Page 1Cisco Social Media Policy, Guidelines and FAQs March, 2011
Page 2 – Table of Contents –Purpose/Executive Summary 3Overview 3Scope 3Compliance Effective Date 4Policy Statements 4Policy Compliance 5Definitions 6Appendix A: Cisco Social Media Guidelines 6Appendix B: Frequently Asked Questions 7
Page 3 Purpose/Executive SummaryThe purpose of this document is to provide requirements for how employees should participate in thesocial Web.This document is designed to educate employees on how to: Navigate in the many social networking medias; Engage with our many audiences in the social Web; and Be most effective in this up-close-and-personal, ever-changing environment. OverviewSocial media is a newer communication channel, but it doesn’t change the basic rules of honesty,courtesy and respect that Cisco promotes as a company and each of you promote and represent in yourday to day work lives as a Cisco employee.Let’s start with the Cisco Code of Business Conduct, the same basic rules and principles that guide ourbehaviors every day at work should be synonymous in governing our online behavior.The Cisco Code of Business Conduct stresses our values of open communication, empowerment,inclusion, integrity and trust. These same values are applicable to best practices in using social media.Cisco’s Social Media Policy reflects the company’s culture of transparency, authenticity and openness. Italso reinforces the company’s philosophy to empower employees to connect directly with its stakeholdersusing social media.If you are ever unsure of whether to post, comment or respond on the social Web, submit a question onthe discussion forum on Global Social Media Community for guidance.We recognize the importance of participating in these online conversations and want to provide a clearand purposeful social media policy for all Cisco employees to follow to help protect both the employeesand Cisco.Note: Much of the content included in this document applies to all internet-posted content, including butnot exclusively limited to, social networking sites. Lastly, for transparency, this document is available forexternal use; however, some of the links included are for internal use only and can only be accessedthrough the Cisco Employee Connection (CEC). ScopeIf you are a Cisco employee, vendor or contractor creating or contributing to blogs, wikis, social networks,discussion forums or any other kind of social media, whether on Cisco.com or otherwise—this documentapplies to you.Some policy statements included in this document are implemented differently depending on regional,local, and geographic differences. When in doubt about any information contained in this document,employees should talk to their manager or local Human Resources representative. All information
Page 4contained within this document is subject to any applicable country, state, and/or local laws. The Policycontained in this document will not be interpreted or enforced in any way that would interfere with anemployee’s rights under the National Labor Relations Act. Compliance Effective DateCisco reserves the right to modify or eliminate any or all parts of this document, and employees areresponsible for regularly reviewing it to remain up-to-date. Violations of the provisions in this documentmay result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.Cisco will communicate any significant changes to this document through email, Cisco EmployeeConnection (CEC) posting, IWE, and / or other communication vehicles.Effective 03/15/2011 Policy StatementsEmployees should use this document in conjunction with the Cisco Code of Business Conduct, thepolicies within Policy Central, the Cisco Information Security Policies and Standards and Cisco’sEmployee Resource Handbook, Cisco Connections. All resources mentioned above may be updated fromtime to time.Cisco’s fundamental social media principles include: Cisco employees may use social networking sites while at work and to conduct business. Cisco does not block employees’ access to social networking sites as the company believes in empowering its workforce and instills trust in employees to work responsibly and adhere to the Cisco Code of Business Conduct. Though Cisco encourages the use of social media, employees must adhere to these policies and guidelines when using social media.Outlined below is the official policy—the rules you must follow—for social media at Cisco.1. When your participating in social networking sites, be transparent about who you are while discussing Cisco’s business and related industry topics. Use your real identity—no aliases— and your real voice, and disclose your affiliation with Cisco. The anonymity of the Web sometimes encourages carelessness, and being upfront about your identity can avoid problems. For transparency, please provide a disclaimer if using a non-Cisco sponsored tool. Cisco-sponsored blog disclaimer: “Some of the individuals posting to this site, [including the moderators,] work for Cisco. Opinions expressed here and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not those of Cisco.” Third party blog disclaimer: “The opinions expressed in this blog are my own views and not those of Cisco.”
