|ACT is providing this actual agency social media policy solely as an example to assist agencies and brokers in creating a social web policy appropriate and customized for their particular firm. This example is not a substitute for agents and brokers independently evaluating any business, legal or other issues, and is not a recommendation that a particular course of action be adopted. In addition to this example, we strongly urge agencies to consider all of the issues contained in ACT’s report “Creating a Social Web Policy for Your Independent Agency.” If specific advice is required or desired, the services of an appropriate, competent professional should be sought. |
AGENCY Social Networking/Media Policy
I. Statement of Purpose & Philosophy
The purpose of this Social Networking/Media policy (hereinafter referred to as the policy) is to establish clear and reasonable guidelines for the use of social media and networking sites.
The philosophy of the policy is to ensure that all interested persons representing the Agency portray a professional image and behave in a manner consistent with our Code of Conduct policy when engaging in social media and networking sites.
II. Statement of Scope
The policy applies to all Agency personnel, or representative thereof.
Social Media Site: A social media site is online content created by individuals or organizations to distribute news, information, images, video and other material. It also supports the opportunity for social interaction and commentary. Examples of social media sites include, but are not limited to, blog sites, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, StumbleUpon, and Wikipedia.
Social Networking Site: A social networking site is designed to connect people with common interests via the Internet. These sites strive to create an online community to discuss common interests via text, images and video on topics such as business, hobbies, personal development, religion or politics. Examples of social networking sites include, but are not limited to, LinkedIn, FaceBook, MySpace, Skype and Oovoo.
IV. Statement of Policy
It is in the best interest of the Agency to encourage participation in the social web arena in accordance with this policy and all other Agency policies. The absence of, or lack of explicit reference to a specific site, does not limit the extent of the application of this policy.
V. Social Networking/Media Procedure
Confidentiality. Participation on the social web must comply with the Agency's Confidentiality policy.
Terms of Service. When participating in the social web, compliance with the terms of service of the site or application is expected. Refrain from providing false names and or information.
Online Opinions. Personal blogs and other online opinion postings should have clear disclaimers that the view expressed by the author in the blog is the author's alone and do not represent the views of the Agency. They should be written in the first person and be clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of the Agency.
Code of Conduct and Proprietary Information. Information published on social media sites should comply with the Agency's Code of Conduct policy. This also applies to comments posted on the internet, blogs, forums, and social networking sites. Proprietary and/or private information is not to be discussed or referred to on such sites, even in private messages, because of security concerns. This includes, but is not limited to Agency financial information, intellectual property, information about customers, companies, employees, partners, etc.
Reference to Other Parties. Referencing or citing any of the Agency's employees, clients, partners, or customers without their express consent is strictly prohibited. Be respectful to the Agency, other employees, customers, partners, and competitors.
Purpose. Add value by being interesting, informative, and innovative. Share your knowledge and experience in an honest way being sure to separate opinion from fact. Express opinions, but do so without resorting to personal attacks, social insensitivity, discrimination, or harassment.
Copyright Laws. Respect copyright laws, and reference or cite sources appropriately. Plagiarism applies online as well.
Permanent Record. Remember that the Internet is "forever", and you should not post anything on the Internet that will tarnish your reputation or that of the Agency.
Productivity Impact. Social media activities should not interfere with work commitments. Refer to Internet Use policy.
Disciplinary Action. Violations of this policy could result in immediate disciplinary action, up to, and including termination of employment.