Social Networking

NCRA maintains a number of social media pages to connect with NCRA members, to help NCRA members connect with each other, and to provide information on other platforms to people seeking information about the professions of court reporting, captioning, and legal videography.

 

Facebook

Facebook is both a social and a professional networking platform. NCRA has a main Facebook page, a page dedicated to court reporting and captioning students, CLVSs and legal video, and a variety of discussion groups, including one dedicated to legal video.

Visit the main NCRA Facebook page

Visit the student NCRA Facebook page

Visit the CLVS Facebook page

Request to join the Legal Videographers – CLVS Facebook discussion group

 

Instagram

Instagram is a photo-sharing and networking platform. NCRA shares photos of members, steno machines, the places members have worked, and other images that exemplify the profession.

Visit the NCRA’s Instagram page

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a networking site for professionals to exchange information and make connections. NCRA hosts an association page on LinkedIn.

Visit NCRA’s LinkedIn page

 

Twitter

Many professionals use Twitter as a means to connect, share information, and follow along with news. NCRA uses hashtags to help members find and follow tweets from NCRA on specific topics. For example, many of NCRA’s tweets for legal videographers use the #legalvideo and/or #CLVS hashtags.

Visit the NCRA Twitter page

 

YouTube

YouTube is a video sharing platform. NCRA shares videos on how to become a court reporter, virtual exhibit hall, Online Skills Testing how-to videos, and other videos that exemplify the profession.

Visit the NCRA YouTube channel

 

 

Social Media policy

Policy statement

NCRA uses social media to share industry and association information with the membership and anyone interested in court reporting, captioning, and legal video. This may include court reporters, captioners, legal videographers, schools and programs, instructors, firms, professionals in peripheral industries, state and related associations, vendors, students, steno enthusiasts, and prospective members and students. Social media also provides the opportunity for high-quality customer service with current and prospective members through direct interaction and engagement.

Application

This policy applies to all NCRA staff and members who use social media channels to speak on NCRA’s behalf or otherwise may be associated with NCRA on social media, including NCRA officers, directors, and committee members.

Purpose of social media

NCRA uses social media as a method for sharing industry and association information. This information can include, but is not limited to, announcements from the association, reminders of upcoming deadlines, industry news and updates, and resources and tips about business, grammar, or technology. NCRA can also use social media to share and respond to information posted by others in the court reporting, captioning, and legal video community, including schools, firms, state associations, individuals, and others. Finally, social media provides an opportunity for the association to share lighter-hearted content, such as jokes and memes, which the membership would find enjoyable but would be inappropriate in other contexts.

Social media also provide an opportunity to provide high-quality customer service for current and prospective members through direct interaction and engagement. The NCRA moderators can answer questions posed directly by members, offer explanations or clarifications when members post information that they find confusing or is incorrect, and even provide empathy and encouragement for members and students who write about their professional struggles. Sharing content from other sources gives NCRA a chance to add something to the conversation and recognize another organization or member for something they’ve provided or accomplished.

Discussion groups and pages provide a place for members to have professional discussions on a variety of topics that affect them and their day-to-day work lives. By monitoring the discussions, NCRA staff can also get insight into the types of concerns that court reporters, captioners, and legal videographers face in their personal and professional lives, and then use that knowledge to provide additional services or content that would benefit the membership.

While not the primary purpose of having a presence of social media, NCRA has an opportunity to use social media as a way to promote the profession to an outside audience. This can range from sharing information that educates the public on the true nature of court reporting, captioning, and legal video to showcasing the positive attributes of these fields, especially when using platforms that are populated by younger people who may consider these fields as a potential career.

Roles and responsibilities

NCRA staff
As of October 2015, while several staff members have admin rights to various NCRA social media outlets, the Assistant Director of Marketing and the Content Manager are primarily responsible for daily strategy and application. Other NCRA staff members are members of groups or have a presence on NCRA social media in other ways. All NCRA social media material must go through one of the official NCRA staff moderators. If the staff member posts directly to a discussion group, for example, that staff member should alert the staff moderator about the post. NCRA social media staff is required to monitor all social media platforms, cultivate discussion through content, and address negative comments as necessary and appropriate. From time to time, NCRA social media staff is required to review NCRA’s social media strategy to ensure that each platform and profile is being used advantageously.

NCRA members
Members do not have admin rights, but they serve an important role on NCRA social media. The NCRA President, for example, while not required to be active on social media, can serve as a voice for the association when members would be more comfortable hearing information from an individual rather than an organization. NCRA officers, directors, and committee members may be asked to contribute to online discussions by answering a question, clarifying information, advocating for the profession or association, or sharing information, especially if these tasks fall within committee charges.