Page 52. When engaging online to communicate anything related to Cisco business, you must read, understand and abide by this policy. Keep applicable policies in mind that can be found in the related policy section.3. When engaging online, do not commit Cisco to any action unless you have authority to do so.4. When engaging online, protect Cisco and your reputation. Avoid any statement or comment that might harm Cisco’s reputation. You represent Cisco and the Cisco brand. As an employee and possibly a shareholder, your actions both on and offline can affect perceptions about the Company and shareholder return.5. When engaging online, do not post any confidential, internal-use only or copyrighted information belonging to Cisco or third parties without written permission. Information to be protected includes music, videos, text and photographs. Please refer to the Proprietary Information and Inventions Agreement and the Data Classification Policy for more information. See also the “Frequently Asked Questions” section of this document to obtain more information on “Proprietary and Confidential Information” and “Copyrights, Trademarks, Photos and Logos.”6. Do not make statements about Cisco’s financial performance. Refer any questions to a Cisco Investor Relations representative.7. Maintain confidentiality of “internal only” information. Do not share any information marked “For Internal Use Only.”8. For social networking sites such as LinkedIn where personal and professional references are the focus: If you are representing yourself as a Cisco employee, you may not provide professional references about any current or former employee, contactor, vendor or contingent worker. You may provide a personal reference or recommendation for current or former Cisco employees, contractors, vendors and contingent workers provided a) the statements made and information provided in the reference are factually accurate; and b) you include the disclaimer below. “This reference is being made by me in a personal capacity. It is not intended and should not be construed as a reference from Cisco Systems Inc. or any of its affiliated entities.”9. Do not post anything that is defamatory, offensive, harassing, or in violation of any applicable law or any Cisco policy.10. Do not engage with the news media or industry analysts (e.g., Wall Street Journal, InformationWeek, Gartner, Forrester) to discuss Cisco strategy and/or business without PR and AR consultation and approval. If you are contacted by a member of the news media or similar outlets, consult your PR representative or AR representative before responding. Policy Compliance 2.1 Compliance MeasurementCompliance with Cisco policies is required. Compliance to this policy is verified through various methods,including but not limited to, reports from available business tools, internal and external audits, self-assessment, and/or feedback to the policy owner.Non-compliance with this policy may result in potentially significant reputational and legal risk to Cisco. 2.2 ExceptionsThere are no exceptions to this policy.
Page 6 2.3 Non-ComplianceCompliance with Cisco policies is required. Deviations or non-compliance with this policy, includingattempts to circumvent the stated policy/process by bypassing or knowingly manipulating the process,system, or data may result in disciplinary actions, up to and including termination, as allowed by locallaws. DefinitionsThe following terms and definitions are used in this document. They have all been taken from Wikipedia,the online, free encyclopedia. Facebook Facebook is a social network service and website launched in February 2004 that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. LinkedIn LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. Founded in December  2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. Social Media Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable communication techniques. Social Network A social network is a social structure made up of individuals (or organizations) called "nodes", which are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige. Social Web The Social Web is a specified term for the World Wide Web as a kind of Social Media. Twitter Twitter is a website, owned and operated by Twitter Inc., which offers a social networking and microblogging service, enabling its users to send and read messages called tweets. Appendix A: Cisco Social Media GuidelinesThe following social media guidelines provide recommendations and best practices to guide you whenparticipating in the social Web. These guidelines are meant to provide helpful, practical advice and help toset expectations on how to behave online. In some cases, they help you comply with the Policy above.1. Do not engage in inflammatory or inappropriate discussions about competitors. Always be professional. Avoid speaking negatively about competitors. Instead, highlight Cisco’s strengths. Do not cite or reference clients, partners or suppliers without their approval. When you do make a reference, where possible link back to the source.2. Be responsible. You are personally responsible for the content you provide and how you behave on the social Web. We do encourage you to participate in the online social media space, but urge you to do so properly, exercising solid judgment.3. Be aware of laws covering defamation, insider trading, financial disclosures, endorsements and testimonials, antitrust, competition, privacy, and the protection of intellectual property.4. Be authentic, factual and respectful at all times. Use your real identity. Provide informed, well- supported opinions and cite sources, if applicable. Though social media sites are a more casual form of communication, be sure to remain professional and use a positive tone of voice. Be respectful of your colleagues, Cisco and our competitors.5. Avoid engaging in on-line disputes with your audience. Dont use slurs, personal insults or obscenity, and always respect privacy concerns. Avoid language that may be considered
