Developing a Digital Strategy 004 – Examples of Social Media Policies, Kodak
Kodak have an extensive and clear social media policy for their employees, and have managed to embrace social media in a way few companies have yet done. Extracts of their policy:
We developed a social media policy for Kodak employees that you might find helpful for your organization. Our people from Marketing, Information Systems, Legal, and Corporate Communications worked together to create these 10 “rules.” We hope that you find them helpful. Feel free to edit to suit your needs. [Note: How many companies would allow that in their policies?]
Kodak has been growing its participation in social media to strengthen our brand and our connection with customers and key influencers. Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, news sharing and bookmarking sites like delicious and Digg, and photo- and video-sharing sites like flickr and YouTube can be exciting new avenues for communication in our professional and personal lives. Used responsibly, they provide an effective way to keep abreast of new trends and topics, and to share information and perspectives.
Given the reach of the internet, it’s important that when you use these various media, you follow some basic procedures that support our “one voice” policy as described in the Business Conduct Guide. That policy applies to Kodak employees when they blog or participate in social media for work, but it should also be considered if personal blog activities may give the appearance of speaking for Kodak. Adhering to the following points in either situation will provide protection for you and Kodak.
Maintaining a good reputation – yours and Kodak’s
1. Live the Kodak values. Always express ideas and opinions in a respectful manner
- Make sure your communications are in good taste
- Be sensitive about linking to content. Redirecting to another site may imply an endorsement of its content.
- Do not denigrate or insult others, including competitors.
2. Be yourself – and be transparent
Even when you are talking as an individual, people may perceive you to be talking on behalf of Kodak. If you blog or discuss photography, printing or other topics related to a Kodak business, be upfront and explain that you work for Kodak; however, if you aren’t an official company spokesperson, add a disclaimer to the effect: “The opinions and positions expressed are my own and don’t necessarily reflect those of Eastman Kodak Company.” Also, only those authorized by a company may use that company’s logos and trade dress in communications, so be sure you do not include Kodak brand symbols or trade dress – or that of other companies – in your personal blogs or postings.
3. Protect confidential information and relationships
- avoid identifying and discussing others – including customers; suppliers, your friends and co-workers – unless you have their permission
- obtain permission before posting pictures of others, or before posting copyrighted information;
- never discuss proprietary Kodak information, including sales data and plans, company finances, strategies, product launch information, unannounced technology or anything considered “confidential.”
4. Speak the truth
If you are in a discussion that relates to Kodak or its products, don’t make unsubstantiated claims about features, performance or pricing.
5. Keep your cool
One of the aims of social media is to create dialogue, and people won’t always agree on an issue. When confronted with a difference of opinion, stay cool. Express your points in a clear, logical way. Don’t pick fights, and correct mistakes when needed. Sometimes, it’s best to ignore a comment and not give it credibility by acknowledging it with a response.
6. Stay timely
Part of the appeal in social media is that the conversation occurs almost in real time. So, if you are going to participate in an active way, make sure you are willing to take the time to refresh content, respond to questions and update information regularly, and correct information when appropriate.
Protecting your, and Kodak’s, privacy and resources
7. Be careful with personal information
This may seem odd, since many sites are created to help promote sharing of personal information. Still, astute criminals can piece together information you provide on different sites and then use it to impersonate you or someone you know – or even re-set your passwords. Similarly, “tweeting” real-time about your travels may confirm you aren’t at home – letting someone target your house. So, be careful when sharing information about yourself or others.
8. Don’t be fooled
If you do post personal information on a site like Facebook or Twitter, criminals can use it to send you emails that appear to come from a friend or other trusted source – even the site itself. This is called “phishing.” The lesson is: Don’t click links or attachments unless you trust the source. For example, be wary of emails that say there is a problem with your account, then ask you to click on a link and input your username and password. The link may connect to a site that looks exactly like Facebook, Twitter, your bank’s web site, but is really a fake site used to get even more personal information. This ploy can also be used to infect your computer with a virus or keystroke logger.
9. Disable dangerous privileges
If a site allows others to embed code – like HTML postings, links, and file attachments – on your page or account, criminals can use them install malicious software on your computer. If possible, disable the ability of others to post HTML comments on your home page.
10. Heed security warnings and pop-ups
There’s a reason your security software provides warnings like:
- “A process is attempting to invoke xyz.exe. Do you wish to allow this?”
- “The process ‘IEXPLORE.EXE’ is attempting to modify a document ‘X.’ Do you wish to allow this?”
Never allow or say “yes” to such actions, unless you know that they are safe.
Note for employees:
Even when you are talking as an individual, people may perceive you to be talking on behalf of Kodak. If you blog or discuss photography, printing or other topics related to a Kodak business, be upfront and explain that you work for Kodak; however, if you aren’t an official company spokesperson, add a disclaimer to the effect: “The opinions and positions expressed are my own and don’t necessarily reﬂect those of Eastman Kodak Company.”
Kodak’s social media policy is an example of a proactive policy which will enable the staff who are good to shine, to the benefit of the company. This is in stark contrast to the Washington Post approach which states that in the case of using social networking tools for personal reasons ‘all Washington Post journalists relinquish some of the personal privileges of private citizens’. My bet is that Kodak’s strategy will be far more beneficial to the company, and they will retain the best staff as a result.