NAATP - Social Media Ethics & Boundaries


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Social Media Ethics and Boundaries for Addiction Treatment Providers - overview of social media basics, along with sample guidelines and policies for treatment centers.

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  • Copies of this presentation are available online at
  • My story – feeling of “Hey, wait for me!” So, I started to poke around for answers Found lots of internet experts talking to treatment providers, and met with mixed results. What I wanted was a treatment expert to help me make sense of Web 2.O, Social Media, etc.
  • Last year I did a presentation in three various locations called Social Media 101 for Treatement Providers, which really focused on Tips and Tactics for getting started – essentially, it was about marketing your treatment center. Inevitably, the questions were on Social Media ethics and guidelines, so That is the focus of today’s talk. I would like to SPEED through the top of my slide deck to cover the basics on Social Media 101… Then talk about policies and guidelines for treatment providers.
  • Perhaps the most important thing to understand about Social Media, online marketing and Web 2.0 is that, because of companies like GOOGLE, there has been a very significant SHIFT is how it is consumers shop for goods and services. If you were shopping for a camera, or a mountain bike or a car, would you begin on a website of a big 3 auto maker, or would you start at Edmunds or Bike
  • Many of us in this room work or got sober in programs which are based in the 12 Step recovery program. Well, the good news for those of us who feel overwhelmed by the New Rules of Marketing, take heart….
  • When you think of Social Media – think of online activities that integrate technology with social interaction…. There is a “build” effect with comments upon comments… as people share their stories. Again, these are not unlike the norms of a healthy 12 Step recovery community.
  • Why are treatment programs embracing new online marketing tools like: BLOGS – FB – TWITTER – YOUTUBE – LINKED IN? There is an old saying – I can offer you quality, speed, or price. Choose any two, but you can’t have all three. Well, an effective social media campaign can outperform a costly television or broadcast print campaign, delivery a more credible and authentic message, and do it for a lot, lot less.
  • One of the challenges of managing a strong social media campaign is that unlike the interstate we drove on from the airport to get here… the on and off ramps on this superhighway go BOTH ways. For instance, we DO provide links from FB to our website, but not the other way around.
  • Once again, these are the basics of social media interactions online, and they sound a lot like what my sponsor in AA reminds me about sharing in a 12 Step meeting.
  • What I see it saying is Those who are new in recovery stay more connected through social media. Alumni new in recovery check FB more often. Read: Craving connection. They are connected to social media more often than they typically go to say a 12-step meeting. Our group of alumni and clients personally knows and has met there FB friends… unlike say, many of us who are marketers in this room. In many cases their FB friends are NOT also in recovery.  At least those new in sobriety. Many have “unfriended” or deleted others based on putting their sobriety first.
  • Do you ever wonder whose posting those awful, spammy messages on your FB wall? The point is that for any of us, caution is advisable. For a 20-something in early recovery, that’s especially true.
  • What NLRB has determined is that employer have significant rights in this area… BUT ONLY IF their employees are made aware of these policies up front, and if these policies are evenly and consistently enforced. Similar to sexual harassment in that the responsibility for even-handed enforcement rests on the company.
  • Here’s something I learned a long time ago…. Addicts in treatment are a lot like children and their parents. They don’t listen to what we say, they watch what we do and model our behavior. NOTE: Fastest growing segment of new FB members is NOT young adults… it’s baby boomers who want to stay connected with their grandkids.
  • CONCLUSIONS: Does it feel organic and natural to the recovery process for our alumni to be connected with staff after treatment… on FB or otherwise? In our case, we are program that believes in power tools, mountain bikes and airplane rides in treatments… so the answer is yes. Are there are dangers of being TOO RESTRICTIVE in your policies? We believe so: Not in touch with reality, so compliance becomes problematic Lose opportunity to model healthy recovery through the FB lens Closes a valuable window of visibility into well being of alumni Challenge is to bridge the old school values of our staff and the reality of the New Rules of social interaction in the 21 st Century. FB and Social Media aren’t going away, and we as a staff, and we as an industry, need to embrace and manage our own roles in this brave new world.
