TechRepublic: How to Craft a Social Media Policy

April 11 2014:

Erin Carson of TechRepublic quotes Tatiana Melnik in her story discussing the need for and drafting considerations for social media policies for companies that are both new to social media as well as those who are established players.

In crafting a social media policy, companies need to understand their needs, the kind of information they store - both their own and that of others - and how disclosure could impact the company's competitive landscape. "Merely mentioning a specific client is working with PGAV might clue in a competitor that the [theme] park is planning something. On the more serious end, Tatiana Melnik, an attorney who [works] in information technology and intellectual property, talked about how businesses like medical practices have to be aware of how their social media policies play into their industry's legal regulations, like HIPAA compliance."

Policies also need to be drafted in a collaborative manner because social media policies impact many departments across a company. "Melnik also said that running the policy by a technical department can help determine if the things that the company might want to do, like blocking sites, perhaps, or using certain filters, is actually possible, even from a financial perspective. 'You don't want to promise you're going to be doing something that you're not doing,' she said."

It is also important to have the legal team review the social media policy. "Melnik outlined a few areas where having a lawyer review the social media policy is important. For one, a lawyer can review all existing policies and make sure the social media policy does not create any contradictions. If an employee handbook forbids any discussion of a company, then there's no sense in a social media policy that advises on how to talk about the company online."

"A lawyer can also catch potential problems, like encouraging hourly employees to help promote the company when they're technically not on the clock, or checking for any applicable state laws with which the company should comply."

"Melnick [sic] also brought up The National Labor Relations Board. 'That's something that companies really need to be aware of, because in the last couple years, the NLRB has been very active in pursuing companies who they see as violating employee rights to discuss their working conditions,' she said."

TechRepublic is website that helps IT decision-makers identify technologies and strategies to empower workers and streamline business processes - Read the full article here: How to Craft a Social Media Policy

Does your company need assistance with drafting a social media policy, a BYOD policy, or a general review of existing policies and procedures? We can help!

Please contact us!

Stay up to date with industry and legal developments. Sign up now to receive our updates!

View our Privacy Policy.

Subscribe by entering your e-mail below: