Social Media Governance in Regulated Industries – Part 4 – Local Processes

Many social media projects face the trailblazers conundrum. None of their company’s policies or procedures was written with social media or community networking in mind.  Best practices are rare and guidance from corporate governance is nearly nonexistent.  You face the added challenge of being the experiment while trying to be responsible, successful, and accountable.  You will never be able to mitigate all the risk and uncertainty from that situation.  What you can do is be proactive and address what you need to be successful and accountable.  Local processes that are the “right thing to do” and vetted by the team using them are ideal for this purpose.

Aside from documenting your process according to the guidelines in the previous post, our experience with local processes is very simple and can be boiled down to a few rules.

1. DECIDE IF A PROCESS OR PROCEDURE IS REALLY NECESSARY. REALLY.

The first question you should ask is: Do I need this procedure to “do the right thing” and to show others in the company that we are “doing the right thing?” Generally, if it fills an un-addressed gap in global procedure, mitigates a risk identified at the Project Charter stage, or provides a wrapper for ongoing inventories of exceptions or content, it is worth it. If you are reasonably covered by existing work practices and corporate compliance requirements then think hard about adding another layer of complexity to what you maintain.  Can you be accountable and transparent with what you already have?  The exposure of social media provides much of the transparency on its own. Continue reading

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