As an educator at a Vancouver-area university, I helped fashion the digital-media and online-privacy procedures for its School of Business. My goal was to show how teachers and students could avail themselves of the many dozens of digital-media platforms – from “crowd computing” to “tweeting” – in ways that kept classroom relationships professional and ethical, students’ lives private, and learning innovative and thrilling. This was actually a “bear” of a project, and one that my colleagues and I will need to revisit annually at the very least, because the mediums via which we communicate and teach and learn are changing very quickly – indeed, *are coming into being* so very quickly. (See, for example, Vine. Here’s the author making his debut appearance in that new medium.)
The Social Media Governance by Industry link in our Resources section is a useful compendium of policies from across a range of sectors: Advertising, PR, Business Services, Education, Health Care, Consumer Products, NonProfit Organizations, and Government. One can see that these policies must adjust to how relationships between management and staff have been altered, and tensions created, by digital media. Here’s a snippet from Via Rail’s: “Only Social Media Champions are allowed to make new social media accounts that represent the Corporation, including any of its products or services. Prior to creating anew social media account, Social Media Champions will obtain the approval of the dedicated community manager, who will ensure the account respects VIA’s Social Media Policy and is created and maintained according to best practices.”
And here’s a notice from Harvard’s Guidelines: “You ‘retweet’ a Twitter message posted by a student activist group using your Department’s official Twitter account. However, the tweet contains a link to an outside website that disparages University leadership. In this situation, you should have taken advance steps to ensure that material you posted to authorized social media accounts at the University did not contain material that reflects negatively on the University or members of the University community.”
No Contest Communications will be staying on top of these governance issues for you.