I think it’s generally accepted by many social media folks that one characteristic of social media is transparency and disclosure, well … maybe that’s two characteristics but they almost mean the same thing.
Being transparent (or real) in a conversation and disclosing who you are is really the first step in building trust with people online. It’s the same dynamic when building relationships in the real world, not that online isn’t the real world of course but you catch my drift. If I wasn’t transparent with my wife when we were first dating, and then issues began to arise after the fact, there is a good chance that we wouldn’t be married today. Same goes for big companies.
Back in June, I attended a Blog Council event in Chicago and met some really awesome people from companies like Dell, P&G, Nokia and Allstate Insurance to name a few. It was great opportunity for us to talk about the issues that we face daily within our organizations as it relates to social media, one being disclosure. And, to make a long story short, we began to work on a collaborative disclosure statement (just released today) for companies that are engaging in and with social media. Here are some key points that explain the statement in detail:
- The disclosure policy is intended to be used as a guideline to help companies create their own policy
- The document is open source; and will change and evolve over time
- The policy covers more than just corporate blogging. It encompasses “all things” social media
The Blog Council is a group of corporate marketers/managers/lawyers (volunteers); and it’s not our intention to set or enforce “blogging rules”. The disclosure statement is meant to make it easier to share the best practices with each other and the community.