Page 7 objectionable or inflammatory. Show that you have listened and be responsive. If you disagree, respond in professional and respectful manner.6. Be honest. Always tell the truth. Correct any mistakes you make as quickly as possible. Don’t alter older posts without indicating that you have done so.7. Add value. Express an interesting point of view and worthwhile information and perspective. When speaking about Cisco, offer your subject matter expertise and contact your PR representative if unsure whether a topic is appropriate.8. Build relationships. Focus on engagement with the audience and building trust to develop relationships rather than using your social networking site solely as a marketing tool to sell Cisco products or to promote yourself.9. Be mindful of the indefinite life of Internet postings. You should assume that all Internet postings, including those posted in a private forum, can be made public and searchable for a long time. Private discussions may inadvertently or intentionally get posted externally.10. Know that it’s almost impossible to completely remove information from the social Web even if you “remove/delete” it from the original source. There is no way of knowing where it may have been reposted. Also, if you edited your original posts, there is no way to ensure that the last post is what people will see.11. Review the privacy settings of the social networking site you are using. Choose social sites and appropriate settings depending on the content you are posting. Understand that when your content is posted on a public social network, all posts and comments may be traceable. Any information that you post should be considered at risk for public disclosure, regardless of your privacy settings since your postings can be reposted elsewhere and may be viewed by people other than your intended audience.12. Be aware of global implications. Your posts can have global significance. The way that you answer an online question might be appropriate in some parts of the world, but inaccurate, inappropriate (or even illegal) in others. Keep that “world view” in mind when you are participating in online conversations. If you have a question about global relevance, please contact the appropriate PR representative for guidance. Appendix B: Frequently Asked QuestionsSocial Media Use as Part of Your Job 1 May I use social tools as part of my job? 2 What is my responsibility as a Cisco employee when I participate in social networking sites externally? 3 Is it appropriate for managers and subordinates to “friend” each other on social networking sites? 4 Are there training workshops available to learn how to improve my blogging? 5 What tools are available for searching the social Web for blog posts, Tweets, and other social networking media? 6 May I provide a reference about a former employee on LinkedIn or other reference-based social sites?Personal Social Media Guidelines 1 May I discuss Cisco business on my own personal blog or social networking site? 2 What should I be aware of before I post personal information about myself on social networking sites? 3 Is it OK to use my own personal social networking login account (such as YouTube, Flickr or other social media sharing site) when posting Cisco content, videos or photos externally?
Page 8 4 Can I be terminated from my job if I post a negative comment on my personal social networking site, such as Facebook or Twitter, on my personal time about Cisco and perceived work conditions?Responding to Comments on Social Networking Sites 1 What is Cisco’s policy guidance around publishing comments? 2 If I receive a negative comment on a Cisco-sponsored social networking site, how should I respond? 3 What should I consider when crafting a response to a negative comment?Proprietary and Confidential Information 1 How do I determine what information is proprietary or confidential, and whether or not it is OK to post externally? 2 May I disclose confidential information in Second Life?FTC Endorsement Guideline 1 What should I know about posting endorsements about Cisco products or services on the social Web?Trademarks 1 What should I be aware of when posting the Cisco logo or trademarks to social networking sites?Copyrights 1 What are the copyright guidelines around posting content that is not mine? 2 Do I need to obtain written permission and/or copyrights (usage rights) from my manager and/or a customer or third party who may own a portion of the video or who appears in the video?Photos and Logos 1 May I use photos from the Cisco Marketing Library on my social networking site/blog? 2 May I publish someone else’s photograph on my personal social networking site or internal blog?Video Use and Guidelines 1 May I post an internal Cisco video to an external video sharing site such as YouTube? 2 May I post a non-internal video to external video sharing sites such as YouTube, Yahoo Video, etc.? What is the policy surrounding posting video to an external site? 3 I’d like for a third party to be included in a Cisco video that will be published to an external video sharing site. What are the guidelines for this? Social Media Use as Part of Your Job1. May I use social tools (both Cisco-sponsored such as http://blogs.cisco.com and third party sites such as http://facebook.com or http://twitter.com ) as it relates to my job and job function? Answer: You may, as long as you read and abide by this Social Media Policy, Guidelines and FAQs rd document. For transparency, please include a disclaimer on your blog posts. If you are using a 3 party blog site and have control over the design, you may make the following statement in a permanent and prominent space on the blog, such as in the header. It has to be visible for every piece of content that speaks about Cisco, Cisco products or any aspect of Cisco business. ____________________________________________________________ Cisco-sponsored blog disclaimer: “Some of the individuals posting to this site, [including the moderators,] work for Cisco. Opinions expressed here and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not those of Cisco.”
