July 20, 2010

Melanie Green Stresses Legal Ethics in Social Media Policy

A mere 20 percent of companies worldwide have implemented a formal policy regarding employee use of social networking sites according to the employment services firm Manpower, mediabistro.com reported in its story, "PR, Perfected: Map Out Your Social Media Policy."

If your company has not developed a social media policy, it needs to - fast, the story said. A sound rulebook spelling out the do's and don'ts of web dialogue as it relates to the workplace will sharpen the lines between professional and personal engagement for employees.

Melanie Green, director of business development and marketing at Baker & Daniels, stressed the importance of legal implications when crafting a policy.

"Without question, it is important to be informed about the legal ethics requirements for your operating jurisdictions," Green told mediabistro.com. "Ethics rules vary by state."

To protect client confidentiality and professional code of ethics, it's critical that all companies - not only law firms - implement various restrictions into their policy to comply, the story reported.

Green said internal education was key to developing Baker & Daniels' strategic utilization of social media tools. The policy "is only as good as the paper it is written on," she told mediabistro.com.

"We are always looking for ways to continue to point people to the policy and do individual or small group training around social media and networks to make sure people are educated to its benefits for professional and business use," Green said in the story. "It has been important for us to remember to not let it get stale on the shelf, but look for ways to integrate it into our internal communication … and keep it in front of our professionals."

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