By Staff Report
Aug. 18, 2015
Dear Uncharted Waters,
Your concerns about this employee’s tweets are well-founded and a perfect example of why social media has become one of management’s most important communications duties.
You’re not the only one among your company’s many stakeholders who’s noticed them by now, given how fast salacious gossip travels. Worse, his not mentioning where he works in his Twitter bio probably won’t protect your company against the potential damage his tweets could cause to its image. In this brave new world, whatever we send out electronically lives there forever.
That’s why I recommend your company act quickly and commit to spending time and means on rolling out a new, comprehensive and practical social media policy. Once it’s official, human resources can refer to it when helping management deal with any employee’s controversial online statements regarding your company.
To reinforce the urgency and importance to your company’s future surrounding this task, introduce this new policy with a major, live address by your most senior manager or owner to all employees (with the help of videoconferencing for those working at remote locations).
Turn to the many resources for developing social media policies available now, from individual consultants to professional organizations as well as your in-house HR department and in-house or outside legal counsel.
Be sure the head of your company prepares for this presentation thoroughly, if possible with the help of outside expertise. As a communications professional, you know better than most your leadership’s oratory skills will make or break such a huge and essential transformation of your company's operations and core values.
With the guidance of your legal counsel and HR, ask this employee to stop these critical and unprofessional tweets as soon as you can, which means most likely before the address takes place. There’s too much at stake for your company’s and his reputation.
Here are some fundamental tactics for winning over audiences we’ve seen stand the test of time and a myriad of difficult communications challenges:
Best wishes for smooth sailing ahead!
SOURCE: Bill Rosenthal, Communispond, East Hampton, New York, Aug. 18, 2015.
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