Page 9 Third party blog disclaimer: “The opinions expressed in this blog are my own views and not those of Cisco.” If you comment on any aspect of Cisco’s business on a social media site, please identify yourself as a Cisco employee in a prominent place (bio, profile, etc.) on the website. (For example: If you are using Twitter to promote Cisco, you must clearly state in your “bio” that you work for Cisco.) You must also ensure that you follow the Cisco Code of Business Conduct. If you are a non-employee and are interested in using social networking tools you should discuss this with your employer and obtain its approval. Your employer will then coordinate this activity with your Cisco sponsor. You will need to make sure that you identify yourself as an employee of your company that is on assignment with Cisco. Under no circumstances should you, as a vendor, consultant, contractor or other third party, represent that you are a Cisco employee.2. What is my responsibility as a Cisco employee when I participate in social networking sites externally? Answer: While your conduct online reflects upon Cisco, in most cases you will not be speaking on behalf of Cisco. The purpose of your participation in social networking outlets should be to communicate your own viewpoints. Be sure to check the Cisco Code of Business Conduct, this policy and other corporate policies for additional guidance. Do not post inappropriate, disrespectful comments to your blog, or post comments that are intended to embarrass Cisco, your co-workers or customers. Always act professionally at all times. If you have suggestions and comments for improvements at Cisco, please state them constructively and leverage the proper internal channels. If you witness illegal, unsafe or unethical conduct by a Cisco employee or vendor, we would prefer that you not discuss this in your blog. Instead, for example, you should contact the ethics office which is confidential and anonymous to report issues such as the following: Theft, fraud or any other dishonest conduct Discrimination or harassment Waste or abuse of Cisco resources Conflicts of interest Unsafe situations Mismanagement Any actions that violate the Cisco Code of Business Conduct Reporting the issues directly to those who can make corrections is the best course of action. Posting a concern to a social networking site may not be the most direct and most efficient way to resolve these types of issues. Cisco wants to hear your concerns and has a team that vigorously follows up and investigates concerns raised by employees and others.3. Is it appropriate for managers and subordinates to “friend” each other on social networking sites? Answer: Managers and their subordinates are free to “friend” each other on social networking sites. Both managers and employees, however, should be mindful of avoiding any
Page 10 interactions/communications that may create a conflict of interest or that may compromise Cisco’s ability to enforce its policies, especially its policies against nepotism, harassment and discrimination. Please see Cisco Connections—an Employee Resource Handbook for more information.4. Are there training workshops available to learn how to improve my social media skills? Answer: Yes, Cisco offers several social media workshops (Intro to Blogs, SEO for Blogs, Intro to Social Media, etc.) and social media training workshops as well as a social media certification program. You can learn more about Cisco’s blog and social media workshops by visiting the marketing workshops website as well as the global social media website where you will find a calendar of other industry-related conferences and seminars. Also, be sure to review the Global Social Media Community for answers to frequently asked questions or to post a new thread and a member of the social media marketing team will respond.5. What tools are available for searching the social Web for blog posts, Tweets, and other social networking media? Answer: You can use the following tools to help aggregate and search for content on the social Web. Technorati: www.technorati.com Google Blog Search: http://blogsearch.google.com Twitter: http://search.twitter.com Alltop: www.alltop.com6. May I provide a reference or recommendation about a former or current employee on LinkedIn or other reference-based social sites? Answer: You may provide personal references for current or former Cisco employees provided that the statements made and information provided in the reference are factually accurate. You should also use the disclaimer noted below. “This reference is being made by me in a personal capacity. It is not intended and should not be construed as a reference from Cisco Systems Inc. or any of its affiliated entities.” If you are representing yourself as a Cisco employee, it is against Cisco policy to provide employment reference information for any current or former Cisco employee. Personal Social Media Guidelines1. May I discuss Cisco business on my own personal blog or social networking site? Answer: Yes, you may discuss issues related to Cisco on your own personal blog or social networking site subject to your confidentiality obligations and compliance with all applicable laws and Cisco policies. You are legally and financially responsible for your own postings. If you comment on any aspect of Cisco’s business, including our competition, please see the “Policy” section in this document. Please use the following disclaimer on your personal social networking site:
