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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.

Social Media Policy – Corey

I was particularly interested in looking at social media policies for universities and government agencies. I looked through the list that Kat posted (thank you Kat!) and predictably found many of these social media policies/guidelines to be excessively long, dense documents. Like most policy documents they appear to be based on the fear and expectation that people are going to do something wrong and the policy needs to address all the possible wrongness that can be wrought and to a certain extent provide CYA for the organization when the wrong does happen and it blows up.

Among the list, however, I found a few that seem to be modeled on the same template that, like Kat’s Volvo example, expect people to be adults and give them useful information to navigate responsible communication in this new medium (media?). The University of Michigan is a good example. It uses headers such as Do No Harm, Correct Mistakes, Respect Others, Take the High Ground, and Respect Your Audience. The main part of the document is only four pages long and provides good advice to protect both the individual and the organization. I think that is key. The policy should reflect the organization’s respect for the individuals and set an expectation for the individual to respect the organization.

Good SM policy

So, I went through a chunk of SM policies. Most of them were really prescriptive. But then I came across Volvo’s “Social Media Guidelines.”

Why I like this one is because they are expecting their employees to behave as reasonable adults. The guidelines read easily (not in legalese), and they also read like they are in place as much to protect the employee and customer as they are the company.

These guidelines basically say to not do things that the company could be viewed as liable for, don’t share privileged information, and do be transparent and honest. Please.

(It’s the “please” that sold me. I heart Volvo.)

If anyone needs a list of SM policies for review

Here’s a big ol’ list of them. Pretty cool, actually…

Social Media Policy – Karen

Here is a Social Media Policy that HR asked me to pull together for our company.  I think it went over well with the executive staff and lawyer because it is not very long, it’s educational and it is written in our voice.  We actually had multiple incidents with a certain employee but couldn’t do anything because there was no policy in place.  I did a ton of research before this was written: Good – Gap, Bad – Coca-Cola.


Even in the old school world of the fly fishing industry, it is no longer possible to imagine our society without the Internet.  Social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and discussion boards have become an integral part of everyday life for millions of people around the world.

The practice of social marketing is becoming increasingly more important for the Far Bank brands.  As the Far Bank brands grow to serve their customers well beyond a website or a printed catalog, social media is an increasingly important aspect of our interaction and transparency with consumers.
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Project Status Update – Corey Murata

Environmental scan done of similar research/opposing viewpoint type sites, both free on the web and subscription sites available through libraries. Scan identified some strengths and weaknesses of each site and informed the content structure and elements for my project.

Focus-grouped my wife who works with community college students about needs from the project and perceived strengths and weaknesses of existing products. Did a brainstorm session of what elements would be desired, useful and pie-in-the-sky. This interview further informed the content structure and elements for the project.

Developed a rough plan for content elements for each ‘article’ including metadata elements used for navigation, cross-referencing, and search.

Because of the nature of the content structure I decided to build the site in Drupal so I could better control each content field and build different views of the content.

I have a domain name for the site and installed Drupal, but there is nothing yet to see on the site.

The project site is (will be) at:

Karl’s Update

I have found that it has only taken me 8 months to get past the technical hurdles, now my issues are mostly revolving around the fact that the client doesn’t have a vision for the website, instead merely wanting to have one to get on with her primary objective of farming.

That’s fair, I’m not much for farming myself, so it all works out. 

Still that means that the design process has become a great deal of scribbling on paper prototypes and trying to remain focused to the point of teasing out the basics of what would work well, what she would like to see, etc. Also troubling is that we have no photographs and no graphic designer, so I’m filling in there as well: badly.

Still, I’m down to the point that I know she wan’t a website based on WordPress twenty-eleven, that she has a basic header design and that our background will be dirt and our foreground will be vegetables. 

Next Steps:

Find some dirt, Find some Veggies, take pictures of both, mix them into a WordPress child theme, add text content and revise liberally. 

Karen – Project Update

For an update on the work I am doing for the HooDoo Brewing Co., I have finished up the content audit (audience, objectives, brand attributes and how they will inform content creation/delivery).  I hope to be done with the analysis today as well.  Then I will proceed with the strategy.  I’d like to work on an editorial calendar, but I do them for my work an I know how long they take to flush out.  This maybe hold second fiddle to getting the website finished and launched.

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Cathy’s update

Where has the quarter gone? I’m finding this is taking a lot more time than I anticipated. Not only is there a ton of existing content and analytics to sift through but I’m also still having to regularly write blog posts, produce videos or other digital content, update web content, post on social media and am now in the middle of filling out next year’s workplan and budgets (drafts due by Friday).

As a result, I feel like I’ve barely had time to get through the analysis and write out the plans I have for each platform (currently rattling around aimlessly in my brain). Is there a “pause” button I can push somewhere? I’m afraid there’s not, but here’s where I am so far:

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Kat’s update

Hey, all.

I thought it would be fun to post what we’ve been doing, as well as giving Kathy updates via email. I’ve been really interested in what y’all are up to, so post updates!

On my end: I’ve got a Pinterest account up for BFF, and now a Tumblr account, as well. Still working on just how to get interest in the Tumblr–it’s sooooooo hipster.

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