Social media can be a great way to communicate a message to your target audience, but it can also get a company into some hot water and could put them at risk such as with the current Courtney Love Defamation Case. Here are 5 tips to help companies doing business in Canada from Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Establish clear guidelines and policies for employee use of social media in the workplace and identify specific rules and expectations for the use of company assets such as laptops and smartphones. Consider building those policies into employment contracts, and have everything reviewed by legal counsel.
Clearly communicate and educate employees on the policies for using social media while at work and on company assets. Consider holding webinars or staff training sessions so everyone is clear on the guidelines. Staff must understand the consequences of defamatory statements.
Establish policies for making employees accountable for their social media posts that are either work related or made from a work asset. Just because the business is not sued after a negative publication does not mean that it could not have been or should not have been. “Near misses” offer good training scenarios.
Where a business uses social media to communicate, establish a team of reviewers that can check outbound comments before they are posted. A second set of eyes on significant postings is good practice.
More informally, encourage staff to pause and reflect before they send any negative comments, and have a colleague review the message before it is sent. A “cooler head” reviewing will often result in revisions to tone down the message, protecting the business from distracting and expensive lawsuits.