Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation’s Communications Policies

These policies include requirements that aim to ensure appropriate, accurate, timely, and thorough communication within the Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation (NWUUC) community as well as to the outside world. All members of the congregation need to communicate quickly and fully with other members of the congregation about events, activities, and issues within the NWUUC community.

The term “communication” is used to describe the process by which people connect with each other and impart information. Interpersonal communication is a separate matter and addressed in the Covenant of Right Relations which has been drafted and will be proposed for adoption in 2014.

This document is based in part on policies developed by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Blacksburg, VA. These policies were approved by the Board of Trustees of Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation on November 17, 2014. They will be reviewed annually and updated, if needed.

Types of Communications Policies Covered

  1. External Communications Policy
  2. Website Policy
  3. Podcast Policy
  4. Photograph Policy
  5. Newsletter Policy
  6. Email Policy
  7. Social Media Policy
  8. Publicity Policy

Overseeing Committee

The Communications Team will oversee all communications from and concerning NWUUC. The team is part of the Community Ministry Team. Communications include, but are not limited to, those involving the portion of the NWUUC website accessible by the general public; advertising of NWUUC; and publicity campaigns, or the publicity of events to the general public.

The committee shall also oversee forms of internal communication to NWUUC members and friends, including, but not limited to, email and social media groups; the newsletter; and the Members area of the NWUUC website. The Minister will have oversight for the content of the weekly Order of Service and will collaborate with the Communications Team on its production. Although meetings are a form of internal communication, oversight of meetings will be the responsibility of the person responsible for leading the meeting. This committee recognizes that social media are constantly evolving and therefore these policies may need to be updated more than annually.


In situations where NWUUC must make an official statement to the press, the public, or to authorities, the Board President is empowered to speak for NWUUC. If contacted by any outside entity regarding a statement, others should refer them to the Board President. If these persons are not available, no comment should be made; it should be stated that the Board President will make contact as soon as possible.

The webmaster(s) will always serve as members of the Communications Team. Additional members may be appointed to provide expertise in advertising, public relations, and technology.


This policy exists to manage the use of NWUUC’s website to communicate and promote the congregation and its philosophy to prospective and current members, news media, other religious organizations, friends and seekers. is owned by the Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation, located in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

To ensure a unified image and high quality content, all website information will be directed through the webmaster(s). The Communications Team is responsible for reviewing the site for accuracy, currency, continuity, and compliance with these policies and procedures on a quarterly basis.

These policies and procedures apply to all pages of including any special or social media sites that have been approved to operate using the NWUUC name or hosted within the domain.

General Overview of Website Responsibilities

As elected representatives of the congregation, the Board serves as de facto owner of

The Minister has primary obligation for Ministerial, Worship and Pastoral Care pages; the Director of Religious Education has primary obligation for the Education portion of the website; the Director of Music has primary responsibility for the Music portion of the website; the Office Administrator has primary obligation for the Calendar; and the webmaster(s) have primary responsibility for the remainder of the website.

No NWUUC website shall be permitted to exist outside of A sub-domain of, such as an auction website, is permissible as long as it is (a) approved by the Board or Communications Team; (b) consistent with the values of NWUUC; (c) does not provide a conflicting identity for NWUUC; and (d) is accessible, at all times, by the webmaster(s).

We will adhere to the following update schedule:

  • Weekly updates of the Home, Worship Services, Publications, and Calendar pages.
  • Monthly updates for the Hungry Ear Coffee House.
  • All other pages on an as needed basis, with an annual review.

With the exception of the Minister, all others who provide content, or make changes to, give NWUUC express permission to use their work to publicize NWUUC, and waive all rights to copyright. NWUUC owns the copyright to all content on pages.

Communications Team’s Website Responsibilities

The Communications Team has responsibility for following the Website Policy, for establishing procedures, and for establishing priorities for, as well as the content and design of the website. Policies and procedures will be reviewed by the committee at least once a year, and changes will be approved by the Board.


