Corporate Guidelines for Social Media
I have been asked these questions a number of times during my sabbatical tenure.
What is an acceptable or unacceptable post?
What if someone says something bad?
More importantly, what if a customer says something bad about us?
I thought this would be a good time to share some of the insights I’ve gleaned from leading organizations engaged in social media, both within and outside the enterprise.
IBM’er Jenn Okimoto offers up important insights into these issues through her blog commentary.
- How detailed should social media guidelines be?
- When introducing social media into the workplace, how do we address HR concerns about reduced employee productivity?
- How do you guide employees or manage employees in navigating the gray with respect to posting content that is or is not appropriate in the work environment?
- What about content that falls squarely in the HR domain? What if employees use social media to publicize HR issues, or to gain “supporters” to their cause?
- Do we have IBM or client examples of stats, use cases or any other stories that address these concerns?
HP, published their blogging code of conduct publicly. It’s a simple 9 step code for HP employees to manage their content and tone.
- We will strive to have open and honest dialogues with our readers.
- We will correct inaccurate or misleading postings in a timely manner. We will not delete posts unless they violate our policies. Most changes will be made by adding to posts and we will mark any additions clearly.
- We will disclose conflicts of interest.
- Our Standards of Business Conduct will guide what we write about — so there are some topics we won’t comment on such as information about financials, HP intellectual property, trade secrets, management changes, lawsuits, shareholder issues, layoffs, and contractual agreements with alliance partners, customers, and suppliers.
- We will provide links to relevant material available on other blogs and Web sites. We will disclose any sources fully through credits, links and trackbacks unless the source has requested anonymity.
- We understand that respect goes both ways — we will use good judgment in our posts and respond to you in a respectful manner. In return, we ask the same of you.
- We trust you will be mindful of the information you share on our blogs — any personally identifiable information you share on a blog can be seen by anyone with access to the blog.
- We will respect intellectual property rights.
- We will use good judgment in protecting personal and corporate information and in respecting the privacy of individuals who use our blogs.
Personally, I find HP’s guidelines a good starting point for content management. I constantly challenge myself to adhere to the following self-imposed guidelines:
- Follow HP blog guidelines
- Be open and honest
- Be mindful of my tone
- Ask interviewees for approval upon release of an interview or story
- Engage. Be open to feedback
- Use first person, conversational language
- Keep posts brief, factual, and full of data
- Respect all firewalls
This topic requires more thinking and collaboration. If you have questions or ideas, shoot me a comment.
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