Despite the obvious benefits of Web 2.0, the largely unregulated world of social media also poses some unique challenges for companies concerned about a host of issues ranging from legal liability to corporate branding.
What to do? In The e-Policy Handbook, Nancy Flynn recommends a formal blogging policy with clearly defined rules like these:
Institute safeguards for trade secrets and corporate relationships. Don't assume an employee knows which content is—and is not—fair game for a blog post.
Prohibit anonymous blogging. "Anonymity creates an atmosphere in which some people might be tempted to write in an irresponsible, offensive harassing, defamatory, or otherwise inappropriate manner," she says. "It also runs counter to the blogosphere's honest and transparent nature."
Provide guidance on media inquiries. Many journalists will contact bloggers in the course of writing a story. According to Flynn, a common corporate policy asks bloggers to direct all media inquiries to the organization's public-relations department.
The Po!nt: "Put best practices to work by focusing on the 3-Es of blog risk management," says Flynn. "Establish policy, educate employees and enforce policy with discipline and monitoring technology."
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