The NLRB may not be the ultimate authority on social media for healthcare marketers but their recommendations can be very helpful. After reviewing social media policies of businesses, they discovered that many businesses were risking infringing on employee free speech and labor rights and issued guidelines and recommendations.
Mikal Belicove reported some of the agency’s findings in an article for Entrepreneur. Here are six recommendations that should guide a hospital’s social media policy.
1. Know and follow the rules.
Employees should be encouraged to read and understand the social media policy. The policy should clearly indicate what is not appropriate and what will not be tolerated in regard to the use of social media.
2. Be respectful.
The policy should state that employees are expected to be “fair and courteous to fellow associates, customers, members, suppliers or people who work on behalf of the employer.”
3. Be honest and accurate.
Never post anything based on rumor or assumption. Make sure all posts are accurate and true.
4. Post only appropriate and respectful content
Always be respectful and maintain confidentiality. Never represent yourself as a company spokesperson or speak for the company unless specifically authorized.
5. Use social media at work for only work related activities.
Don’t use company equipment and time for personal messaging.
6. Don’t engage the press.
Don’t speak to the press or engage the press in any social media activity without prior approval.
Certainly this is not an exhaustive list for a social media policy but it’s helpful in regard to what’s permissible without restricting employees’ work-related rights.