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Social Media Risk: 30 things every PR Pro should know

Social Media Risk: 30 things every PR Pro should know



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  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
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  • This is a great question and a really murky area . . . I would recommend asking someone at, the legal firm that contributed to this presentation.
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  • Outstanding presentaton -- lots of new information in compact form. Very helpful to those of us who are not (yet) experts in social media. Thank you!

    One question: Does risk change if an employee is writing on their own personal page or blog versus blogging on their employer's blog? Can the company's 'Employee Use Policy' cover employees' personal use of social media?
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  • SOCIAL MEDIA RISK January 13 th , 2010 Eileen Moore – Ice Miller Taulbee Jackson – President / CEO – Raidious Jeremy Dearringer –Director, SEO R&D, Slingshot SEO Kevin Bailey – President, Slingshot SEO 30 things every PR Pro Should Know
  • SOCIAL MEDIA RISK 1-10 Legal issues in social media Eileen Moore - Associate Counsel, Ice Miller
  • 1. What is the client’s employee use policy?
    • We are advising our clients to adopt comprehensive policies that clearly spell out the company’s expectations with regard to social networking.
    • Unless companies evolve with technology, and update their policies, procedures and agreements to encompass social networking and other types of online activities, they may not be taking sufficiently reasonable steps to protect their confidential information and themselves against liability.
    • Examples:
    • Cisco’s Internet Postings Policy
    • IBM Social Computing Guidelines
    Does your client even have one?
  • 2. Are there any compliance requirements?
    • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
    • Guide to the Internet for Registered Representatives
    • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
    • Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
    • Food and Drug Authority
    You have to know your industry.
  • 3. What is the client’s defamation liability?
    • Increase in John Doe lawsuits.
    • Need to cover itself in its Employee Use Policy.
    • Indemnification provisions in contracts with third-party content providers.
    Has your client protected itself against liability for defamation?
  • 4. How are your clients using consumer data?
    • The policy should describe in detail the information the company collects and how it is used.
    • Examples:
    • Google
    • IBM
    What is your client’s privacy policy and does it address social media?
  • 5. Who owns the content?
    • Examples:
    • Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities
    • Twitter’s Terms of Service
    • LinkedIn’s User Agreement
    Does your client understand the Terms of Use for other platforms?
  • 6. What is your client’s Terms of Use policy?
    • Full disclosure.
    • Protection against any alleged violations.
    • Procedure for making complaints regarding content.
    Are your client’s Terms of Use for all of its digital platforms up to date?
  • 7. Is your client’s content actually theirs?
    • Post Copyright and Trademark information on website.
    • Using Digital Rights Management Devices.
    • Performing site sweeps.
    • Enforcing intellectual property rights.
    What steps has your client taken to avoid IP infringement?
  • 8. Is your client’s content protected?
    • Facebook - Reporting IP Infringement
    • ( ).
    • Twitter directions on how to file a complain.
    • The Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act , which is part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act , 17 U.S.C. sec. 512, creates a safe harbor for online service providers against copyright liability if they adhere to and qualify for certain safe harbors.
    Has your client taken any steps to protect its intellectual property?
  • 9 . Does your client have consumer permission?
    • The CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003).
    • A Compliance Guide for Business
    • ( ).
    • The CAN-SPAM Act is a law passed by Congress requiring national standards for sending commercial emails.
    • Successful lawsuits filed by Facebook and Myspace.
    Is your client complying with Federal laws regarding privacy?
  • 10. Is your client disclosing endorsements?
    • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
    • Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
    Are there any pay per post disclosure issues?
  • SOCIAL MEDIA RISK – 11-20 Marketing strategy and execution issues in social media Taulbee Jackson - President / CEO - Raidious
  • 11. Is the client listening to their customers?
    • Understand the risk of being oblivious.
    • Brands have to know there’s a problem to be able to address it. People are talking about it right now, but the brand has to be able to hear them.
    • Lots of free and several very expensive tools available:
        • Radian 6
        • Techrigy SM2
        • Google Alerts
        • Google Trends
        • Twitter Search
    How will the client monitor dialog?
  • 12. How will we prioritize conversations?
    • Understand the risk posed by external voices – your brand is what everyone else says it is.
    • It’s a small world, but it’s a big internet. It’s probably impossible to respond to everyone.
      • Influence
        • Number of Followers, Friends, Connections
        • Influence of Followers, Friends, Connections
      • Sentiment
        • Is the feedback / content / conversation Positive, Neutral or Negative ?
    What metrics or indicators can we use to prioritize response?
  • 13. Where is the conversation already happening?
    • Minimize risk by finding pre-existing conversations
    • Example: Television Company
      • Local subject matter on multiple topics
        • Pets
        • Sports
        • Music
      • Identified where those groups already exist so we can proactively engage with them on their platforms.
    • It’s not always about getting a lot of followers, it’s about finding pre-existing contextually relevant groups, and being aware of the discussions already in progress.
    Have we identified pre-existing groups to engage with?
  • 14. Have all the right people approved the message?
    • Timely client approval is a common risk and a critical challenge to overcome in advance.
    • Brand must be able to deal with the real-time requirements of social media.
    • Example: Medical Insurance Company
      • Industry Compliance Issues
      • Marketing team
      • Plus 5 compliance officers in 3 states
