Has anyone reviewed their IT/Web usage policy in light of social media and other newer ways of spreading their message?

As an organisation we use social media to spread our message and often Skype for contacting one another. I just wonder if anyone has advice or guidelines around the use of these service by staff in the organisation.  Should disclaimers be used? Should there be an 'etiquette' guide?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks, Jess 


paul.meade's picture

Hi Jess,You ask a good

Hi Jess,

You ask a good question there. It's certainly something worth looking closely at. Having said that, I've just stumbled across a couple of websites that list the social media policies of some large (mainly US) organisations / non-profits, that certainly show that plenty of thinking has been going on in this regard.

They may serve as the inspiration to the rest of us to follow suit and devise a coherent set of policies / guidelines for our own organisational social media usage. I guess this need will become increasingly obvious in the coming years, as we all come to rely more and more on social media for our professional communications. 

Anyway, here's the links to the relevant websites:

junebug's picture

These are really great

These are really great resources Paul, thank you!  at the moment I'm thinking of developing two separate documents - one an overall IT policy which will incorporate policy on use of social media and skype and and another guidelines document for people who are using social media websites.

Thanks again, 


Anthony Lindsay's picture

Hi Jess,Over the last couple

Hi Jess,

Over the last couple of years we've been embracing social media in its various forms to an increasing degree.  It's been part of a review of our communications strategy as much as any IT thing.  There are lots of different audiences and now lots of channels to choose from, so it's been a question of trying to find out which channels the audiences you wish to talk to are using.  

Certain 'new technologies' have proven really useful to us internally, e.g. Skype and Ning, which we use every day, for communication within our team.

As for usage guidelines and policies, I believe that the web is now such an integral part of the workplace that it is essential to have a workable and sensible usage policy.  For example, it is a given that people will use their work computer to do some personal stuff, so the sensible thing to do would be to acknowledge that fact and try to limit it to a reasonable amount.  We've a document to download all about policies for usage and whatnot here.

As for social media in particular, it would be sensible to have "house rules" for posting content - e.g. no profanity, nothing libellous etc.  Remember that every bit of content posted is a) out on the net for all to see and b) representing your organisation.  Some manner of ettiquette guide would be handy.  I don't believe that disclaimers are going to be a magic wand solution. Regardless as to whether or not they might stand up in court - if something came to that - they are not going to make somebody who has been offended feel better.  There's a balance to be struck between controlling the social media space too much and killing it, and leaving it a completely open forum.

That's my 2 cents.