Forty-nine percent of companies do not have a specific approach or policy on employees’ use of social media on behalf of the companies, according to a survey reported in the October 2009 PR Week (link here, but requires subscription).
Jim Tsokanos, president of North America for MS&L, a PR firm that sponsored the survey with PR Week, comments:
When we live in the world of the empowered consumer and everyone has a point of view, and they share it at the speed of light, for companies to not have policies in place to guide how social media can be utilized by their employees, I thought was very interesting.
You can tell he’s in PR: Dangerous might be a better word for half the companies lacking policies on social media use. The risk is especially acute for public companies, who could face serious disclosure issues or ethical breaches in a tweet.
As I’ve suggested before in IR Café, public companies need to develop policies on who can use social media to discuss the business and guidelines for how. (Links to examples of social media policies at this post.)
Investor relations professionals ought to offer input on social media, at least to address the defensive compliance issue – and, getting radical here, also to include the financial community proactively among audiences served via social media.