Page 11 “The opinions expressed in this blog are my own views and not those of Cisco.”2. What should I be aware of before I post personal information about myself on social networking sites? Answer: We encourage you to create user accounts under your true name. Using a pseudonym may diminish the credibility of your contributions online. Even anonymous comments and updates can be traced back to you or Cisco using IP addresses and other tracking technology. Only post personal information that you want the public to view on the social Web and avoid posting information that would make you vulnerable to identity theft or may compromise your safety. Social engineering is a common threat on social networking sites. Be sure to review the privacy policies of the social networking sites that you choose to use. It is almost impossible to remove information from the Web since it may be re-posted on other sites without your knowledge, and may be viewed beyond your intended audience.3. Is it OK to use my own personal social networking login account (such as Flickr or YouTube, or other social media sharing site) when posting Cisco content, videos or photos externally? Answer: No. Do not use your personal accounts when posting Cisco videos or photos to external sharing sites. For YouTube, please work with Cisco’s social media marketing team and submit video requests to the alias, email@example.com, to be included to the corporate branded YouTube channel. Remember that only Cisco public videos may be posted to external video sharing sites. For Flickr, please work with the Social Media Communications team, firstname.lastname@example.org as they have a corporate account for posting photos. Sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn will not allow you to register team alias accounts. The person in charge of creating a Fan Page or Group for their teams should create an account for business use only using your cisco.com email address. You can then create the Fan Pages and Groups off of that non-personal account. These accounts should be used separately from your personal accounts which would be registered using your personal email address.4. Can I be terminated from my job if I post a negative comment on my personal social networking site, such as Facebook or Twitter, on my personal time about Cisco and perceived work conditions? Answer: A social networking site is probably not the best place to air your grievances. We recommend that you go through the proper Cisco channel to register your complaints. If discussing the issue at hand with your management chain is not an option, you should contact the ethics office or Human Resources at Cisco, which can be done anonymously. Employees will not, however, be disciplined or retaliated against for exercising their rights protected under the U.S. National Labor Relations Act or other similar laws. But note that if the comments posted are not protected by law and in violation of Cisco Code of Business Conduct or damaging to Cisco business, Cisco may choose to take disciplinary action up to and including termination. Responding to Comments on Social Networking Sites1. What is Cisco’s policy around publishing comments? Answer: We do not promote censorship of your online posting. For official Cisco blogs, both internal
Page 12 and external, Twitter and Facebook (to name a few), it is our practice to post all comments except those that may be off-topic or may create liability as a result of the content. We do have the right to remove any posted comment, video and/or photograph that is not appropriate for the topic discussed, uses inappropriate language, or was posted without obtaining written permission.2. What if I read a post on a Cisco-sponsored or third party social networking site that is not accurate? Do I have to respond and provide an accurate comment? Answer: You should not always feel the need to be the one to respond to something you see or read online. If you are perusing the social Web and see a blog posting on a third party blog, for example, and you are not the subject matter expert, you can contact the appropriate person to respond. With all of the powerful internal tools we have in-house to find experts on every topic, you should be encouraged to use them to find the best and most accurate responses. Also, remember that not everything warrants a response, so be sure you are adding value when commenting, and do not comment just for the sake of commenting.3. If I receive a negative comment on a Cisco-sponsored social networking site, how should I respond? Answer: If a reader leaves a negative comment, it is recommended that you do not delete the comment for transparency reasons. If the comment contains disrespectful or derogatory language you may consider NOT posting it. We do encourage you to publish most comments because it encourages people with different viewpoints and opinions to join the conversation, to debate, and to discuss their side of a specific argument. Receiving a negative comment about a Cisco product or service ultimately provides an opportunity to respond to the negative comment and reframe it in a positive light. Censoring comments discourages participation and social media is, after all, all about public participation and conversations. Remember: more often than not, the negative comments are from people trying to provoke a response. Check with your manager or PR representative if you are unsure how to respond. Be sure that your blog settings allow you to moderate comments on your posts (all comments on Cisco-sponsored blogs are moderated prior to publishing) and review and remove any potentially undesirable links that may cause disruption or harm (malware) to your readers.4. What should I consider when crafting a response to a negative comment? Answer: Work to turn the negative comment into a positive discussion, encouraging more commentary. Correct information that may not be factual and be open and honest in responding to negative comments. Always communicate in a professional and respectful manner. Consider the following: Thank the commenter—Thank commenters for their time and for sharing their thoughts. Thanking your commenters shows sincerity and that you appreciate their readership and their feedback, both positive and negative. Take time to THINK before responding—Responding to a negative comment when you are in the heat of the moment is generally a bad idea. Always take time to think about your response, what you’d like to clarify or convey, and re-read your response before submitting it. (Contact your PR representative if you are unsure how to respond.)
