National Campaign and Social Media Guidelines

The National Campaign Guidelines create a fair, meaningful environment for the Academy's elections. The overarching principles governing these guidelines are a commitment to:

  • Fairness: All candidates should have equivalent exposure to the Academy's membership, and access to resources such as money or technical expertise should not have an undue influence over the outcomes of any election.
  • Innovation and Creativity: Encourage innovation and creativity by the candidates especially in creating and distributing campaign materials. Candidates are welcome to use social media to generate enthusiasm about voting in the Academy elections and to campaign for their election in accordance with these guidelines.
  • An informed electorate: All candidates should have the opportunity to disseminate their opinions and campaign materials so voters know who candidates are and their stance on professional issues. Candidates are encouraged to talk themselves up, tout their accomplishments and give members a reason to vote!
  • Professionalism: Campaign in a professional, positive and appropriate manner, avoiding disparaging or negative comments against opposing candidates. Campaigning must conform to Academy's Code of Ethics. Let your work speak for itself; no need to compare or discuss other candidates in your campaign.
  • Mindful member engagement: Increase voter turnout without barraging members with excessive communications.

The following guidelines have been developed by the Academy's Nominating Committee to help clarify the rules and roles in the campaign process for all stakeholders.

Academy's Role in Campaigning


Promote voting to membership via Academy emails and social media sites.

  • Not allowed: Solicit support for one candidate over another.

Publicize candidates via all-member email blasts.

Maintain designated Election website promoting all candidates and providing biographical information.

Candidate's Role in Campaigning

*Active campaigning can begin January 1, 2017.


Adhere to Academy's National Election Campaign Guidelines. Noncompliance may result in removal from the ballot.

Link personal campaign website to Academy's election webpage.

  • Not Allowed: Academy election webpage will not link to personal campaign websites.

Use Academy member logo on all campaign promotional materials – website, correspondence, signage.

Send personal email and/or call a member to solicit votes. Must be only to your personal contacts.

  • Not allowed: Blast email to the Academy's affiliate, DPG or MIG memberships. Buying or soliciting emails that are not your personal contacts.

Enlist friends and colleagues to campaign on your behalf by sending emails, making phone calls, posting on their personal social media outlets, etc.

  • Not allowed: Use official Academy channels to promote candidacy.

Promote candidacy at events not related to Academy events.

  • Not allowed: Campaign at Academy-sponsored events such as Public Policy Workshop, FNCE®, affiliate/DPG/MIG events.

If currently holding a leadership position, can encourage affiliates, DPGs and MIGs to promote the election in general.

  • Not allowed: If currently holding a leadership position, soliciting support for one candidate over another.

Encourage members to vote.

President-elect candidates only: Utilize the 2-minute campaign video produced by the Academy.

Remove all campaign messaging from social media, etc. no later than March 1, 2017.

  • Not allowed: Continue to promote yourself as a candidate after the close of the election, e.g. Twitter profile, Facebook pages, email signature, etc.

Social Media


Use personal social media channels to campaign.

  • Not allowed: Use of social media channels associated with his/her employer, employees, clients, volunteer groups or other organizations.
    Use of official Academy or organizational unit social media channels.

Candidates encouraged to talk themselves up and give members a reason to vote for them.

  • Not allowed: Use of disparaging or negative comments against opposing candidates.

Use hashtag #eatrightPRO in the campaign.

  • Not allowed: Post self-promoting comments on national or Academy groups' (affiliates, DPGs, MIGs) social media channels.
  • Not allowed: Host, co-host, or participate in social media chats about the elections or candidacy.
  • Not allowed: Tag or mention (@) Academy social media properties including Academy group accounts, media spokespeople and staff ambassadors in campaign posts.

Role of Organizational Unit Members and their Leaders in Campaigning

Organizational Units include Affiliates, DPGs, MIGs, House of Delegates, NDEP, ACEND, CDR and committees and task forces.

*Please take special note if you are a candidate currently holding a leadership position for an Organizational Unit during open campaigning.


Support and encourage the voting process and emphasize membership participation in voting in general.

  • Not allowed: Soliciting support for one candidate over another.

Become informed about candidates' qualifications and views by seeking information from candidates.

Remain neutral and fair to all candidates.

Member leaders may show support for a candidate as an individual without mentioning their leadership position.
Example: "As a friend of candidate X, I support their candidacy for the office of X."

  • Not allowed: Member leaders representing Academy organizational units may not campaign for, promote or create the appearance of favoritism towards individual candidates.
    Example: "As your Delegate, I encourage you to vote for candidate X."

Organizational units may promote all candidates associated with their unit.
For example: All candidates on the ballot from a specific DPG must be promoted equally via DPG communications (social media, newsletters, website, etc.)

  • Not allowed: Organizational unit leaders may not promote any single candidate, inform their friends or colleagues which candidate they will be voting for, or show support to any particular candidate via social media.

Use meetings, print, electronic or social media to communicate with members of their unit about the voting process.

  • Not allowed: Advocate for a particular candidate.

Hold meetings (electronic, phone, in person) to allow discussion of candidates' qualifications/positions as long as all candidates are given the opportunity to be represented.

  • Not allowed: Use of disparaging or negative comments against opposing candidates.

Emphasize issues and qualifications presented by candidates in a professional, positive, accurate manner.

To help increase voter turnout, use meetings to establish secure sites where members can vote using a public computer.

Board of Directors Role in Campaigning


Become informed about the candidates and encourage all members to vote.

  • Not allowed: Support an individual candidate through print, electronic or social media communications.
  • Not allowed: Encouraging friends and colleagues who to vote for or not to for.

Academy Nominating Committee Role in Campaigning


Encourage all members to vote.

  • Not allowed: Support an individual candidate through print, electronic or social media communications.
  • Not allowed: Encouraging friends and colleagues who to vote for or not to for.

Answer questions about voting process; route questions to staff as needed.

Report any suspected campaign violations.

Members' Role in Campaigning


Support election process; encourage fellow members to vote; talk about preferred candidates.

  • Not allowed: Members holding leadership positions (Affiliate President, DPG Chair, Delegate, etc.) may not support one individual candidate over another. Your role as a leader is to encouraging voting in general.

Post message on personal social media in support of a candidate.

  • Not allowed: Use of disparaging or negative comments against opposing candidates.

Send members personal emails to encourage support for a candidate.

  • Not allowed: Create the appearance of favoritism toward one or more candidates.