The website does not accept paid advertising and does not participate in commercial affiliations such as search links, link exchanges, or preferred placement of links. The website will avoid the appearance of endorsing any personal content or political persons or causes. To avoid the appearance of endorsements, links shall not be made to sites that are associated with, sponsored by, or serving a candidate for elected office; or any political party or organization supporting or seeking to defeat any candidate for elective office or ballot proposal, or to any sites that endorse any for-profit or nonprofit enterprises.

The congregation may choose to use the website as a vehicle for advertising its building as rental space.

Contact Information

The website will include the email address, telephone number, and physical address for the NWUUC building. Contact information for the Minister and staff members will be limited to email aliases using the domain and the congregation’s address. Individual full names connected to email addresses and phone numbers are considered private and are, therefore, not publicly available on the website.


The website should be designed with users of all ages and abilities in mind. Since users may use one of several browsers, much thought must be given to compatibility, ease of use, navigability, and consistency in style and format. The layout must be simple, and easy to use and maintain, while serving a large, diverse audience.

Potential new members are the primary target market for the website. A secondary target market exists for current members and friends of the congregation. The content on the public portion of the website will consist of information that is of interest to potential visitors to the congregation.

NWUUC will use appropriate programming to allow accessibility for the visually impaired, whenever possible.


The website does not offer reciprocal linking, but will consider any external websites suggested as possible external links. While we cannot restrict other organizations from including a link to our website, a reciprocal link may not be automatically granted. The webmaster(s) reserve the right to provide links to other websites and to limit the number of links that are included and maintained on the website. Also, NWUUC reserves the right to remove links to pages and sites that are not maintained, that do not meet the requirements set forth in these policies and procedures, or that cannot be reliably read or accessed.

To be included on, a link must:

  • Relate to the mission of NWUUC.
  • Complement and enhance the website.
  • Provide credible, accurate, and current information.
  • Be subject to adequate procedures for the review and updating of material.
  • Make reasonable accommodations for users with disabilities, such as the visually impaired.
  • Focus on Unitarian Universalist content, rather than the promotion of a product, service, or organization.
  • Adhere to adequate policies regarding external links and privacy of user data.
  • Be owned and operated by other UU congregations, newspapers, or organizations.
  • Be recognized as a UU organization or educational institution.
  • Provide information about speakers or performers at NWUUC events.

It is permissible to include links to those organizations supported by Donate the Plate or other social action projects with approval of the Outreach Ministry Team leader.

Links will not qualify for inclusion if they:

  • Advertise or endorse other organizations or political parties.
  • Contain obscene or objectionable images or text.
  • Contain individual or personal home pages.
  • Endorse candidates for local, state, or federal offices.
  • Advocate political or social positions on a local, state, or federal level.
  • Promote corporate or other for-profit organizations.


Every effort shall be made to ensure that the information on the website is up to date and accurate. However, this information is issued in good faith as a general guide and not as a contract. NWUUC does not accept any responsibility for loss or damage that might be caused by use of the website.

The webmaster(s) and other persons designated by the Board reserve the right to refuse, or to remove materials, without notice. Content may be refused for a number of reasons including:

  • Content does not comply with policies and procedures outlined in this document.
  • Content infringes on copyright laws.
  • Content may be in violation of local, state, national, or international laws.
  • Content is obscene, harassing, or threatening.

Only individuals authorized to implement website content changes may update and maintain the NWUUC website. These individuals must be members of NWUUC, meet with the approval of the Communications Team, and agree to follow established website policies and procedures.


The NWUUC website will not post personally identifiable information such as home addresses, phone numbers, or email addresses on the public site. Full names will not be used in most circumstances unless a full name is necessary to convey information properly (such as a sermon presenter, Board member, or committee chair).

The NWUUC website may link to other organizations to provide services to members; however, external pages are governed by the owner’s privacy policies. NWUUC will not be held accountable for the policies or practices of these third parties. NWUUC recommends that visitors to any website examine the privacy policy posted on that site for their own protection.

