Some people think that Tiger Woods is no different than the mailman and is due the same right to privacy. In a perfect world maybe, and I say maybe, this would be the case. But in this world it is NOT. Tiger Woods, unlike my mailman, sells his image to the highest bidder. And they bid high, to the tune of millions upon millions a year. The fact of life today is that you can’t sell the good parts of your image and claim privacy on the bad. All your behavior becomes a part of your personal brand.
No matter where you fall on the question of personal privacy, this is the way of the world and it is unlikely to change because there are too many people who feel that if you sell your persona then then all your behavior is fair game. And certainly the demand for scandalous information is strong.
What does this have to do with enterprise social media policy? Everything. Tiger Woods is not the mailman. Tiger is the number one spokesperson and identifiable personality for “Tiger Woods International” (A business with a billion plus in assets). Effectively, Tiger Woods does not have a public personal persona. He only has a public professional persona. This means that any public information on Tiger Woods the person will impact “Tiger Woods International” the business.
Some people in your enterprise are in the same boat. I talk to clients regularly about social media governance strategies and advise them on the management of employee personas. Most employees will have both personal and professional personas and it is important that the enterprise respect those personal personas (within limits). However, a few (maybe the CEO and other high profile people) really don’t have personal personas. A solid understanding of personas is critical to effective social media policy formulation. Different persona types may need specialized policy. It also may impact your decision about featuring your CEO in the new advertising campaign
As usual I like to point readers to some relevant Gartner content (available to Gartner clients or for a fee).
- Establishing Policies for Social Application Participation
- Toolkit: Establishing Policy for Social Software Applications
- Use a Gartner Governance Model to More Safely Empower Grassroots Social Media Efforts
- Comparing Social-Media Policies for Government
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