Written blogging policies are always a good idea for a company – they help to avoid any ambiguities for employees on what it is acceptable to blog about (and how). Seemingly it was the lack of blogging policies which led to Google’s sacking of Mark Jen, for instance.
Hill & Knowlton are a PR firm and recently they came up with the following policy document (via Shel) for their bloggers:
- I will acknowledge and correct mistakes promptly
- I will preserve the original post, using notations to show where I have made changes
- I will never delete a post
- I will not delete comments unless they are spam or off-topic
- I will disclose conflicts of interest (including client relationships) where I am able to do so
- I will not publish anything that breaches my existing employment contract
- I will distinguish between factual information/commentary and advertising
- I will never publish information I know to be inaccurate
- I will disagree with other opinions respectfully
- I will link to online references and original source materials directly
- I will strive for high quality with every post – including basic spellchecking
- I will write deliberately and with accuracy
- I will reply to emails and comments when appropriate, and do so promptly
- I will restrict my posting to professional topics
- I will write on a regular basis, at least once each week
While this policy seems quite comprehensive it doesn’t cover what an employee needs to avoid blogging about (confidential info, financials, etc.) and instead pushes that back to the employment contract – as long as the employment contract is clear, then this need not be a problem.
Many companies have started publishing blogging policies recently and a couple of Intel workers have started a debate on possible blogging policies for Intel employees. If you are looking into drawing up blogging policies for your company, it is worthwhile doing some research on it and publishing proposed policies to get some feedback – the chances are the feedback will hit some topic you hadn’t considered and will ultimately lead to better policies.
3 thoughts on “Corporate blogging policies”
Thanks for mentioning the code of practice (it’s not a policy document) for our professional blogging community.
You say that it doesn’t cover what an employee needs to avoid blogging about, but we already covered that in separate blogging guidelines we published to staff back in May. In fact, that was one of the policies Fredrik compared in the review you link to.
The thing to remember is that there is a difference between a code of practice and an employee blogging policy – they often get interchanged, and the fact is that you need both.
Now I feel stupid!
Thanks for stopping by and clarifying that for me Niall.
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