Plaxo's Communication (Blogging) Policy
March 29, 2005
Since joining Plaxo, I’ve been on a team that’s working to define our policy regarding employees that want to participate in public communication. We wanted to include blogging, message boards, e-mail groups and any other media by which people are able to share ideas nowadays. Here’s what we came up with; have a gander at it and feel free to give feedback through the comments or e-mail me: mark @t plaxo.com.
Plaxo Public Internet Communication Policy
The following policy applies to all employees and contractors of Plaxo, and covers all publicly accessible communications via the Internet relating to Plaxo. This includes, but is not limited to: blogs, discussion forums, newsgroups, and e-mail distribution lists.
This company depends upon not only the strong formal competencies of its workers (programming abilities, writing skills, etc.), but their “soft skills” as well. Specifically, the fabric of this company is sustained by a sense of camaraderie and trust.
While we encourage open communication both internally and externally in all forms, we expect and insist that such communication does not substantively demean our environment. This means that constructive criticism — both privately and publicly — is welcome, but harsh or continuous disparagement is frowned upon.
Externally communicating about aspects of the company that are part of your non-disclosure agreement (partnership deals, earnings, upcoming unannounced features, etc.) is ALWAYS forbidden, however, and grounds for immediate termination and legal action.
In a nutshell, be prudent. Ask yourself: “Would this public expression regarding Plaxo impair my ability to work with my colleagues on a friendly basis? Would it give a leg up to our competition? Would it make our current or upcoming partners uncomfortable?” If you could answer yes to any of those questions, please avoid this communication.
Additionally, you should first express with your management and co-workers any Plaxo concerns you may have. Voicing concerns about Plaxo publicly without first communicating such concerns to your management and co-workers is counterproductive and inadvisable.
- Your public communications concerning Plaxo must not violate any guidelines set forth in your employee handbook, whether or not you specifically mention your employee or contractor status.
- You may participate in Plaxo-related public communications on company time. However, if doing so interferes with any of your work duties and/or responsibilities, Plaxo reserves the right to disallow such participation.
- You must include the following disclaimer on published public communications if you identify yourself as a Plaxo employee or if you regularly or substantively discuss Plaxo publicly: “The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of [your name]. Content published here is not read or approved by Plaxo before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Plaxo.”
- You may not communicate any material that violates the privacy or publicity rights of another.
- You may not attack personally fellow employees, authors, customers, vendors, or shareholders. You may respectfully disagree with company actions, policies, or management.
- You may not disclose any sensitive, proprietary, confidential, or financial information about the company. This includes revenues, profits, forecasts, and other financial information, any information related to specific authors, brands, products, product lines, customers, operating units, etc. You may not disclose any information about any specific customer. Further detail is provided in the “Security and Confidentiality” section of your employee handbook.
- You may not post any material that is obscene, defamatory, profane, libelous, threatening, harassing, abusive, hateful or embarrassing to another person or any other person or entity. This includes, but is not limited to, comments regarding Plaxo, Plaxo employees, Plaxo’s partners and Plaxo’s competitors.
Failure to follow these policies may result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge. Only a written document signed by the President of Plaxo can approve an exception of any of the above policies.
Additionally, here are some guidelines you may wish to follow for your own protection. This is not a comprehensive list and Plaxo will not indemnify you from legal action if you follow these guidelines.
- If you think you will get in trouble directly or indirectly because of any communication you are about to make, please discuss it with your manager first.
- Remember that you are not anonymous. Even if you write anonymously or under a pseudonym, your identity can still be revealed. You should communicate as if you are doing so under your own name. Indeed, it is recommended that you do communicate using your real name.
- You will probably be read or heard by people who know you. Post as if everyone you know reads or hears every word.
- You are personally legally responsible for any content you publish. Be aware of applicable laws regarding publishing your content or regarding the content itself before you post. This includes adhering to applicable copyright laws.