Guidelines
Anyone who may be associated with NCRA, including staff, officers, directors, and committee members, need to be conscientious that their actions on social media can reflect back on the organization.

General guidelines

  • Make sure any information about the association is accurate. If you aren’t sure, ask.
  • NCRA is a neutral organization and is not affiliated with any political, religious, etc. organization or group. Staff and members should consider how their posts may inadvertently link the association with any of these organizations or groups.
  • Nothing on the Internet is truly private. Be thoughtful when posting and follow your own internal guidelines for what information to share with an audience that could be more public than previously anticipated.
  • Everyone is encouraged to share content from NCRA profiles on their own pages.
  • NCRA members, especially officers, directors, committee members, and other industry and association leaders, hold a unique position as ambassadors for the association. At times, it may be more valuable for a member to respond to an issue rather than a staff member because the member may hold more trust, respect, and esteem in the eyes of the membership.
  • NCRA staff members are not required to join NCRA groups, follow NCRA pages, connect with members, or even identify themselves as employees of NCRA on social media. Staff members should use discretion on social media especially if their job description does not include social media.
  • Everyone is encouraged to contact the NCRA Assistant Director of Marketing and/or the NCRA Content Manager for guidance on social media if desired.

Social media platforms
NCRA uses Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube on social media. There is also an official Instagram account.

Facebook
NCRA’s presence on Facebook includes a main NCRA Facebook page, an NCRA Students page, a CLVS page, a Court Reporting & Captioning Memes page, a Careers in Court Reporting page, and the following discussion groups:

  • CART Providers
  • Captioners
  • Official Reporters
  • Court Reporting Technology
  • Freelance Reporters
  • Scopists & Proofreaders
  • Legal Videographers
  • Realtime Systems Administrators
  • NCRA’s Realtime Program

Twitter
NCRA’s presence on Twitter includes a main NCRA profile (@NCRA), an NCRA GR Department profile (@GovRelat_NCRA), and inactive profiles for NCRA Events (@NCRAevents) and NCRAConventionBag (@NCRAVegas11Bag).

LinkedIn
NCRA’s presence on LinkedIn includes a National Court Reporters Association discussion page as well as the Court Reporting & Captioning Group, Certified Legal Video Specialist, and NCRA Students and New Professionals discussion pages.

YouTube
NCRA has one YouTube channel. Most videos on this channel are interviews with vendors at events, short presentations (especially Ignite presentations), and other interviews by board members.

Moderation
Anyone posting on NCRA social media on behalf of the association must always be polite and professional on social media, especially when representing the association. It is important to remember that there is another person on the other side of the screen, and that person deserves to be treated with courtesy and respect. Staff is still encouraged to follow the NCRA style guide while writing for social media, although style conventions may be bent slightly in order to fit the 140 character limit on Twitter; the nature of social media also allows staff members to use a more lighthearted, conversational tone in writing.

On all NCRA social media pages and forums, posts with harassment, profanity, and any anti-trust discussions (which include discussing rates or boycotts) are deleted. Commercial messages will also be deleted although members may post referrals and, in the scopists and proofreaders group, members are allowed to advertise services or needs for services. Harassment includes bullying between or among members, discriminatory posts, or posts that otherwise threaten members or the industry. NCRA pages and forums are meant to be safe places for like-minded professionals to engage in conversation with each other. All other discussions are encouraged. These rules are pinned to the top of every NCRA Facebook discussion group so members are aware and are posted on NCRA.org. See the section on antitrust issues, below, for more information.

Both positive and negative posts and comments are allowed on NCRA’s pages, provided they do not break discussion rules. Keep in mind that negative posts provide an opportunity to engage with the member and provide customer service.

Any direct questions or concerns require a response as soon as possible, with a maximum of within 24 business hours. When the staff moderator needs information from another staff member in order to answer a post on NCRA’s social media platforms, the staff member should respond as soon as possible so the staff moderator can answer the member quickly. The staff moderator should clearly indicate if the inquiry is for social media in the subject line of an email, if the inquiry is not addressed in person or over the phone. On discussion boards, NCRA staff is not expected to directly engage with posts unless the discussion revolves around an NCRA policy or program and the staff member could clarify anything causing confusion.

Discussion groups
NCRA staff must approve users before they can participate in discussion boards, although approval extends to both members and nonmembers of the association. The social media team may remove users who continually break discussion board rules (the “three strikes” rule can be applied in this case) or spammers.

