I’m sure by now most people have seen the guidelines from the UK federal government level on civil servant participation in social media (Released in June 2008):
- Be Credible – Be accurate, fair, thorough and transparent.
- Be Consistent – Encourage constructive criticism and deliberation. Be cordial, honest and professional at all times.
- Be Responsive – When you gain insight, share it where appropriate.
- Be Integrated – Wherever possible, align online participation with other offline communications.
- Be a Civil Servant – Remember that you are an ambassador for your organisation. Wherever possible, disclose your position as a representative of your department or agency.
I thought I’d reflect on their guidelines, especially after participating in the recent Web 2.0 Summit in Toronto – a fantastic summit, very well organized by the City of Toronto! Check out the lively #to20 twitter feed from the event.
While there are lots of different guidelines out there for participation in social media, the UK Fed Gov’t guidelines are specifically tailored to the civil service. I like the simplicity of them, and the fact that they are “guidelines” and not rules and regulations is very empowering to the individual.
The overall premise of the guidelines is to act professionally, and to conduct yourself in a manner that is becoming of your profession. Very adept, as the online environment is partially an extension of your self in a F2F environment, but is akin to having a conversation that anyone anywhere can listen to and participate in. The transparent nature of online interactions is fitting to public accountability, which lends itself again to the underlying principle of professionalism.
Do you have any other good examples of social media guidelines to share?