-H Clubs (considered Nebraska Extension 4-H events)
- 4-H youth and volunteer success stories
- Names of organizations/businesses that contribute financial or product donations to Nebraska Extension 4-H programs/events
- Discount cards/promotions
- Scholarship information
Other items that abide by the guidelines shared above When determining how these items are communicated to clientele, Nebraska Extension 4-H programs/events should take priority over non- Nebraska Extension 4-H programs/events. Electronic communication (email, online social networks, etc.) is encouraged when delivering information about non- Nebraska Extension 4-H programs/events.
To assist with distribution of 4-H communication, please utilize the following resources:
- 4-H Name and Emblem Guidelines: http://4h.unl.edu/name-emblem-guidelines
- Nebraska Extension Templates: http://extension.unl.edu/toolbox-templates
- Nebraska Extension 4-H Customizable Design Layouts: http://4h.unl.edu/employee
- Nebraska Extension Social Media Guidelines and Best Practices: http://extension.unl.edu/communications-and-marketing
Specific questions related to the content of 4-H communication may be directed toward the 4-H specialist in your district or to the State 4-H Office.
13.3 Social Media Guidelines for Nebraska Extension:
Social media represents an array of innovative and powerful tools for interacting with Extension’s many audiences. The potential for social media tools to provide education, to create communities of interest, to build relationships, and to develop dialog continues to grow. Many Extension personnel, like people all over the world, are already using social media venues for personal and professional purposes. To provide guidance on the engagement of Extension personnel in using social media for professional purposes, and to ensure the portrayal of a consistent and positive brand for Extension in the social media space, refer to these guidelines:
- For the purposes of these guidelines, the term “social media” is defined as any online medium that provides for user interaction, discussion, and commenting (such as social networks, blogging, micro-blogging). An online virtual space that allows for 2-D or 3-D interaction via a visual representation of a user is a subset of social media called a “virtual environment.”
- Social Media resources can be found on the Employee’s Resources web site at: http://extension.unl.edu/social-media-guidelines. Icons used should give a consistent marketing message including icons for use on Facebook and Twitter.
- All Extension employees using social media should maintain a clear distinction between personal and professional uses. Understand that some of your social media participants will recognize you as an employee of Nebraska Extension. When you are on a personal site, speak in the first person and clearly state that you are speaking for yourself and not for Extension. When your social media activity is observable by end-users, stakeholders, and/or other professional audiences, your behavior should represent you well and reflect positively on Extension. When using social media personally, do not incorporate Extension’s name into your username (NOT “Extension dude” or “Cherry Extension Lady”), and do not assert that you are speaking for Extension. You can set up a group or organizational account by going to: http://its.unl.edu/emailhome/shared-account-request-form.
- Extension employees using social media for professional purposes should communicate appropriately according to the standards of the environment in which they’re operating. Most social media environments are communities of peers, not classrooms with instructors. An important element of your credibility will be your ability to communicate authentically and respectfully as a member of the community. And Extension’s credibility in the social media world, just as in the real world, depends upon your credibility.
- Extension employees serving as account administrators for social media efforts are responsible for ensuring proper branding, frequent maintenance and currency of information posted, and monitoring comments and posts by others (including external visitors) for professionalism. It is the responsibility of the account holder to closely monitor commenting and follow proper protocol for dealing with issues that may arise. It is strongly advised that, unless dedicated time is established to carefully monitor commenting, the feature be disabled.
- Exercise caution when communicating with youth online. It is important that Nebraska Extension employees maintain professionalism when communicating with youth online, just as they would in the offline world. Only communicate on the topic of the Nebraska Extension program; personal communication may be considered inappropriate.
- Carefully select account administrators. All social media networks managed by Extension targeting youth should be managed by at least two adults – either extension staff members, or volunteers who have successfully completed the 4-H Volunteer Screening process and have reviewed the Nebraska Extension social media guidelines.
- Pages: When employees create or request pages or accounts for Extension programs, units, or subject matter areas in Facebook, Pages are strongly recommended, instead of Groups or People.
- Avatars: Your account(s) profile picture/social avatar should represent UNL and be either your social lockup created in the lockup factory or another image that accurately represents your college/department/unit.
Individual units are NOT APPROVED to use the Nebraska “N” by itself on any background or in any other format for the purpose of a social media or digital avatar.
- The Nebraska “N” with a white background is reserved for the Athletic Department (@Huskers).
- The Nebraska “N” with a red background is reserved for the University main account (@UNLincoln).
- Naming: Naming of social media accounts should follow the guidance on naming conventions and options provided:
- When naming a site: Nebraska Extension in Sample County (i.e. Nebraska Extension in Sioux County).
- When creating the URL or shortname: NebraskaExtensionSampleCounty (i.e. NebraskaExtensionSiouxCounty).
13.4 University of Nebraska–Lincoln and 4-H Identifiers for Print Materials:
All print materials created and distributed by Nebraska Extension 4-H Youth Development professionals must contain the following:
- Nebraska Extension graphic with registered trademark ®
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln Wordmark
- Appropriate Nebraska Extension Statements and 4-H EEO Statement
- 4-H Emblem with 18 USC 707 as a part of the graphic on the lower right leaf or to the right of the stem
- Copyright (print year) -- if updated and reprinted, both years need to appear (i.e. 2015, 2016).
For more procedural resources, instruction and downloads, go to: http://extension.unl.edu/extension-toolbox/.