  • NAATP - Social Media Ethics & Boundaries

    1. 1. Social Media – Ethics & Boundaries For Treatment Providers Bob Ferguson / Jaywalker Lodge National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers – May 15, 2011
    2. 2. Social Media – Ethics & Boundaries <ul><li>Part 1 – The “Big Picture” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The old rules and the new rules of marketing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is social media – and why do we care? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social media marketing strategies for treatment providers. </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Part 1 – The “Big Picture” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The old rules… and the new rules of marketing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is social media – and why do we care? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social media marketing strategies for treatment providers. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part 2 – Ethics & Boundaries for Treatment Providers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fast-changing landscape for employers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tips and suggestions for developing a social media policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sample policy and social media guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part 3 – Questions / Discussion </li></ul>Social Media – Ethics & Boundaries
    4. 4. Social Media – New Rules of Mktg. <ul><li> </li></ul>“ The Internet and social media have transformed the way companies communicate with consumers. Forget old advertising tactics that don’t work online... Instead of one-way interruption messaging, Web marketing is about delivering useful content at the precise moment a buyer needs it… The audience has become the expert. ”
    5. 5. Social Media – New Rules of Mktg. <ul><ul><li>The Old Rules: this billboard ad “interrupts” motorists with a one-way message, seeking to “lure” or “entice” customers – as individuals – into a purchase decision. </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Social Media – New Rules of Mktg. <ul><ul><li>The Old Rules: this billboard ad “interrupts” motorists with a one-way message, seeking to “lure” or “entice” customers into a purchase decision. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The New Rules: ESPN creates a Winter X Games “fan page” on Facebook to host and enable a conversation among their customers… 1,829,475 virtual “friends.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There has been a shift away from product promotion, and towards customer participation. </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>Alcoholics Anonymous - Social Marketing circa 1941? </li></ul>Social Media – New Rules of Marketing <ul><ul><li>Rapid, Sustained Growth Fueled by Word of Mouth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Platform of Anonymity Essential to Engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First-person Testimonials a Cornerstone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Program of Attraction… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not Promotion </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>Definitions – “Social Media” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… online activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. </li></ul></ul>Social Media – What is it? <ul><ul><li>This interaction depends on the varied perspectives - and the “building” of shared meaning among communities - as people share their stories and experiences. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Source: </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. THANKS! Credit for the following five (really cool) slides belongs to… Marta Kagan, Managing Director, Espresso Marketing
    10. 13. 110 MILLION.
    11. 15. <ul><li>Social Media - Business Builder for Treatment Providers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand Building and Reputation Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Program supporters gain visibility via platform for testimonials </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Thought leadership and damage control </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real Time Content & Contact Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Timely news release and blog posts via WordPress, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain contact with peers and professional colleagues </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengthen Online Marketing via Company Website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increase visitor traffic to website / boost SEO </li></ul></ul></ul>Social Media – Marketing Objectives
    12. 16. Company Website YouTube Channel Alumni Blog Twitter Company Blog Facebook Your homepage is the “anchor store” of a social media campaign.
    13. 17. <ul><li>Social Media – The “Unwritten” Rules </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BE AUTHENTIC… transparency is essential. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social media is “a program of attraction, not promotion.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>KEEP IT SHORT… real time messaging to your market. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Always include or link to visual images wherever possible. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LINKS… connect your content across multiple platforms. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blog links to FB, Twitter and Linked In and your homepage. </li></ul></ul></ul>Social Media – Marketing Challenges
    14. 18. <ul><li>Part 1 – The “Big Picture” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The old rules… and the new rules of marketing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is social media – and why do we care? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social media marketing strategies for treatment providers. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part 2 – Ethics & Boundaries for Treatment Providers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fast-changing landscape for employers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tips and suggestions for developing a social medial policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sample policy and social media guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part 3 – Questions / Discussion </li></ul>Social Media – Ethics & Boundaries
    15. 19. <ul><li>Social Media – Workplace Productivity & Attitudes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>22% of employees visit social networking sites 5 or more times per week, and 23% visit social networking sites 1-4 times per week. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In a recent survey, 53% of employees said their social networking pages are none of their employers’ business. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>27% of employees surveyed said they don’t consider the ethical consequences of posting comments, photos, or videos online. </li></ul></ul>Social Media – Ethics & Boundaries Source:!
