This morning I attended a New York Chapter PRSA event on “Developing Your Social Media Policy,” and the presenters were excellent. Alayna Francis, VP at reinsurance company Swiss Re, discussed her four-year (and counting) odyssey to ramp up social media efforts in that highly regulated industry. Her social media policy plan is in the global review stage, and I had to admire her determination to push the initiative through—despite the fact that IT refuses to allow social media platforms on Swiss Re’s work computers. Taylor Morris, the American Heart Association‘s regional director of digital communications and new media, described the balancing act of being the “enforcer” of the social media activities of local chapters vs. allowing for some experimentation (she tends toward the latter). One hot-button issue brought up in the Q&A: the blurring of personal and professional Facebook pages and the potential for crises. Example: An employee gets laid off, gets mad and says so on their personal Facebook page to numerous friends, some of whom are business related. Steve Halsey, event moderator and VP of digital media at Gibbs and Soell PR, said that’s why he’s “all business” in his own social media outreach. I’m curious if your organization has experienced problems with this potential powder keg, and if you’ve found some good solutions.
–Scott Van Camp