    How will client content be governed / approved?
  • 15. How will we react to individual conversations?
    • Customer Service issues are central to social media
      • See Comcast Cares case study
      • See BestBuy Twelpforce Initiative
    • Example: US Airforce Social Media Response Plan
      • If the situation is X, the response is Y
    • Call Center professionals have this figured out – check with them early in your response planning process.
    How will the brand respond to known issues?
  • 16. Where should we route internally for a response?
    • If the brand is listening, it will learn new things that it does not know how to respond to yet.
    • New positive opportunities, new negative opportunities.
    • Example: Regional Supermarket
      • Identified new problem
      • Routed to Corporate / PR for directional response
      • Developed custom response flowchart, implemented monitoring & moderation strategy, execution plan
      • Timeline: Under 5 hours
    How will the brand respond to unknown issues?
  • 17. Has the brand defined its own voice?
    • Inherent risks in letting employees represent a brand.
    • Personal privacy risks for employees.
    • Consumers need to know if the voice is “official”
    • Authenticity is key – but that is behaviorally driven
    • Minimize risk for brand personae:
      • DON’T use personal full names
      • DO be personal and authentic in your brand’s behavior and dialog
    Has the client defined an “Official” Brand Voice in social media?
  • 18. Is the brand taking this stuff seriously?
    • Understand the implications and risks of each and every conversation and keystroke.
    • In some cases, millions or billions of dollars in sales, brand equity, and stock value is at stake . (See Domino’s, Motrin Mommies, Target case studies)
    • It is critical for brands to learn how to listen, respond, and engage in a scalable, measurable way to proactively protect the brand .
    Does the brand fully comprehend what is at stake in social media?
  • 19. What is the online crisis response plan?
    • In a crisis situation or emergency, the expectation for online users is an immediate response from the brand . . . Immediate. Instant. Right this very moment. Not tomorrow, Now.
    • Have a plan, and have “fire drills”. Set goals to get your response time as low as possible.
    • Responding without a clear answer is better than not responding at all. “We are aware, and we are working on it. We will keep you up to date. ”
    How will the brand respond to an emergency or a crisis online?
  • 20. Is there an off switch on your social program?
    • Sometimes exceeding expectations is not a good thing.
    • Example: Pizza Company Email campaign
      • Email offer was shared and passed along
      • No budget to cover the offer
      • Good news: Email database went from 4k to 40k in two days
      • Bad news: Client had to send out 40,000 premium items that they had not planned for
      • No crisis plan in place to deal with the feedback
    Does your client understand the infinite nature of viral communications?
  • SOCIAL MEDIA RISK 21-30 Kevin Bailey - President, Slingshot SEO Jeremy Dearringer - Director of SEO Research & Development
  • 21. How will we mitigate negative SEO results?
    • Minimize risk by understanding how to manage and suppress the dialog on search engine results pages.
    Negative impact of undesirable organic search engine results
  • 22. Are we managing reputation in search?
    • Minimize risk by managing reputation
    • To Google, PR is not Public Relations – it’s Page Rank.
    • Your “reputation” according to Google (your Page Rank) is driven not just by what you say you are, but by what other people say you are when they link to you.
    Google sees reputation management and PR a little differently…
  • 23. Have we established identity control?
    • Establish and control your branding on all social media networks.
    • Twitter handles, Facebook URL’s, governance of LinkedIn company profiles
    Does someone outside your company control your brand’s identity?
  • 24. Have we identified the right platforms?
    • Twitter
    • Facebook
    • LinkedIn
    • MySpace
    • YouTube
    • Flickr
    • Others
    Which social media networks have the highest probability of ranking?
  • 25. Have we maximized our SM SEO Value?
    • Maximizing SEO value of content
    • URL organization
    • Organizing content around targeted SEO keywords
    • Paying attention to metadata
        • Images
        • Video
        • Links
        • Page Descriptions
    Have we properly set up our social media accounts to drive rank?
  • 26. Is there a link building strategy in place?
    • Understanding the risk of negative links (resulting in winning for keywords you want to avoid)
    • Understanding the value of positive links (resulting in ranking highly for keywords you want to win)
    The critical nature of outside influence in SEO
  • 27. Have we addressed vertical SEO?
    • Real Time Search
    • News Search
    • Blog Search
    • Maps Search
    • Academic Search
    • Twitter Search
    • Network Specific Search
    Managing risk in vertical search
  • 28. Have we analyzed current search trends?
    • What are people looking for?
    • What language do they use to describe it?
    • What is the current trend around a given issue?
    Minimize risk with keyword research
  • 29. How will we produce the content?
    • Understand the risk of not having any content – both from a hearts and minds perspective, and from an SEO perspective.
    • Content is a key driver of search engine results.
        • Frequency of content
        • Timeliness of content
        • Depth / Focus of content
        • Quality of content for conversion
        • Integration with other marketing plans
    What resources are in place to produce content for SM platforms?
  • 30. How will we identify what’s working?
    • Staying ahead of the curve with constant research
    • Identifying the effects of social media activity on SEO
    • Identifying current and trending conversational trends and topics
    Interactive marketing is an ongoing science experiment.
  • … Whew!!
    • This subject matter is extremely complicated and every one of these thirty points could be its own presentation.
    • This deck will be available on SlideShare for download.
    • The speakers have also collaborated on an online resource, available to PRSA members and the world at large, to continue this dialog and share information.
    THAT was a lot of information. . . Everybody catch all that?
    • After the luncheon, visit
    • Each of the speakers will be contributing to the blog
    • Extended Q&A on everything covered here
    • Contribute your own case studies, share information
    • Ice Miller:
    • Raidious:
    • Slingshot: