Inc.com offers up a timely article regarding employee blogging and the different pitfalls for companies who allow it. Honestly, I haven’t put as much thought into this topic as the writer. I did find these 10 points interesting (thought I don’t follow them):
1. Remind employees to familiarize themselves with the employment agreement and policies included in the employee handbook before they begin blogging.
2. State that the policy applies to both blogs for the company and personal blogs.
3. Blog posts should not disclose any information that is confidential or proprietary to the company or to any third party that has disclosed information to the company.
4. If an employee comments on any aspect of the company’s business they must clearly identify themselves as an employee in the blog posting and include a disclaimer.
5. The disclaimer should be something like “the views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of (your companies name).
6. Blog posts should not include company logos or trademarks.
7. Blog posts must respect copyright, privacy, fair use, financial disclosure, and other applicable laws.
8. Employees should neither claim nor imply that they are speaking on the company’s behalf.
9. Corporate blogs (located on your company website) require approval when the employee is blogging about the company and the industry.
10. That the company reserves the right to request the certain subjects are avoided, withdraw certain posts and remove inappropriate comments.
Blogs open up a new liability for companies in that the information is disseminated to a large audience in an almost uncontrollable media. Clearly employees are restrained by their potential termination if they cross a line. I always think of the recently terminated employees – the restraining thought of termination is no longer in effect.
That leads to some interesting posts…to say the least.