PR professionals and marketers need a way to be on the same page about expectations, when it comes to the use of online networks, marketing and presence; especially as the social space and digital marketing scene become increasingly complex. It is essential to have policies in place for on, and offline, marketing channels. When developing these policies, consider:
- Who are the faces or spokespeople for the brand? The answer is typically those who work in PR or marketing, but some companies add employees to this conversation or allocate the CEO as the official spokesperson. Who this is, will impact the content and granularity of the policy.
- How will you address complaints? Responses, what can, and cannot, be said, as well as an appropriate SLA, is vital to consider, and include, in social media and marketing policies
- How do you handle PR and media requests? If the press reaches out, who is in charge of responding, and how are the claims dealt with?
- What about investor relations? If you are a publicly trading company, this is especially important, and sometimes mandatory.
- Copyright; with the increased reliance on technology and digital platforms, copyright laws, infringements and issues, are increasingly prominent and crucial. The implications for violating copyright law, even by accident, can be serious legal repercussions and fees.
- Best practices; your policy should not just be related to governance and mandatory guidelines, but also should help those employees who may, or do, interact with your digital and social channels at any given time. Understand the tone and voice of the brand, by outlining the do’s and don’ts, in a clear, understandable way.
- Accessibility; make sure that your social media, marketing and related PR policies are accessible to all employees. This means providing it in a space that is easy to find, but also in different formats, such as print copies, audible copies as well as copies in the various official languages in your region or company.