Antitrust issues
Trade and professional associations, as groups of competitors, are under particular scrutiny with regard to pricing behavior, even if agreements, etc. are only inferred. In addition, legal defense is costly, even if the user and NCRA are eventually were cleared of wrongdoing. It is in the best interest of the association and the membership to avoid any behavior that could be seen as violating antitrust laws. It is important to keep in mind that nothing on the Internet – even in closed discussion groups – is truly private. This is not meant to scare members but to ensure awareness.

Antitrust discussions can include:

  • prices
  • discounts, or terms or conditions of sale
  • salaries
  • profits
  • profit margins, or cost data
  • market shares
  • boycotts
  • sales territories, or markets
  • allocation of customers or territories
  • selection, rejection, or termination of customers or suppliers

Members may not post any information regarding specific prices or fees charged or paid as well as information concerning prices, pricing practices, discounts, or other terms or conditions of sale either obtained from or offered to another entity.

Non-NCRA groups

There are many pages and groups related to court reporting, captioning, legal videography, etc. on social media that are not moderated by or otherwise associated with NCRA. Staff, directors, officers, and committee members are to use their discretion in representing NCRA in these groups. Below are a few guidelines.

  • It is the individual’s choice whether to be involved in these groups or not recognizing that there is value in seeing or participating in discussions in other locations.
  • NCRA is not responsible for responding to anti-NCRA discussions in forums that are not moderated by the Association. Members who are part of these groups may see an opportunity to correct inaccurate information about the Association in these conversations.
  • If staff or members see instances of copyright violations or other legal situations that NCRA should be aware of, please forward that information to the appropriate staff member so the Association can determine what, if any, actions need to be taken.

Maintenance

Basic responsibilities
The staff moderator should check in with all NCRA social media platforms once a day at minimum during business hours, preferably multiple times a day. During a check in, the staff moderator should respond to any posts requiring an answer from NCRA, approve new members to the discussion boards and pages, scan newsfeeds/timelines for shareable content, and monitor metrics.

Providing content
On platforms where NCRA staff is responsible for providing content, new content should appear every day. This content can include original content from NCRA or it can include shares, retweets, etc. from other profiles. Content should be scheduled to appear on NCRA social media forums when more members are likely to see it and should be spread out throughout the day. This is especially important on Facebook and Twitter; on YouTube, since content usually comes from events, this new content should be posted as soon as the new content is available. All content on YouTube must be captioned.

Each piece of content should be presented in a way that is appropriate to the platform, incorporating visuals, hashtags, etc. as appropriate and for maximum exposure. The audience should also be considered – posts about upcoming webinars, for example, should not appear on the NCRA Students Facebook page since students do not need to earn CEUs, but they may get more information on study tips, etc. The Assistant Director of Marketing may, from time to time, decide to pay for a specific post to be boosted if the content in question requires a wider audience or is part of a specific marketing campaign.

In addition to monitoring NCRA social media platforms, the staff moderator should follow related profiles. These include: state and local court reporting captioning associations; organizations from related industries such as deaf and hard-of-hearing or legal organizations; court reporting schools and programs; court reporting, captioning, and legal videography firms; industry vendors; national news outlets; government-related organizations; competing organizations, such as those representing voice writers, transcribers, and electronic reporters; and important individuals within the association, including board members and movers-and-shakers who are active on social media. Monitoring these profiles will help the staff moderator stay on top of industry news and find content that members may also find valuable, either as a share or retweet or for future content in NCRA publications. Following or reposting content from any individual or organization is not an official endorsement by NCRA.

Hashtags
Official NCRA event hashtags should also be attached to any posts related to events. The hashtags (listed below) are always followed by the last two digits of the year when the event occurs. 2015 is used as an example:

  • #NCRA15
  • #FirmOwners15
  • #CRCW15

Because of the conversational nature of social media, the staff moderator is also required to monitor and use appropriate hashtags. Hashtags change, but some common ones are:

  • #courtreporting/#courtreporter
  • #captioning
  • #steno/#stenography/#stenographer
  • #stenobriefs/#ebriefs
  • #technology
  • #NCRA
  • #legalvideo
  • #DiscoverSteno
  • #stenolife

Best practices
The staff moderator is responsible for staying on top of current social media best practices so that NCRA social media platforms are being used efficiently, intelligently, and successfully.

Implementation, monitoring, and review
At the beginning of every NCRA fiscal year, and reviewed during mid-year, the social media team should draft social media objectives for the upcoming year to develop goals, action items, and an overall social media strategy.

Either in conjunction with or in addition to, social media metrics for each platform should be kept on a week by week basis. These metrics can be used to develop future goals and improvements.