Any information submitted through the website will be treated in confidence and, unless explicitly agreed between us, will not be passed to a third party.

Terms of Use

Information on is subject to national copyright laws and therefore may not be used for financial gain without the prior written permission of NWUUC. Unless otherwise stated, all items on are copyright © Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta GA, 201x. There shall be no use of the NWUUC logo, designs, or mission statements without specific, written permission from NWUUC.

Other websites may link to as long as the NWUUC website page and their content clearly appear as NWUUC property. NWUUC does not permit its website content to be presented in such a way as to make it appear to have been produced by another organization, or to be altered in any way. This may include, but is not limited to, framing the site's content within another website’s pages.

The user assumes the entire risk related to use of In no event is NWUUC liable to the user or to any third party for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special, or exemplary damages or lost profit resulting from any use or misuse of this information.

Website Statistics

The NWUUC website may use a statistics tracking service that reports the number of visits the site receives in a given period. No identities or individually-identifiable information is gathered by this process. Our servers automatically log standard information, including IP address, browser types, and access times. This information is used for internal research or analysis purposes only and is not stored for long term uses.


The purpose of this policy is to establish authority and guidelines for performing podcasting in a responsible manner. The mission of podcasting is to support the greater NWUUC goal of nurturing a lifelong spiritual journey by making our religious message available to a larger community of people.

Only the sermon or other non-copyrighted portions of the service will be podcasted. Any music, individual reading, or other performance of copyrighted material will not be podcasted, even if it is part of the sermon, unless proper permission from the copyright holders are obtained. Properly attributed quotations that are used during a sermon will be included in a podcast. The author or publisher of the original work, the performer(s), and the recording entity must all be considered in making sure that proper permissions have been obtained.

All sermons presented by a minister, lay speaker, or guest speaker in the NWUUC setting may be recorded, and unless a specific request to withhold is made to the webmaster(s), they may be made available as podcasts. At the discretion of the webmaster(s), recorded discussions may be included. The webmaster(s) may determine that a particular service does not have sufficient content to warrant a podcast.

All podcasts will be in MP3 format. MP3 files will be scaled down sufficiently in quality to make the file small but suitably listenable.


Photographs of group activities that take place during an event hosted by NWUUC may be posted to the website without the express permission of those adults who appear in the photograph, as long as individuals are not identified by name. Recognizable images of children or youth under the age of 18 may not be posted to the website without the permission of the parent or guardian of the child or youth.

Photographs of children may be used in the newsletter; however, neither first nor last names of children will appear under photographs of minors. First names of children may appear in printed articles but should not reference particular photographs.

If a photograph is of an event such as the presentation of an award or other honor, a performance by an individual or small group, or other similar activity, and including the names of at least some of the people depicted is desired, the webmaster(s) must obtain the consent of everyone in the photo who is named.

Photos of adults may be posted on the NWUUC Facebook page or other social media sites without the permission of the individual(s) as long as no personally identifiable information is associated with the photograph. No photos of children in which the children are identified will be posted on the NWUUC Facebook page, or on other social media sites.

Any adult who does not want his or her image to be posted on the website should notify the webmaster(s) who will maintain a list of such individuals. Photos to be posted on the website will be screened by the Minister, or someone who is familiar with the friends and members of the Congregation, in an effort to avoid posting photos of people who do not want their image on the website. If an event is being filmed or photographed, people will be informed in advance of and at the event and will be given the option to opt out. All reasonable efforts will be made to comply with the wishes of those who have indicated that their images should not be posted.

Photos of adults who are under the care of another (guardian or legal representative, for example) will not have images posted in any communication without the express permission of their caregiver. This permission must be given directly to a member of the Communications Team.


The responsibility for the editorial policies and practices of the church newsletter rests with the Board. The Newsletter Editor is a member of the Communications Committee and is responsible for the production of the newsletter.