    16. 20. <ul><li>N = 40 current and former clients </li></ul><ul><li>Average age – 27 years old </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook member – 100% </li></ul><ul><li>On FB multiple x/day – 55% </li></ul><ul><li>FB friends w sponsor – 45% </li></ul><ul><li>Have “unfriended” others based on sober concerns – 40% </li></ul><ul><li>N = 20 current Jaywalker staff </li></ul><ul><li>Average age – 39 years old </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook member – 65% </li></ul><ul><li>On FB multiple x/day – 20% </li></ul><ul><li>FB friends w sponsor – 30% </li></ul><ul><li>Have “unfriended” others based on sober concerns – 25% </li></ul>Social Media – Ethics & Boundaries <ul><ul><li>Facebook Survey – Jaywalker Lodge Clients/Alumni/Staff </li></ul></ul>
    17. 21. Social Media – Ethics & Boundaries
    18. 22. <ul><li>Tips for Social Media Workplace Policies/Guidelines </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prohibit the use of company equipment to disseminate any electronic communication that includes disparaging, threatening, harassing, or other inappropriate content, whether about the company, its employees or others. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prohibit disclosure of trade secrets, trademark, copyright or other confidential, proprietary non-public information. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prohibit the use of the company’s name, logo or slogans. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prohibit blogging on the clock +/or on company network. </li></ul></ul></ul>Social Media – Ethics & Boundaries Source : Center for Competitive Management / Mark Batten, Partner, Proskauer Rose LLC
    19. 23. Social Media – Ethics & Boundaries
    20. 24. <ul><li>Building Social Media Policy Guidelines for Treatment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Media Policies Should Mirror Existing Rules, Guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid dual or exclusive relationships between staff and clients </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ethical Guidelines: 12 Step Calls, Sponsorship, Business Contact </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Integrate social media into sexual harassment & ethics training </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Program-Specific Factors: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is Program’s Level of Care? (Primary vs. Transitional) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is the size and makeup of the local 12 Step community? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Program core values re: self-disclosure, therapeutic alliance, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>Social Media – Ethics & Boundaries
    21. 25. <ul><li>Jaywalker Lodge - Sample Social Media Guidelines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff are not permitted to engage with current clients/patients in social media environments, such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networking between the staff and the alumni is permitted only after a client is discharged from all Jaywalker Lodge programs, including aftercare, for at least the following periods of time: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clinical Staff (licensed or certified) may engage with alumni one year following discharge from treatment, including aftercare. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Administrative Staff (non-clinical) may engage with the alumni 6 months Post Treatment discharge, and the alumni not participating in aftercare. </li></ul></ul></ul>Social Media – Ethics & Boundaries Source: Jaywalker Lodge. LLC Employee Handbook – April, 2011
    22. 26. <ul><li>Jaywalker Lodge – Sample Social Media Guidelines (cont.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networking between the staff and former clients is permitted only if the former client has made the initial online friend invitation. (i.e. staff may not ever “friend” clients or former clients on Facebook.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the event that a client re-admits to any Jaywalker Lodge treatment programs, the online friendship will need to be terminated. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Media Guidelines to appear in Employee and Client Handbooks; and are posted prominently at Client Computer. Provide staff with both policies (rules) as well as suggestions (separately) for FB, etc. </li></ul></ul>Social Media – Ethics & Boundaries Source: Jaywalker Lodge. LLC Employee Handbook – April, 2011
    23. 27. Social Media – Ethics & Boundaries
    24. 28. <ul><li>Facebook Safety Tips for Counselors (Suggested – Not Policy) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Think twice (or even three times) before engaging in Facebook friendships with current or former patients/clients, or their family members. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adjust Facebook privacy settings to allow only “friends” to view your profile, status, photos, posts, etc. Make your profile unsearchable as a privacy setting. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not accept friendship requests from persons unknown to you, even if you share mutual friends. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not post your e-mail address, phone number, date of birth or physical address on your Facebook page. </li></ul></ul>Social Media – Ethics & Boundaries Source : Counselor Magazine, February, 2011
    25. 29. Social Media – Ethics & Boundaries
    26. 30. <ul><li>Bob Ferguson, Director/Founder - Jaywalker Lodge. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Social Media – Ethics & Boundaries