Page 13 After you have thanked the commenter, make an attempt to engage the commenter in the conversation. Think about how your response might be perceived by readers. Your response should be sincere, confident and truthful. If you disagree with the commenter, it’s OK to debate as long as you remain respectful of others’ opinions, keep the dialogue productive, and always tell the truth. A confident and factual answer is best; leave out the sarcastic remarks and personal insults and always be professional. Remember that your responses are ultimately representations of Cisco and the Cisco brand. Learn from the commenter—Take a moment to understand the commenter’s argument rather than jumping to conclusions. Even if a comment posted by a commenter is incorrect, proceed with caution when you post a response that corrects the commenter. Do not provide a response that is insulting or disrespectful. Your goal is to keep a positive atmosphere, where readers can go for advice and conversation. Correct your mistakes—If you make a mistake, don’t try to hide it; be open and honest and let your readers know about it. No one is perfect. Proprietary and Confidential Information1. How do I determine what information is proprietary or confidential, and whether or not it is OK to post externally? Answer: Security policies and practices of external social networking tools may differ from Cisco policy and requirements. Always assume the information you post to these sites is not secure and that it can be compromised or used against you and Cisco. Please refer to the Proprietary Information and Inventions Agreement and the Data Classification Policy for guidance on identifying confidential or sensitive content. Do not post data classified as Cisco Confidential or higher on any third party or public site. Doing so may cause Cisco to lose its trade secrets. Some information, such as acquisitions, product announcements, or Cisco financials, becomes public information once it is announced by Cisco. However, do not post such information to external sites until it is formally announced or shared with the public by Cisco. Disclosure of any information which is deemed to be material non-public information prematurely or selectively may violate securities law and may subject both you and Cisco to liability. If you have questions about posting specific data, consult with the data owner or your manager.2. How do I protect confidential information? Answer: First, you must determine how the information is classified. Contact the owner of the data (including artwork photographs and videos) with questions about the data disposition or classification or check the Data Information Policy. Evaluate if the information is confidential and will my post be accessible to the general public. Discuss with your manager if you are unsure.3. May I disclose confidential information in Second Life? Answer: Cisco has two clusters of islands within Second Life: The Cisco Virtual Campus and the Cisco Employee Internal Islands. The Cisco Virtual Campus (which is comprised of islands named “Cisco Systems 1” through “Cisco Systems 4”) is our public campus and is populated by customers, partners, press, competitors, and
Page 14 so forth. All information provided here should be classified as Cisco Public and be non-proprietary or non-confidential in nature unless otherwise explicitly approved by the data owner or your manager in writing. The Cisco Employee Internal Islands, which is comprised of islands named “CSSB1” and “CSSB2”, are for internal projects and are open to employees to experiment and develop. Customers or other non-employees are not allowed on these islands except as authorized. Employees should avoid posting Cisco confidential and proprietary information, unless in a temporary manner during presentations, as the infrastructure of Second Life is not secured by Cisco and may be open to outside snooping. Any information posted for temporary purposes must be removed immediately following its use. Check the Second Life Guidelines for additional information. FTC Endorsement Guidelines1. What should I know about posting endorsements about Cisco products or services on the social Web? Answer: As a result of the evolving level of influence inherent in the social Web, and Web in general, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has provided guidelines around providing endorsements online. The notice incorporates several amendments to the FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in advertising and blogging, which address endorsements by consumers, experts, organizations, and celebrities, as well as the disclosure of important connections between advertisers and endorsers. Fines for violating the new rule will run up to $11,000 per incident. In the eyes of the FTC, a paid endorsement is no longer limited to monetary compensation and this is why things will get interesting moving forward. The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service. To be clear, a blog post (or Tweet) in exchange for cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. If you are posting an endorsement about a Cisco product or service on any social networking site, you must disclose the material connections you share with Cisco. In the realm of new media, transparency and ethics speak louder than the value proposition of the product itself. For more information: http://wwwin-blogs.cisco.com/deannab/entry/ftc_issues_new_rules_for Trademarks 1. What should I be aware of when posting the Cisco logo or trademarks to social networking sites? Answer: Each employee is responsible for protecting and appropriately promoting the brand. Do not share Cisco visual assets with third parties such as Cisco fonts, Cisco stock photography, Cisco logos, or other devices that are reserved solely for Cisco. Your personal social networking sites may not include Cisco logos or trademarks. This is to prevent the appearance that you speak for or represent Cisco officially. On Cisco social networking sites you may include the corporate logo by following the documented
