Digital Communications

The guidance provided here outlines best practices on managing electronic communications as public records, including e-mails, text messages and instant messages, social media, and websites. It also includes links to the State of North Carolina's web and social media archiving programs. 

Tab/Accordion Items

E-mail as a Public Record in North Carolina: A Policy for Its Retention and Disposition

This policy and corresponding guidelines ensures records created, sent, and received through email systems are managed in agreement with the established legal requirements for creating, maintaining, and disposing of all government records. It helps users to classify e-mail messages and make them available for public information requests, and provides guidance on how to retain and dispose of e-mail messages to satisfy business needs, programs, and record-keeping requirements. The guidelines promote best practices and offer ideas and suggestions that can help in the effective management and retention of electronic messages as public records.

Guidelines for E-mail as a Public Record in North Carolina: Tips and Tricks for Using Microsoft Exchange Software to Manage E-mail

This guidance includes best practices for creating emails, maintaining email metadata, handling threads, and managing inboxes. 

Best Practices for Electronic Communications Usage in North Carolina: Text and Instant Message

This document addresses employee responsibilities regarding text messages and instant messages according to general statutes and records retention and disposition schedules.

Best Practices for Electronic Communications Usage in North Carolina: Guidelines for Implementing a Strategy for Text and Instant Messages

A “how-to” that provides examples of how text and instant message conversations fit into existing retention schedules. 

Social Media Best Practices in State and Local Government

These best practice documents provide information about legal and appropriate use of social media by state agencies and local government. Responsibilities of PIOs are outlined, and a sample Social Media Policy is provided.


North Carolina State Government Social Media Archives

Visit the Social Media Archives public access portal at the link above. This archiving program captures state government social media accounts in a new and more efficient manner. Currently, a core of state agencies and offices are participating in a pilot program.


Website Archiving 

The State Archives teams with the State Library to run a well-established and nationally recognized web archiving program for state agency websites. The web archiving program is available to any state agencies wishing to participate. The documents below describe processes specific to this web archiving program, as well as general guidance for the management and preservation of websites by both state agencies and local governments.