Social Media Guidelines

Here’s the latest in my ongoing series of essays, Local Media in a Postmodern World:

Social Media Guidelines

This week, Reuters became the latest company to release policy guidelines for the use of social media, and, once again, observers find their rules to be impractical, cumbersome and over-reaching. According to Mashable, “journalists are advised to get manager approval before using Twitter for professional purposes, have someone double-check their tweets before posting, avoid disclosing personal biases (especially political), and to separate professional and private activity with separate accounts.” This reveals a deep lack of understanding about the world of personal media and, in reality, so ties the hands of employees that they cannot compete. And, yes, they must compete. For Reuters — and most other companies — social media is all about protecting the brand, when the personal brands of its employees are where it’s at in social media.

I’ve been troubled by this since I first read the policies of The New York Times last year, so I’ve written my own set of guidelines and share them here with you. It’s my hope you’ll read the paper and decide for yourself about all of this, for it is vastly more complicated — and important — than you may realize.

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