Skip to main content

Search the guidebook

Social Media Guidelines and Best Practices

Volunteers are welcome and encouraged to share their volunteer journey and important milestones with their friends, family, and networks via social media. Social media is a great way to connect with each other, share our mission, and help recruit new volunteers. This document outlines guidelines for social media accounts related to your role as a volunteer for GDB.

Social Media Guidelines

  • Feel free to tag local businesses and locations using both location tagging and direct tagging (using @businessxyz in your captions) to recognize and acknowledge businesses that allow access to service dogs in training. However, there should never be an exchange of goods, services, or fees for tagging a business as this implies a sponsorship, and all official partnerships need to be reviewed and approved by GDB.
  • GDB has official channels and processes for communicating the status of program dogs. Please respect our procedures and avoid sharing information about dogs until GDB has made that information public or has given you the all-clear.
  • Please note that if your social media account regularly features branded content, commercial, or e-commerce activity (including affiliate marketing and brand ambassadorship), we will ask you to create a separate account exclusively for GDB-related activities and updates. GDB pups may not be used directly or indirectly in the promotion of personal business interests or commerce activities.

    Being a great member of our social media community means:

    • You respect the privacy of GDB clients, employees, volunteers, and visitors to campus. Always ask people for permission to post their photos or videos, and respect the boundaries and requests of those in the GDB community.
    • You make every attempt to ensure that photos and videos depict dogs being handled in an appropriate manner, in safe settings and situations, and not in potentially graphic or sensitive situations.
    • You show off those puppy jackets! Display the branding on the GDB puppy jackets with pride and avoid extra adornment to the dog. Exceptions may include GDB Fun Days and holidays when themed costumes are appropriate for sharing on social media.

    Best Practices

    Be Respectful- We do not tolerate racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, transphobic, or hateful language or comments from GDB volunteers. Always respect the privacy and personhood of the members of GDB’s diverse community.

    Be Inclusive- Add alt text (short for alternative text) or image descriptions to your posts to describe the image or video that you are sharing. Avoid text as an image whenever possible, and if you must, be sure to copy the text of the image into your caption so everyone can access the same information. Avoid special fonts and overuse of emojis as they are hard for screen readers to detect. Whenever possible, consider using CamelCase (or capitalizing the first letter in each word) to make your hashtags more inclusive and easier to read. #GuideDogsForTheBlind not #guidedogsfortheblind

    Be Accountable- We ask that you remember that you are representing Guide Dogs for the Blind when you are working with our dogs. Please do not engage in online activity that would reflect poorly on the organization when representing GDB’s mission, values, and policies.

    Questions?

    Contact Guide Dogs for the Blind’s Marketing Department at [email protected] for questions about the guidelines and policies listed above. 

    These guidelines are not exhaustive but outline the basic principles of participating in GDB’s enthusiastic and widespread social media community. If there are questions or concerns about something that has been posted, your PFM will reach out to discuss ways to resolve the solution.