Code of Conduct for Online Communications
Some people may be interested in engaging in internet conversations in support of Creating the Difference. Such engagement on behalf of Creating the Difference, including establishment of official external sites representing Creating the Difference, must be within the following online communications guidelines.
Creating the Difference’s Social Media Team provides oversight and assistance to guide development of new social media platforms, sharing knowledge and instituting best practices for successful implementation. To utilize social media sites, including but not limited to blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Vimeo, FourSquare or YouTube, first read through this document
Creating the Difference LLC in Social Media
Social media is a complement to all other traditional media and communication. For Creating the Difference, the usage of social media is a tool for engaging our customers and delivering product information. Our goal is to increase customer satisfaction as well as grow the sport of bowling.
What Shapes Our Social Media?
- Presence, participation and transparency
- Stimulating excitement and building relationships
Through participation in social media we can use our resources effectively and reach out to a large number of people, regardless of time and location. Our audience can be sure we are trustworthy, we listen, care and react accordingly.
We build our brand by participating in discussions, connecting with people and communities, and by being involved in conversations where our brand is discussed.
Creating the Difference is not focused on your private life or the thoughts and opinions that you may wish to share online; however, remember that you are a representative of this company on and off the lanes.
Social Media Guidelines - The “Creating the Difference” Way
In order to aid online communication and avoid the risk of mistakes, Creating the Difference has compiled a few guidelines along with tips and advice for people who are active in social media and who therefore come up against issues that in some way affect the company. This guideline, Code of Conduct and Brand Values that Creating the Difference represent are valid online as well as in real life:
- Be personal without getting private
- Make sure you do not reveal any business sensitive secrets, launch of coming or other inside information
- Treat competitors with respect.
- Stay on topic. Keep the conversation relevant to the community and contribute to the dialogue. We reserve the right to ask you to remove content that is off-topic, out of context, spam, promotional or links to third party sites
- Once you have read through the social media guidelines we trust that you will respect our wishes, using common sense
- Do not comment on legal issues concerning the company
- When in doubt, always refer to the source
- If there are any uncertainties you can always send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org on how to communicate your thoughts
We strongly recommend that you use your own name and that you are transparent with who you represent when participating, sharing or writing in all online publishing. In online conversation, as well as in all other conversation, you are always an ambassador for the company; even if you are not acting on behalf of the company. If you are using social media for private purposes, use the same common sense as you would use for private phone calls.
Stick to the facts as you know them when you discuss topics related to bowling and make sure they are within your area of expertise. You should always make sure that you are providing relevant and honest information.
Be careful with revealing any personal information about yourself and others. It is difficult to hold back when you get involved in a topic that interests you, but make sure to always protect yourself. When something is published on the internet it will stay.
Make it obvious to others that your thoughts are your own and not the company's when you are communicating on a private basis. There should not be any doubt as to who is the sender. This is important both from a purely legal standpoint as well as from a point of trust. Disclosing information from Creating the Difference, without letting people know that you are affiliated with us, might harm your personal credibility.
- Copy Righting
Today, posting, commenting or sharing content is so easy to do that you or anyone can miss the core fundamentals in business. Laws still apply. Remember to validate the copyright if you post information that was not created by you. If you refer to information on other blogs, the common way of showing respect is by linking to the original post.
- Be Humble
Respect is also about how you treat people. Always remain objective and treat people respectfully. Do not pick fights. Be the first to admit mistakes. Do the right thing.
Relationships with our customers, employees and partners is our most important asset, and we must always protect this relationship. You cannot cite or disclose customer names without their approval. Protect your fellow teammates and our customers, distributors, and pro shops by communicating positively with each of them and about them.
Creating the Difference does not wish to engage with any negative communication about our competitors. If they choose to talk negatively about us, we realize it is difficult to hold back, but you must have restraint. This speaks directly to Creating the Difference’s image as a company and is how we want to be portrayed in the bowling industry. Our purpose is to grow the sport of bowling and we encourage competition. If we succeed in growing our sport, it requires all of us to step up and do the right thing. We realize bowling is a small industry, so please tread lightly when communicating with and about our competitors.
It is ok to disagree with the opinions of others, but do so with respect. People pay more attention to your comments when you disagree or make a challenging statement.
- Promote the Sport of Bowling
Since we promote sharing and caring, we believe that linking to other online bowling stories is positive for the sport. If you find interesting information, provide links, generously. Talking negatively about tournament organizations, governing bodies, and any other organization working to promote the sport of bowling speaks directly to our company image. #CreatingTheDifference
- If You Need Guidance
Creating the Difference believes in the best judgment of our team members, these guidelines are in the spirit of trust and openness. When in doubt, please refer to the marketing team for advice. There are always consequences to what you publish; therefore, make sure that you are comfortable with what you share. As an ambassador of Creating the Difference, you have an obligation to represent us well, so be aware that what you publish may impact your relationship with Creating the Difference.
- Who to Contact?
In the case of customer complaints or issues please make sure to forward these or advise the issuer to contact Creating the Difference. The most effective way to get a response is by emailed email@example.com. If a comment or question is outside your area of responsibility or beyond your level of knowledge so that an official company response is needed, send us an email.
Keep in mind that social media channels require daily maintenance as well as a desire to engage with others. The tools and resources you’ll find here are intended to help you maintain a social media presence. But before you jump in, think about these questions:
Creating the Difference Social Media Self-Test
- Is it right?
- Is it legal?
- Is it accurate?
- Would I feel comfortable reading my comments on Dateline NBC?
- Would my grandparents approve?
- Would Ronald Hickland enjoy reading my comments?
If the answer is “YES” to all of the above, then it’s ok to share on Social Media.
Remember, social media is not a strategy within itself but a channel used to engage the organization’s loyal and new customers, much like an ad, media release or billboard. Like all provisions within a marketing strategy, social media channels should reflect the overall business objectives of Creating the Difference. Creating the Difference’s Marketing, Public Relations and Communications departments may reserve the right to publish or unpublished social media channels in response to changing marketing, business strategies or content.
I have read, fully understand and agree to the above terms of the Code of Conduct for Online Communications in regards to Creating the Difference Social Media Guidelines. Failure to comply with the above criteria may be subject to a probationary period of review. Additional violations therein after will result in loss of privilege to identify yourself with Creating the Difference in applicable social media platforms. Also important to note that compliance failure can result in termination of your staff contract or provide a decision not to renew said contract.