Organisational twittering

According to a recent article in the CIPD's People Management magazine, employer organisations are increasingly getting into the idea that recent Web 2.0 developments, such as Twitter, can bring benefits for organisations.

However, as usual, not without an examination of the potential and pitfalls of such mediums of communication.

A quick summary of the benefits:

- keep HR users up to date with practice points and legal developments
- reduces traffic on company email systems
- avoid long-distance calls


A quick summary of the 'challenges':

- inappropriate comments
- criticism
- monitoring use
- headaches with privacy and data protection laws
- compliance with confidentiality, electronic security and anti-harassment procedures
- interference with 'employee engagement'
- scope for bullying and harassment


Of further note in the article is the discussion of case law to emerge from employee 'misuse' of such methods of communication in relation to employment - details:

Cases involving social networking sites so far include Hays Specialist Recruitment (Holdings) Ltd v Ions (2008 EWCH 745 HC), where a former employee copied confidential business contacts to his LinkedIn account, and PennWell Publishing (UK) Ltd v Ornstein (2007 EWHC 1570 QB), which examined who had the right to contacts made during the course of employment.

For more details see Why only twits would ignore the potential (and pitfalls) of Twitter by Julie Gorham (this article may not be available to non-subscriber two weeks after publication).

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"In the event that alluding to a blog entry that somebody from our association has kept in touch with we'd say "Our Brian has composed X." That way we keep it amicable (i.e. individuals realize that there are genuine people tweeting and creating the substance) without seeming to be excessively removed. In any case, it likewise implies that our general voice is that of the association. It likewise makes it less demanding to prepare staff to tweet from the record and keep all of them on message - you don't get diverse styles coming in as various people steer."