Posted by: johnocunningham | November 28, 2009

Social Media Policies

If you are in the process of formulating or updating your organization’s social media policy, you might want to take a look at other published social media policies.

For instance, you might want to review the guidelines for Intel employees published at: http://www.intel.com/sites/sitewide/en_US/social-media.htm, offered through http://www.intel.com/#/en_US_01 .

A slightly older social media policy for IBM can be found at: http://www.ibm.com/blogs/zz/en/guidelines.html , offered through http://www.ibm.com/us/en/ .

You also might want to start building your policy by asking key members of your organization to provide input on the following issues:

1. Whether employees should be required to maintain “neutrality” on certain topical or controversial issues.

2. Whether employees should be required to disclaim or affirm that they are speaking for your organization and whether the policy should spell out when each role is appropriate.

3. Whether the social media policy should incorporate by reference the terms of any privacy policy, code of conduct or other existing published guidelines of your organization.

4. Whether the social media policy should be “aspirational” in nature or “punitive” or a mixture of both.

5. Whether the policy should spell out certain rules for protecting copyrights, trade secrets or other proprietary information belonging to your organization or to others and how.

6. Whether the policy should address issues regarding free speech, libel, slander or invasion of privacy and how.

7. Whether the policy should address enforcement issues, penalties for non-compliance, the role of HR or management in upholding or interpreting the policy, and/or responsiblity to report violations.

You might also benefit from taking a look at social media website policies that have received some commendation from others, such as that of Community Hospital of Monterey at: http://www.chomp.org/terms-conditions/social-media-website-participation-policy.aspx .

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