The primary function of the newsletter is to inform the congregation of church programs and activities. Space and emphasis will be allocated according to the following priorities:

  • Information about Sunday services
  • Communications from the Minister
  • Information about religious education programs and classes (all ages)
  • Information about all church functions (e.g., stewardship, congregational meetings and events)
  • Communications from the Board, the staff, and church committees
  • News of congregation members/friends; brief announcements of members' special needs
  • District and denominational news
  • As space permits, community news and announcements of activities of organizations of particular interest to the congregation or its members.
  • Inclusion of articles, article size, and article placement will be at the discretion of the Newsletter Editor. The following guidelines relating to privacy issues will be followed:
  • No last names of minors will be published.
  • Newsletters will follow the Photography Policy.
  • Whenever reasonably possible, email addresses will be published using an alias with the domain address.
  • Phone numbers, addresses and email addresses will not be published, unless the contact has given permission. Submission of an article containing contact information will be construed as permission granted to print.
  • Advertisements for private business or professional services will not be published. The deadline for submission of articles for the next newsletter will be publicized in advance. All newsletter items must be submitted to the Publications Team ( by the deadline. Articles received after the deadline has passed will not appear in the newsletter, unless prior arrangements have been made with the Newsletter Editor.

The Newsletter Editor is granted the right to edit material that is too long or that contains incorrect grammar or spelling. The Communications Team may reject an article based on these policies or, absent a specific rule, their judgment.

Any questions or problems concerning the newsletter should be addressed to the Communications Team.


The purpose of this policy is to support the needs of the NWUUC community in communicating on a timely basis about issues of importance.

Email can be used for general announcements, urgent announcements, and as a tool by committees for communicating with each other and reviewing documents and other material. It should not be a substitute for face-to-face interaction or meetings, as it is not the proper forum for dealing with congregation issues.

Email Aliases The Administrator will determine eligibility for an alias, and will maintain a listing of email aliases that use the domain name. These aliases will be used to provide privacy and a forwarding mechanism for emails sent to staff, committee chairs, and others in the congregation.

Whenever possible, the alias address will be used in published materials, regardless of vehicle.

Individual Email Addresses

Use of email addresses of NWUUC members and friends should be used responsibly by all email authors. Personal information (address, phone number) should not be emailed without permission. Email addresses may not be used to send spam, virus warnings, or advertisements; insult or criticize; forward chain letters; or use offensive language.


The purpose of these policies is to provide in-depth guidance for anyone who develops, monitors, or posts content on the NWUUC Facebook page or other social media sites.

A companion to these policies is NWUUC’s Online Communications and Social Media Guidelines, a document that provides general guidance for anyone who posts to any NWUUC social media (i.e., any channel for online publication and commentary, including but not limited to blogs, wikis, social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, etc.). Several important points to keep in mind:

  • NWUUC owns all social media sites affiliated with Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, GA.
  • No individual may begin or maintain a social media site using the NWUUC name without approval of the Board of Trustees.
  • The Office Administrator must have administrative access to all social media sites.
  • The term “Administrator” refers to a paid staff position or a volunteer who has authority to serve as webmaster(s) and oversee administration of NWUUC’s social media sites.
  • The term “Social Media Administrator” refers to several volunteers assigned responsibility for NWUUC’s different social media site.

Facebook Policy

The majority of NWUUC Facebook content will promote activities occurring at NWUUC, activities in which members of NWUUC are participating, and events in the Atlanta area that are sponsored by Unitarian Universalist churches or UUA affiliated organizations. Other types of content may include personal comments, photos, etc. from the Page administrator, and people who have “liked” the Page, and these customarily will be related to NWUUC, Unitarian Universalism, members of our congregation, etc.

The NWUUC logo, colors and typefaces should be consistent with NWUUC graphic guidelines and resemble our other media “branding” styles. The name of the Minister should be easily accessible; however, it should be clear that posts are not from the Minister. Contact information for NWUUC should be prominently displayed, and links to and any other social media sites should also be easily accessible. Photos should be of a presentable quality, but this is not as critical as the requirements for photos on the website. If photos of children are posted, they must comply with the photo guidelines contained in the Photography Policy. Last names, or contact information, of minors should never be posted.

