We also believe in the power of social media and we encourage our over 3500 employees across 100 offices to leverage technology to connect with our brand, stakeholders and influencers. As such, we are providing these Guidelines to MSL employees so that you understand your responsibilities when using social media.
As communications professionals we are held to a higher standard in our online, public conversations than perhaps those in other professions might be. Our principles are grounded in honesty, transparency and a passion for client service. Our employees are expected to adhere to those same values, across all applicable policies – including ‘Janus’ (Publicis Groupe’s internal Code of Conduct handbook) and your local office policies and practices. Be sure to know your work group’s policies regarding personal use of social media at work or on Company devices, as well as confidentiality and proprietary information.
Most social networks have a personal profile or “About” section that you can utilize to ensure that anyone reviewing your content knows exactly who you are. Maximize that space and although these networks are your personal networks, clearly state your company affiliation and role in the interests of transparency – this is particularly important on sites such as Wikipedia and Twitter. But please ensure MSL is not used in your personal screen name.
There are many examples of professionals using social platforms in ways that have had negative impacts on their careers. These guidelines have been created to give our employees a “best-practices” guide in order to avoid common pitfalls and be aware of the implications of engaging in online conversations that reference our company, our clients, potential clients and other key industry stakeholders.
The world of emerging technology is always changing. These principles apply for any and all public communications platforms (both mobile and web-based). We’ve named a few networks below, but keep in mind that this list is not inclusive of every platform:
Social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Renren; blogs like Wordpress, Blogger and Tumblr; microblogs like Twitter and Weibos; forums + wikis like Quora, Jelly and Wikipedia; intranets and knowledge sharing platforms, video sharing sites like YouTube, Vine and Youku, photo sharing sites like Flickr and Instagram, and mobile messengers like WeChat, Whatsapp, and Line.
So have fun, but be smart. We are here to support you.
Employees as MSL ambassadors
We wholeheartedly encourage employees, as representatives of MSL, to use social media to engage in conversations online. Please keep in mind these important principles when you are using any social network:
Confidentiality: We trust you to always use good judgment and to act in a way that allows MSL to comply with its commitments and with applicable law related to confidentiality and data privacy. We ask that you don't share any MSL or partner or client-confidential data/proprietary information and never discuss our business performance or plans publicly. In all cases, we expect you to respect the confidentiality agreement you have signed with MSL.
Personal: Do recognize that, online, you could be seen as representing MSL and the company could be held responsible for your behavior, even when you are using your personal social media accounts. Assume that what you say and how you behave online can be read and seen by a client (or future client), your boss or the press, and act accordingly. We encourage you to always be responsible and positive on social media. Be aware that writing “Tweets are my own” on your profile, for example, doesn’t prevent others from considering your views as representative of the company.
Respect Copyrights: We encourage you to link to posts and articles about communications trends, data, case studies, scenarios, quotes, anecdotes and personal observations, and build a personal brand. Wherever possible, link to slideshows, videos or screenshots to add visual appeal. Do respect copyright, fair use and financial disclosure laws. Ensure you link back to the source and have approval of the author/creator wherever necessary.
Add Value: We encourage employees and associates of agencies within MSL to use blogs and wikis to share knowledge. As an MSL employee, ensure that your online profiles accurately represent your designation and that your content adds value. Also know that MSL and leading global PR agencies in June 2014 signed a pledge to use Wikipedia ethically and transparently - we expect all employees to strictly follow the principles of our statement and encourage your contemporaries to do so too.
Be Responsible: Don’t give in to social media rage. Be respectful and responsible. Remember that the Internet never forgets. Your tone should be personal and conversational -- as if you are talking to an office colleague, not as if you are writing a press release. Be yourself.
The best guideline is: never share something on social media that you wouldn't share with a journalist on email. It’s simple, and it’s a good maxim.
Talking about MSL and Publicis Groupe clients
We encourage you to have your own opinions and points of view. However, working at Publicis Groupe means that every brand is a present or potential client. So, we would ask you to avoid engaging in any negative or controversial brand-related conversations on social media and focus on the positives. Specifically, we would ask you not to comment on an issue or crisis of any kind in which a Publicis Groupe entity or client is involved.
Some clients, as a policy, ask agencies not to talk about them or their brands on social media. We expect you to strictly respect these client policies and refrain from referencing these clients at all, even in a positive or neutral context, unless specifically approved by the client.
When you do talk about an MSL client, we would encourage you to proactively mention that it is a client (using the #client or #cl hashtag), as disclosure. Indeed, in the US our employees are required by FTC regulation to indicate in their posts or tweets if a company is a client. (Again, please check your local office’s policy as well as the policy of your clients.)
Please connect with your HR head to understand local rules about use of social media at the workplace.