Policy Planning

  1. Put together a coalition of people who will need to be a part of the creation of the document and who understand the goals and objectives of social media communications (Communications, Legal, HR, IT, etc.)

  3. Select 5 or 6 good social media policies that have been created by other organizations.  It’s important to compare different types of policies, but make sure you find a couple of policies that are representative of your industry, non-profit or government sector.

  5. Audit your social media outreach and activities, if you are currently communicating through social media.

  7. Develop a matrix or Guidelines for Engagement that will include the six companies that you select and then list the various sections that these organizations use in their social media policies. You will find that these policies vary in length.  Select relevant or useful parts of each of the policies, especially the guidelines that you feel may pertain to activities within your organization, as well as other issues or concerns that look useful and may relate to future social media activities.

  9. Go through the comprehensive list of policy sections on the matrix and mark “Yes” or “No” to determine whether a company has the guidelines or not.  You are looking to find similarities between what different organizations are using in their guidelines.

  11. If you find that a particular section or guideline is used by at least four of the six companies, then that guideline should be highlighted as one that may appear in your policy.  These highlighted sections are a “must include” and then go back to the other parts that are not highlighted to see which may pertain and be relevant to your organization’s communication.


Potential legal concerns for the organization


  1. Consumer Protection Unfair Trading Regulation
  2. Advertising Standards Authority
  3. Intellectual Property (copyright and trademark)
  4. Disclosure/Confidentiality
  5. Defamation
  6. Invasion of privacy
  7. Statement for employees or members of the organization on the 3 R’s (Representation, Responsibility and Respect)
  8. Rules for engagement with explanations: i.e., be judicious, be transparent, stick to what you know, etc.
  9. Emerging social media issues
    1. User generated content
    2. Branding guidelines and standards
    3. Contributing to wikis

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