Digital Engagement Guidelines
Be honest… With so many people on-line and so many places to check out who you are - you will be found out so if you are chatting about your industry be absolutely honest, someone will know you. Not only is this the ethical thing to do, but in some countries, like America, there may be personal liability under Federal Trade Commission regulations if you don’t. Best practice is always to be honest about who you are and be helpful, friendly and normal in any on-line or off-line conversations.
Guidelines - Use your BRAIN when on-line... When engaging on-line think about the following:
1. Be honest - especially when discussing your employer
2. Respect everyone around you even if you don’t agree with what is being said
3. Association - make sure your opinions are just that & do not implicate your employers
4. Is it confidential? Think before you share information, especially about your company
5. Never forget the internet has a very long memory These guidelines are intended to provide a simple guide to on-line engagement. For a more detailed look at the guidelines and the potential implications for failing to follow them, look at your in-house guidelines. If you are in any doubt about what you are about to post…. Don’t.
Is it Confidential?
Association… It is absolutely fine to use social media and online platforms to engage and chat. However, it is vital that you ensure people who know what you do as a business understand that your comments and views are exactly that and belong to you. Even if these views are shared by your company it is best to ensure you separate any association with your business from your own personal opinions and posts. You may want to state that on accounts to avoid any doubt.
Your comments may disappear in the twitter or facebook streams but they do not vanish completely. What may appear to be a perfectly normal conversation discussing your company can have some serious consequences, especially if the company or personal information you give away is not in the public domain. When talking about anything in your company or your world think about who could possibly see it, what consequences it may have for either you, the company or person it is about and what it could do. When in doubt about whether or not you should be discussing something it is probably best that that don’t, especially not publicly. You should also be careful that the content you share is yours to reveal and you are not breaching someone’s intellectual property.
Think before you post…. Use your BRAIN...
Respect... It is very easy to be misunderstood on-line so think before you post about whether you will upset someone intentionally. You come across people with opposing views, ex colleagues or people who are being offensive online, try not to get involved or to post anything you may later regret. It is better to walk away from conflict than to leave a digital footprint that has been witnessed by many people and may sully not only your own reputation but that of your company.
Never Forget The internet has a very long memory. Even if your posts seem to have disappeared in to the ether they probably exist somewhere and could have been copied or stored by others. Posts on facebook are never deleted, only archived so if they are required for criminal investigations they can and will be produced. Random comments on an internet chat room may also resurface when you least expect them so be careful with what you commit to your digital foot print.
Be nice, have fun and enjoy having digital conversations
Published on Apr 12, 2012