Collective Conversation Code of Conduct
Any member of staff who writes a blog as part of our corporate blogging community, Collective Conversation, has signed up to the following code of conduct:
- Criticizing clients or colleagues
Criticizing clients or colleagues is unprofessional and in the case of clients could result in the loss of business, endangering the jobs of colleagues, or – if it breaches your terms of employment – losing your job. If your post references brands or companies, check if they are a client of any office using the Client Database on hk.net. If you feel the need to offer critical advice, pass it along to the account team rather than post it to your blog. Also bear in mind that a company that isn’t a client today could be one tomorrow, so always disagree respectfully (see #2).
- Respecting other opinions
There are bound to be times when we will disagree with others and want to state our position. That is fine (although see #1 above), but it should always be done respectfully. Negative comment is seldom valuable, so avoid direct confrontation with or criticism of other people or organizations – you never know when they might be your next colleague, client or even employer.
- Breaching your employment contract
This should go without saying, but is worth reiterating. Blogging on Collective Conversation does not absolve you of your existing employment obligations. These will vary from market to market, so please ensure you have reviewed them before starting to blog.
- Acknowledging and correcting mistakes
In order to demonstrate accountability, it is your responsibility to investigate and correct quickly any mistakes you make.
- Preserving the original post
The Internet never forgets. As soon as you publish a post, someone somewhere will see that version. If you make substantive changes to your post without explaining why you have made them, you could easily draw suspicion. If appropriate, use formatting to show the changes you have made and date any updates.
- Deleting comments
Comments are an important part of the conversation we have on our blogs, and people will disagree with you. Do not delete a comment just because you don’t agree with the commenters point of view or because of who they are. However, you can (and should) delete any comments that are offensive either to you or towards your clients or readers, are obviously spam with links to irrelevant blogs or websites, or are completely unrelated to the topic of your post.
- Disclosing conflicts of interest
This is a key element of transparency. If you are going to mention clients (see also #8), other parties or events with which we are involved, you should disclose that relationship so readers can decide your motives for themselves. Do not leave anything to chance.
- Accuracy of information
Of course we wouldn’t expect anyone to purposely post inaccurate information, but it is worth restating. Do not use your blog to spread (or even start) rumours or post something that someone else has asked you to unless you believe it to be true.
- Linking to source materials
Linking is not only a good way to get return readership, but it is the best way to get noticed by the person or organisation you link to and acknowledge them as sources of your information. Whenever you reference another blogger, blog post, online article, word requiring further definition, or company or brand, you should link to the relevant place on the web.
- Deleting posts
Think very carefully before publishing a post onto your blog. Read it, and read it again. You should not delete a post unless it breaches this Code of Conduct.
Please feel free to use, copy or adapt these principles as part of your own social media policies, ensuring that you read the accompany blog post explaining Hill & Knowlton’s approach to its social media principles. It would be nice if you could let us know that they’ve been helpful too.