PR lawyer Michael Lasky summarizes four key principals to include in company policies for how employees may use blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social media:
- Respect for intellectual property … Avoiding plagiarism and copyright infringement.
- Standards of truth … Attributing information, knowing the difference between fact and opinion.
- Confidentiality … Knowing what can be made public via the Internet, and what should be protected.
- Common sense … Using the same rules that apply to memos, emails, press releases, web sites and other company communication.
While these are broad enough to cover most concerns, I would also make sure that your social media standards address these two important areas:
- Transparency … That official communications will not be misleading, disguised or anonymous.
- Accountability … That the company will protect stakeholder interests by tracking social media use and content, and that employees will be held responsible for misrepresenting or maligning the company on the Internet, even if they do so on their own time.
. . . . . . . . . .