The world has changed. We are a plugged-in people, constantly bombarded by friend requests, photo tags, status updates and links to videos of funny babies and pets. At Greteman Group, we embrace these changes and are working to harness the technologies fueling these changes for our clients. We also embrace the powerful ability for individuals to leverage and enhance their personal brands through these tools.
At the same time, we recognize the challenges brought on by these changes. In order to address these challenges, we have created the following guidelines to inform team members’ use of social media tools both in and out of the office.
We’re adding the following policy to our official employee manual. We thought that many of you might be having similar discussions at your companies, and thought posting our policy might help guide your conversations.
While you are on company time, please refrain from online activities that don’t bring value to Greteman Group. Think of your personal time online just as you think of personal phone calls or emails.
Microsoft has a bone-simple blogging policy. Be smart. We ask the same of you. Please be smart in your online activities. They reflect on both you and the agency. The ability to publish things that may never go away and can be forwarded endlessly, well, it gives us pause and we hope it does you, too.
We view personal websites and blogs as good things. We want you to avail yourselves of these media. We respect your online activity as a medium of self-expression. Please note though that confidentiality agreements prevent disclosure of all client and Greteman Group business. Readers may view you as a de facto spokesperson for our company.
While you are employed with Greteman Group, please observe the following blogging guidelines:
- Do not work on your personal blog during business hours. If you just have to blog, write a post for the Greteman Group blog.
- Please make it clear to your readers that the views you express are yours alone and that they do not necessarily reflect the agency’s views. To help reduce the potential for confusion, we would appreciate it if you put the following notice – or something similar – in a reasonably prominent place on your site:
The views expressed on this website/weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.
- Respect the company’s confidentiality and proprietary information.
- Ask your direct supervisor if you have any questions about what is appropriate to include in your blog.
- Be respectful to the company, fellow team members, clients and competitors.
- Understand and comply when the company asks that topics not be discussed for confidentiality or legal reasons.
There have been a number of questions regarding proper “etiquette” on these sites. While there are no official rules when it comes to the following, these are our recommendations.
- Use Facebook and MySpace (and similar sites) as your personal network. If you don’t want to friend coworkers, vendors or clients, don’t feel pressured to.
- Use LinkedIn as your professional network for adding work-related colleagues.
- If you are uncomfortable with adding a contact, don’t add him or her. These might include former employees, competitors or that random, slightly creepy guy you met at an organization’s mixer.
The following are guidelines we request you abide by while you are employed with Greteman Group:
- Do not access your personal social network on company time.
- Block your LinkedIn contacts’ contact information from your other contacts. Sounds confusing, we know. Which is why we will show everyone how to do it at our next Oxygen Bar. If you’re still confused, just see a member of the iTeam for instructions.
- Be smart about what you publish. Once you put something out there, it can be difficult to retract. Make sure your online brand doesn’t diminish or tarnish your offline brand.
Twitter has become so prevalent that it has earned its own section in our guidelines. The biggest concern when it comes to Twitter is not the time it takes to create a post, but the time and focus required to keep up with the numerous conversations.
Please observe the following Twitter guidelines:
- Do not let your Twitter posting interfere with your billable and company projects.
- Moderate the use of your Twitter monitoring tools (Twhirl, Twitterific, TweetDeck, etc.) during working hours.
- Part time employees have no reason to use Twitter while at work. Therefore, they are not allowed to use Twitter – both posting and listening – during their time at work.
Watching a quick video on YouTube can spark creativity and lighten a stressful day. We don’t want to ban YouTube, we just ask that you moderate the time you spend watching videos. And, obviously, don’t let them interfere with your billable time.
Just like videos, blogs are invaluable sources of inspiration and information. Please refrain from reading personal or non-industry blogs during company time. And, again, don’t let blog reading interfere with billable time.
Unless it is work-related, please refrain from online shopping during company time.
Jokes, urban legends and get-rich email forwards are the oldest form of Internet-based social media. When it comes to company email, we ask that you think twice before hitting send and be judicious with the number of items you forward. And, if you’re unsure whether the Prince of Nairobi really is being truthful about a promised fortune, a quick stop by Snopes.com might be in order.
If you have any questions about these guidelines or any matter related to your site that these guidelines do not address, please contact a member of the iTeam.