Newspaper Gets It Right With Its 'Rules For Using Social Media'

from the there-are-no-rules dept

Just recently we pointed to the Toronto Star's simply ridiculous "rules" for staff members on how to use social media, in which the newspaper basically tells its reporters not to engage and not to connect with any readers. It seems that one newspaper is going in a different direction. I keep hearing good things about what's happening with the Journal Register under CEO John Paton. Last year, we wrote about some of the projects being conducted there, to change the various newspapers into "digital first" organizations, rather than paper first. Over the weekend, Paton put up his own official employee rules for using social media:

There has been a lot of news lately resulting from various news organizations posting rules governing their employees’ use of social media.

Some of you have asked what are JRC’s Employee Rules For Using Social Media. To keep it simple I have reduced them to three:




Until next time, John.
While this may seem a bit cheeky, the point is dead on: there are no rules at this point, and if you're focusing on rules, you're almost certainly going to get left behind. These things are developing quickly, and for people to find out how to use these tools most efficiently and effectively, they need to feel free to experiment and do whatever needs to be done. A blog post like this (though, seriously, he should get beyond the default Wordpress theme on his blog) drives home that point in a strong way.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 7:30pm


    3 is 'profit' obviously.

    2 is the tough part, of course.

    The lack of 1 is disturbing. "Do a thing" would suffice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Jay (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 7:31pm

    Just an honest questione

    Will there ever be a way to vote for a favorite story of the week? I have to say that this one is pretty tops on the list right now.

    The fact that there are a few CEOs out there that " get it" can't be applied enough in the business world.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    matt, May 3rd, 2011 @ 7:40pm

    social media policy

    A restaurant I used to work for, I'm going to refer to as "H", once threw this at me as well. The basis of the policy was because of the video about a pizza company that crushed revenues.

    But the policy forbid us from interacting, or even talking about the company. For we may be seen as reps' and thus taken word for word, and then misguiding them to think they were informed appropriately. (It's the internet, seriously nothing anymore is necessarily fact) In the event that we did say, "working at H sucks" we would get fired.

    I never agreed to this idea, because how do you represent a company without someone knowing you work there, and that fact should be enough to allow someone to have good judgment(everyone knows restaurant work sucks.) Also Why would you want the employees to not talk to customers, that is there job that you entrust them with, from day 1...

    Social media is a monster and a blessing. It can get out of control and eat your company's reputation alive, or it can vastly increase you following.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2011 @ 8:20pm

    Re: social media policy

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    MrLemurBoy, May 3rd, 2011 @ 8:31pm

    I like these rules! I think I'm gonna adopt em for my own life :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Greg G (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 9:27pm

    Re: social media policy

    A restaurant I used to work for, I'm going to refer to as "H"


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Paul`, May 3rd, 2011 @ 9:33pm

    Re: social media policy

    They unofficially have done the same thing at the Target store I work for in Australia. I'm daring them, the unfair dismissal lawsuit could pay my way for a few years :P

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 9:34pm

    Re: social media policy

    Actually, restaurant work doesn't suck for the owner who knows how to run a successful, pardon the pun, bite that hands that feed you business. That being said the restriction on free speech is a big one for me personally and the rest is the free market at work. You treat your employees and customers right it'll be a success (in the social network at least).

    Though if you were talking about a fast food joint ya still have brand loyalty to consider.

    Agreed on the monster part only some of us like big fluffy ones. Ever met a skinny cook? Right... ya got what ya paid for.

    It has been repeated, often enough right here in TechDirt, if it becomes known to you, as an owner, that your business has hit a major cord somewhere the benefits of engaging the audience! Self-Reliance isn't a sin, its a virtue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Pixelation, May 3rd, 2011 @ 9:46pm

    I love a company willing to allow for a social media free-for-all.

    I imagine there are some rules spelled out in the contracts people signed when they were hired, however.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    NjDobber (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 12:22am


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    NjDobber (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 12:24am


    someone should publicly thank that man...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 7:55am


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 9:49am

    Please represent our company in an unofficial manner!

    Announce new upcoming products, advertising rates! Please post our fee structures, the salary rates for former and current employees! Privacy? We don't believe in it!

    Is it confidential? Post it!

    Please use our logo, slightly modified!

    Don't spell-check or verify what you may post. It can't possibly impact our image!

    Also note that this corporation takes full responsibility for your posting! We will cover anything libelous on your behalf! Please post porn, any illegal activities you may do on your own time (or ours) and do insult our competitors at every chance you can get!

    Don't get us started!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    qaiser farooq, May 12th, 2011 @ 7:52am

    tour and travelling

    solve my problem it doesn't works

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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