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Make Sure Twitter Doesn't Get Anyone Fired

Even though I'm no fan of Twitter, I'll admit that many companies are relying on the micro-blogging service to communicate with customers. But Twitter, by its very nature, is bound to cause some friction with lumbering, old-school corporate policies. Whether you're tweeting or a manager in charge of the tweeters, you should pause and consider these tips for making sure Twitter doesn't conflict with corporate policy.

These four corporate Twitter policy considerations come courtesy of, and to my mind, the apply just as well to more traditional blogging - so I'd advise you to see how well these apply to your business no matter what kind of high-tech communication you participate in.

Update your Code of Conduct. The bottom line is that your COC agreement should be revised to encompass communication tools like Twitter, to prevent mistakes like unintentional disclosures.

Identify all the Twitter accounts. Managers should make sure they know who is tweeting (or blogging, for that matter). Identify all the Twitter accounts and make sure employees know that by tweeting, they represent the company and should comport themselves accordingly.

Use a disclaimer. Tweeters and bloggers would be well-advised to tell readers that their opinions don't necessarily reflect those of the company.

Guidelines should be a group effort. Employees - tweeters - and management/HR should work together on Twitter and blogging rules. Rules won't be internalized if the tweeters aren't part of the process.

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