During the discovery phase of WelchmanPierpoint's Web governance consulting engagements, I ask clients to share their policy and standards documents with me. Time and again, I’m handed a document that includes a mixture of policy, standards and guidelines. I see this mixture in online documents as well. In fact, I recently came across several social–media-related documents labeled as policy, guidelines and the like, when in actuality, they were a mixture of document types – or the opposite type of what they purported to be.
It’s a widely-held belief among various Web practitioners (from content strategists and information architects to Web infrastructure tool builders and application developers) that senior executives don’t understand the real power and capability of the Internet. And, that this lack of understanding has left Web Teams executing in a vacuum, with inappropriate funding and inadequate headcount. More importantly, it has left organizations exposed, as new Internet-enabled businesses sneak up and shut down the slower-to-react belle-weathers.
One of the challenges around creating social media policy is whether or not it is appropriate to constrain an employee’s social media activities when performed in a professional and personal capacity. There are a few key considerations to talk through when crafting a social media policy: what is unacceptable; what can be prescribed ; and, what can be reasonably enforced?
A lack of cross-functional representation is a surefire way to undermine your Web governance framework. Often organizations will default to the Web team as the group responsible for policies and standards; after all, they are the experts on Web technologies and best practices. However, having only "Web people" seated on the governing bodies means you may lose the perspective from the lines of business.