Your staff are now publishers, authors, bloggers, sharers, mavens, so how do you control the epidemic without alienating staff? What guidelines make sense?  Try this one pager out as a template and adjust it to make it relevant for your business and please feel free to give me feedback.

Policy Introduction
The Portfolio Partnership (TPP) staff frequently participate in conversations across a variety of Social Media channels; and while this is normal, it is important to understand the significance of your comments. Your comments are in the public domain and may end up in a newsfeed anywhere on the Internet, reflecting the character of the company you work for. There is no way to draw a line between social and work life, so you should assume they are one and the same when using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. Specifically the following guidelines should prove useful:

Protect Confidential Information
It is essential that all confidential and proprietary information is protected. Any information that we would not publicly disclose should not be disclosed or discussed on the Web. This may include but is not limited to:

  • Non-public or unreleased financial, operational or business performance data
  • Litigation and other legal matters
  • Company strategies and forecasts
  • Brand and trade secrets
  • Proprietary research findings
  • Product or campaign benchmarks
  • Unreleased advertising
  • Internal processes and methodologies
  • Colleagues’ and clients’ personal information

Clients, partners or suppliers should not be cited or obviously referenced without their approval. Externally, never identify a client, partner or supplier by name without permission, and never discuss confidential details of a client engagement.

Don’t Give Away our Secrets
Avoid posting the kind of information and advice for which clients pay TPP. Participating in Web conversations about TPP and enhancing awareness of topics e.g. our 9 Playbooks is encouraged, but you must ensure you aren’t divulging too much information. Be thoughtful about what information you post and how you respond to feedback.

Be Respectful
You may not post any material that is obscene, defamatory, profane, libelous, threatening, harassing, abusive, hateful or embarrassing to any other person or entity. This includes, but is not limited to, comments regarding TPP, TPP employees, TPPs’ partners and TPPs’ competitors.

Respect copyright and fair use laws
For TPP’s protection as well as your own, it is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use of copyrighted material owned by others, including TPP’s own copyrights and brands. You should never quote more than short excerpts of someone else’s work, although it is good general blogging practice to link to others’ work and this will only improve TPP’s Web Site.

Social Media is Your Responsibility
Remember that there are always consequences to what you publish. If you’re about to publish something that makes you even the slightest bit uncomfortable, review the suggestions above and think about why that is. If you’re still unsure feel free to discuss it with your manager. Ultimately, however, you have sole responsibility for what you post to your blog or publish in any form of online social media.