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Social Communities Guidelines: A Draft

Social Communities Policies and Guidelines

We are tech savvy individuals. We know what good business feels like and what bad policies look like. Social Networking Policies and Guidelines will adapt as the mediums evolve and continue to be a vital part in marketing and our personal lives. These guidelines are open to modification by associate suggestions.

Transparency

Even when you are talking as an individual, people may perceive you to be talking on behalf of the Company. If you blog or discuss topics related to our business, be upfront and explain that you work for the Company; however, if you aren’t an official company spokesperson, add a disclaimer to the effect: “The opinions and positions expressed are my own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the Company.”

Speak the Truth

If the content is positive or negative and in context to the conversation, then we approve the content, regardless of whether it’s favorable or unfavorable to the Company. However if the content is ugly, offensive, denigrating and completely out of context, then we reject the content.

Mistakes

If you make a mistake, admit it. Be upfront and be quick with your correction. If you’re posting to a blog, you may choose to modify an earlier post—just make it clear that you have done so. If you posted a status update, be quick to make a correction and be aware of how the previous update disseminates across the networks and address any issues that arise.

Adding Value

If it helps you, associates, our clients or our partners to do their jobs and solve problems; if it helps to improve knowledge or skills; if it contributes directly or indirectly to the improvement of the Company’s products, processes and policies; if it builds a sense of community; or if it helps to promote the Company’s Values, then it is adding value. Though not directly business-related, background information you choose to share about yourself, such as information about your family or personal interests, may be useful in helping establish a relationship between you and your readers, but it is entirely your choice whether to share this information.

Confidentiality

Protect confidential information and relationships. Associates should not reference fellow associate staff, members, partners or vendors without their approval. Do not disclose confidential information such as current or anticipated products, software, research, techniques, or technical data without permission of the owner. Ask permission to publish or report on internal meetings or conversations.

Listen and Respond

Above all else, this is about listening and responding. Feedback for you and the Company is the valuable. Associates should create content that cultivates discussion and creative thinking for themselves, their followers and or the Company. Associates should be active listeners in his or her communities and respond in helpful ways by lending his or her expertise or creating meaningful connections.

[Disclaimer: These ideas are a mix of my own and also from the best and brightest policies out there, such as Kodak, Intel, IBM & etc.]
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