Wow…Federal Charges for a YouTube Video! ?
For myself and others who consult with clients daily on the Social Web Evolution this latest Social Media mishap was not a surprise and quite frankly expected. I’m referring, of course, to the Domino’s YouTube Video.
If you haven’t heard about it yet, I’ll be surprised, but just in case…I’ve shared the response from Domino’s President U.S.A., Patrick Doyle at the end of this post.
I’m not scooping a story here folks…and I’m not all that interested in waxing philosophical about Web 2.0 and Social Media’s “prosumer” revolution. I’ve taken this moment to ask some questions.
Will this be the one incident in internet history to finally push more traditional corporate enterprises off the dime? Will these organizations now accept that Social Web Policies are not only necessary, they’re coming too little too late to stem the damage to Brand?
What will a felony charge against these two hapless short-sighted employees mean for the Domino’s Employer Brand?
If companies are using YouTube and other Social Web mediums to promote their Product Offering/Brand couldn’t we argue that this sets precedent around acceptance of possible employee “prosumer” behavior?
With the proliferation of new conversation streams introduced every day it’s impossible to control every employee at every company at every minute of the day. It’s fool hearty for companies to presume employees will naturally govern themselves… not make foolish choices…”surely employees know better.”
I’d like to say that most employees get it. Most employees are careful with their reputations IRL (In Real Life), and do everything they can to be good stewards of corporate identities…exemplary ambassadors. That commitment carries over to the “on-line” existence…again for most people. But not everyone gets it.
Most professionals are asked as part of Standard Operating Procedures to sign on the dotted line. They sign these documents demonstrating clear commitments to corporate employers’ expectations.
The expectations clearly spell out what would be considered unacceptable behavior and grounds for immediate dismissal. These are put in front of them so they can never come back and say…”but I didn’t know!”
In 2008 we saw companies like the ones outlined below implement formal “blogging” policies. These organizations which include our Armed Forces, accepted that Social Media provided uncontrollable outlets supporting Freedom of Speech and self expression. They also recognized that they would need to clearly outline and communicate acceptable, tolerable employee behavior.
SOCIAL WEB POLICIES 2008
• Blog Council – Disclosure Policy
• IBM Social Computing Guidelines
• CISCO Internet Postings Policy
• HP Code of Conduct
• Intel Social Media Guidelines
• US Navy – Web 2.0 Utilizing New Web Tools
• Civil Services Code of Online Participation
• US Air Force Social Media Policy
Domino’s has done a great job in handling the fall-out from the YouTube Video prank. They jumped right into the conversation commenting on blogs as the comments and conversation swelled. But I wonder if there’s a Social Web Policy for Domino’s in place. If there is…then these two were clearly openly in defiance of it.
But if there wasn’t one…would a clear policy have prevented this? Will Domino’s and other companies now accept the importance of one and follow the lead of the companies above?
I challenge those corporations still holding out till their compliance departments give the okay. I challenge companies to “Just Get It Done.” Embrace the realities of our Social Web Evolution and put policies in place “yesterday!”
I don’t think any organization needs any more proof of the importance of this issue than the video below.