Page 15 policy. Do not post the Cisco corporate logo on sites external to Cisco for use by non-employees. If third parties request use of the Cisco corporate logo to support stories or commentary about Cisco, you may direct them to our Logo Request Tool which provides an online, click-to-accept license for such use. Lastly, you should not use third parties’ marks or logos without their written permission. Copyrights1. What are the copyright guidelines around posting content that is not mine? Answer: You are legally and financially responsible for your postings and may be subject to liability for postings which include copyrighted information such as music, videos, photographs, etc., belonging to third parties if they are used without the third parties’ permission. All such postings on Cisco blogs, without the proper permission by the owner of such works, are prohibited. Click here for more copyright information.2. When creating a video, do I need to obtain written or copyright permission (usage rights) from my manager and/or a customer or third party who may own a portion of the video or who appears in the video? Answer: Yes, in using videos, you need to seek approval from any participants BEFORE producing and publishing a video to an external video sharing site. With proper Cisco agreements in place, by participating in a Cisco video, third parties agree to (1) be solely responsible for the content of all information they contribute or refer to; (2) release Cisco from any liability related to their participation in the Cisco video; and (3) indemnify and hold Cisco harmless from any and all claims or disputes arising out of their participation in a Cisco video. Click here for video guidelines. Third parties who participate in a Cisco video also need to adhere to Cisco’s policy of not pre- announcing product, solution, or company information. They may not disclose any information that is confidential or proprietary to Cisco or to any third party that has disclosed confidential information to Cisco. The content can be deleted in the editing process. Contact your Cisco legal representative for guidance on obtaining proper agreements. Photos and Logos1. May I use photos from the Cisco Marketing Library on my social networking site/blog? Answer: You may use Cisco photography in a Cisco blog on Cisco.com. Do not use Cisco Stock photography (people, scenic, etc) in a personal blog or on a third-party site. You may use Cisco product photography on any blog on any site.2. May I publish someone else’s photograph on my personal social networking site or internal blog? Answer: You should obtain written permission prior to publishing photographs or videos of others on your personal or internal blog. This includes photos located in the Cisco Directory, organization charts, or teambuilding photos. Video Use and Guidelines
Page 161. May I post an internal Cisco video to an external video sharing site such as YouTube? Answer: No. Videos produced for an internal Cisco audience should NOT be published to external video sharing sites. Internal videos are at a minimum classified as Cisco Confidential and not encrypted, so there is a chance that even an internal video could be inadvertently shared outside of Cisco. As a result, please use caution when including confidential or proprietary information in an internal video. If the judgment call is questionable, contact the data owner or your management for sign-off before publishing the video internally. Additionally, contact the Corporate Brand Video team at email@example.com for brand review and approval.2. May I post a non-internal video to external video sharing sites such as YouTube, Yahoo Video, etc.? What is the policy surrounding posting video to an external site? Answer: Yes, employees may post videos to video sharing sites such as YouTube as long as the employee abides by all policies and guidelines in this document, including identifying yourself as a Cisco employee when posting. Please leverage Cisco’s branded channel, YouTube.com/Cisco, and work with Cisco’s social media marketing team to submit videos (use the submit alias, firstname.lastname@example.org) to get videos posted. All permissions from those included in the video must be provided in order to post a video externally. In producing your video, refer to Cisco’s guidelines. Additionally, contact the Corporate Brand Video team at email@example.com for brand review and approval.3. I’d like for a third party to be included in a Cisco video that will be published to an external video sharing site. What are the guidelines for this? Answer: Use judgment when interviewing third parties. Third parties participating in a Cisco video may comment on Cisco to provide color or commentary on important Cisco-related or market-related issues or to further a Cisco viewpoint on a particular topic or issue. Engaging in the conversation, being helpful by adding insight and perspective, correcting errors, and building relationships are all valid reasons to participate. Cisco will need to obtain written permission to use third parties in a video. Click here for video guidelines. When developing a Cisco video, third parties should not promote a new product or service. However, customers are open to hearing from other customers who are sharing successes. As long as the content does not hype Cisco or its products or solutions, the content can be credible.