Social Media Policy – Cathy

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of a social media policy is some big, intimidating (and dense) document that strikes fear into the hearts of all employees, volunteers or board members affiliated with an organization. That probably stems from my time working in school district communications where you always hear horror stories of employees inappropriately “friending” students on Facebook or getting a little too personal in their photo sharing – and the policies reflected that.

That’s why after I left the school district world and starting working for KCTS 9, I was happy to see that their draft social media policy was written in plain English and sounded…approachable! The social media policy (though I can’t link to it because it’s not online) is based off of PEMCO’s social media policy. You know, the “We’re a little different” team who has made quite a statement with their marketing and social media campaigns here in the Pacific Northwest.

The policy reflects that they’re talking to adults and says things like: “be smart, be trustworthy, be respectful, have fun.” Their guiding principles are straight forward but good reminders. For example: use common sense, be thoughtful about how you present yourself in online social networks, use your own voice, use good judgment, don’t forget your day job, etc.They also remind employees to act no differently using these technologies than they normally would as a representative of the organization – and mention that one major difference is that every conversation is permanently recoverable.

I appreciate this type of guiding document. It’s policy – but it’s easy to understand, treats employees like adults and makes social media seem approachable.

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