The new Ministry of Truth

Recently, the Wall Street journal posted new social networking rules for employees to follow. 

Selected highlights:

  • Let our coverage speak for itself, and don’t detail how an article was reported, written or edited.
  • Don’t discuss articles that haven’t been published, meetings you’ve attended or plan to attend with staff or sources, or interviews that you’ve conducted. . . .
  • Business and pleasure should not be mixed on services like Twitter. Common sense should prevail, but if you are in doubt about the appropriateness of a Tweet or posting, discuss it with your editor before sending.

Organizations hoping to compete in the information age need to start accepting a few things:

  1. If you're taking your social media policy lead from the newspaper industry, start over.
  2. You can't turn your back on collaborative opportunities because you don't understand how it will effect your perceived stronghold on a market.
  3. Writing policy that flies in the face of the net natives on your staff pretty much encourages them to use their culture's transparency and openness to destroy you.
  4. Any attempt to solidify the institutional voice of your organization as its only voice, will fail...miserably.  And in the process, you'll very likely destroy relationships with your staff and customers.

Consider embracing these social media trends. Unless your new brand strategy is to be big brother.