Manifesto 0.1 – WIP & RFC

Back to back sessions in Brussels and London, I must’ve said already I hate when people make me work !

Anyway, I find encouraging that the kind of companies we’re talking to are now enormous global airlines or banks. Jeroen and Saskia said I need to put more in writing, e.g. around training of our own people, which is a fair point.

I am also starting to work on Pleon’s Social Media manifesto, which I’m then going to post in the pages above. I have read quite a few of those document I found around and hopefully ours will have the benefit of the experience we have achieved working on client projects as opposed to too much theoretical “pie-in-the-sky” as in some of the documents I saw.

Please feel free to chip in: we’re a small enough group to make it manageable even without comment threading.

Pleon’s Social Media Manifesto

We believe our consultants are smarter than the average PR flack and will use this manifesto intelligently, recognizing its dynamic and evolutionary nature and, most importantly, committing to contributing to keep it up to date.

Pleon’s consultants engaging in Social Media activities on behalf of clients are required to individually pledge allegiance to this manifesto by forwarding this document via email to their Country CEO with the subject line: “Please find attached my personal pledge of allegiance to the Pleon Social Media Manifesto”.

  1. We believe that Social Media can and should be used to promote a client brand, and we believe that this can and should be done in an open and respectful manner. Furthermore, we believe social interations are based on all participants adding value to the interaction and strive to design our programs to comply with this general mandate.
  2. We understand that Social Media are more than the blogosphere. At all times we will maintain an impartial, unbiased consideration for all current or future platforms of Social Media (including, but not limited to Social Networks, professional networks, microblogging,  forum discussions, newsgroups, mailing lists, etc.); we believe in constantly exploring and keeping abreast of new forms of IP-based social interactions.
  3. We encourage our consultants to use Social Media as a good way to understand their behaviour and dynamics; we know that they will be mature enough to distinguish between “educational” and “recreational” uses of Social Media and pursue the latter in their own time.
  4. We understand that sometimes the line between the expression of opinions and development of social interactions on a personal and professional basis may become blurred and we commit not to mislead others, by disclosing clearly our role and profession and, where appropriate, the fact we are working for a company we are talking about (or one of its competitors).
    1. (sub) As a practical consequence, personal blogs or pages of our consultants will bear a statement clarifying that “opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer”.
  5. We value conversations and believe these are made of listening and speaking; at all times we commit to listen to the opinions of others respectfully, even (perhaps especially) when we are in disagreement with them.
  6. Respect for others extends beyond listening; we commit to refrain from anything that could be considered slanderous, libelous, or derogatory with respect to race, gender, sexual orientation or religious beliefs. When we have a moderating role (for example hosting a blog or a discussion forums) we will clearly state what the moderation rules are and immediately delete (or moderate out) any comment or contribution that will not comply with these rules. Repeating offenders will be banned.
  7. We will not pitch bloggers or otherwise deal with them as we would do with a journalist because we believe bloggers (see below for a distinction) are different from journalists, have a different agenda and look for different things. We will strive to engage bloggers in a conversational manner, offering a contribution that demonstrates we take a genuine interest in what they blog about.
    1. (sub) We understand that a number of journalists are also bloggers – either as a complement or “filler” to their journalistic activity or as a hobby. We believe that in such cases the journalist profile ought to take precedence, and we will treat journalist-bloggers as journalists unless they ask otherwise.
  8. (what next ?)
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One thought on “Manifesto 0.1 – WIP & RFC

  1. I recall your posting about Two-washing.

    Ever since I’ve seen it, I can’t look at a company’s website without screening it (at least subconsciously) for evidence of self-serving two washing, often disguised as something else. If company wants to do this, I suppose that’s their right and prerogative. However, I don’t think someone in your business should participate in such platforms, when they are screened, particularly if negative opinions or subjects are screened out of the dialogue. In other words, you shouldn’t grant company sponsored platforms what amounts to an OPTION as to whether my opinion is worthy. It’s one thing to state one’s own opinion. It’s another thing to allow one’s opinions to be screened out and still participate. In such a situation, one’s thoughts might not be what they appear to be, a free expression of thought.

    Perhaps this should be added to Number 4 in some way. This is different than simply disclosing professional or business connections, which certainly also belongs in the manifesto.

    I also see the placement of Sub 1 to Paragraph 4 as somewhat out of context. It’s certainly something to be included, but the thought should run independent of whether there’s a business relationship. Perhaps it should be Paragraph 1 or a closing statement. I also think it needs to be appended with the words “or client”.

    Hope this helps.

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