Yesterday we had a great discussion on #icchat. For those of you who don’t know, #icchat is short for “internal communications chat” that I host on Twitter every Wednesday at 12 noon CST. While #icchat” focuses on internal communicators, everyone is welcome to join the discussion as I believe external and internal communications can be leveraged together.
The topic we discusses was whether or not internal communicators should re-tweet their companies’ formal tweets.
Personally, I have always stayed away from re-tweeting my company’s formal tweets. I don’t think there is anything wrong with doing so, I just feel that I don’t want to cross any line. Then I worried about credibility. Many of us know that careers don’t allow for holding just one job with one company. How would it look if one day I started re-tweeting for a competitor because I changed jobs within the same industry? Then, what about the thought that I might just be a fan of a certain product or company?
Our colleagues had some good answers during our discussion yesterday.
First and foremost, as Linda Russell (@lindabeth) and Mitch Popilchak (@mitchpopilchak) shared, disclosure is key. It can be in one’s bio or as part of one’s Twitter or web site. This also applies for consultants/agencies when promoting a client.
When it came to personal credibility, @lindabeth summed it up quite nicely in her tweet, “Personal credibility should always be a factor. Shouldn’t just RT randomly, but b/c it fits w/ your online presence.” I like this! It made me feel better about possibly re-tweeting my company’s tweets. And, of course, it is common sense – if people choose to use theirs.
But @mitchpopilchak brought up a good point, “When you are RT and you at some point have represented your company, you now are saying this is their opinion too.”
Yikes! Something else very important to consider. See why I consider this risky ground?
However, we settled on the fact that internal communicators can re-tweet company tweets as long as disclosures are in place and selective.
This is when @lindabeth shared a thought I had not considered, “Same basic philosophy could apply to company re-tweeting EE tweets also, don’t you think?” The company has the ability to re-tweet employee tweets! As long as the social media policy dictates full disclosure and everyone is aware, this could work. Again, the company would have to fully disclose this as well.
What do you think? Are we overthinking this?
Update: What about Legal?