Social media administrators should monitor the NWUUC Facebook Page and remove any content that does not comply with the guidelines contained herein; habitual offenders may be banned from further contributions to the Page. Posting should be checked for inappropriate content on a daily basis. New content should be added by the social media administrator at least once per week.

The Communications Team will designate a Facebook or other social media administrator. The social media administrator will have responsibility for monitoring content, and will have full authority to create, delete, and maintain the content, provided that the content:

  • Is maintained within the bounds of these Policies
  • Is consistent with the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism
  • Avoids slander, libel, violations of copyright, profanity, off-color humor, and advocacy of political candidates
  • Does not reveal private personal information
  • Does not advertise commercial businesses
  • Presents information that is accurate and relevant
  • Is written in clear and grammatically correct prose.
  • Is updated on a timely basis.

For additional guidance, please refer to the Content Moderation Policy posted on NWUUC’s Facebook page:

NWUUC welcomes contributions to conversations on this page and content directly related to NWUUC and to Unitarian Universalism. Wall posts, comments, photos, and other content posted on this page should be relevant to these areas of interest, respectful of the people involved, and mindful of the principles upheld by the UUA’s Purposes and Principles.

NWUUC has the right to delete any inappropriate content from this page, including but not limited to irrelevant content, redundant content, hateful content, malicious content, uncivil or disrespectful content, attacks or complaints against an individual, financial solicitations, endorsements of a political candidate or party, and content that violates Facebook’s terms of use, code of conduct, or other policies. Content that violates Facebook’s policies may also be reported to Facebook.

In short, be respectful, be authentic, be honest; don’t be inflammatory.

Blog Policy

NWUUC owns any blogs affiliated with Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, Georgia. No individual may begin or maintain a blog using the NWUUC name without approval of the Board. A staff member must have access to all blogs at all times.

All blogs affiliated with NWUUC must be set up through the webmaster(s). Blogs will follow the same policies as set forth for Email and Social Media.

YouTube Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for any content placed on, or embedded from, YouTube. NWUUC owns all YouTube videos affiliated with Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, Georgia. No individual may begin or maintain a YouTube or other video sharing account using the NWUUC name without Board approval. A staff member must have access to all YouTube accounts at all times.

No videos of activities overseen by the NWUUC may be posted on YouTube or similar sites without permission from the Communications Team. Any video posted by the NWUUC must have obtained proper permission for any copyrighted music (including background music) or performance contained within it. Posted videos must follow the Photography Policy.

YouTube videos used on the website, or in any other NWUUC vehicle, will be embedded using the YouTube code. No user will modify the functionality of the YouTube code, or modify the video itself.


This policy is intended to support the needs of various components of NWUUC in publicizing information or events to the NWUUC congregation and outside community. The Publicity Policy applies to NWUUC sponsored events. NWUUC does not accept any liability for publicity for events sponsored by renters of the NWUUC facilities.

Internal Publicity Internal Publicity targets only the members and attendees of NWUUC. If a wider audience is desired, internal publicity methods can be used in conjunction with external publicity methods. The following methods may be used for internal publicity:

  • Newsletter articles: Inclusion, size and content subject to approval of the Newsletter Editor.
  • Order of Service Announcements: Inclusion, size and content subject to approval of the Administrator.
  • NWUUC Bulletin Boards: Inclusion, size and content subject to approval of the owner of the bulletin board.
  • Information Tables: Inclusion, size and content subject to approval of the Community Ministry Team Leader.
  • NWUUC Website: Inclusion, size and content subject to approval of the webmaster(s)

External Publicity Communications Team approval is required before publicizing events or information to the greater community. This includes, but is not limited to, use of the following:

  • Newspaper ads, paid or free
  • Free radio community spots
  • Handouts or flyers