Mayo Clinic Social Media Guidelines for Employees

As part of the launch of Sharing Mayo Clinic last week, we published guidelines for Mayo Clinic employees involved in blogging, social networking sites and other social media.

We previously had published the guidelines internally; our publishing them externally was inspired by our colleagues at Intel, a fellow member of the Blog Council, publishing their company’s guidelines, which are really well done.

We hadn’t considered publishing our guidelines externally until we learned that Intel had done it, and after some discussion within the Blog Council about the merits of disclosing these policies. It seems like the right thing to do, in the spirit of transparency.

From our perspective, these guidelines for social media aren’t really new policies; they mainly are applications of existing policies to new communications platforms.

So, if you’re looking to create social media policies or guidelines for your company, these are two examples you could consider.

Blogging with the Coast Guard

Now that my presentation at BlogWell is done, I’m listening to Commander Ron LaBrec talk about what the U.S. Coast Guard is doing with blogging and social media.

One of the best quotes, from one of his superiors: “You’re already in the social media environment. If you choose not to engage, you’re assuming all the risks with none of the potential benefits.”

Coast Guard engaged a consultant to help them find ways to listen to the relatively small portion of the blogosphere concerned with the Coast Guard. The consultant developed a dashboard in Pageflakes to pull the feeds together.

Here is iCommandant, the Coast Guard’s main blog, authored by Admiral Thad Allen.

The Coast Guard also has a Flickr account and a YouTube channel, as well as a Twitter presence. Here’s some video from the US Airways crash:


iCommandant has helped set the agenda for some many non-Coast Guard blogs concerned about some of the same issues.

Instead of just using social media for PR and communications, they’re now looking at how these tools can change the way the organization works.

Speaking at BlogWell

BlogWell - How Big Companies Use Social Media - Chicago, IL - January 22nd

Next Thursday I’ll be in Chicago for BlogWell, an event sponsored by the Blog Council (of which Mayo Clinic is a member.) Here’s the agenda.

It should be a great event. I understand it’s sold out, but you can click here to get on the waiting list if tickets become available.

I’m sure there will be a whole lotta Tweetin’ going on.

Yammering, Listening, and Improving the Product

This post is about a prime example of how companies can use social media tools to improve their products and services.

You would expect this from a company looking to make a name for itself in social media, as Yammer is. If social media is your core product, you should be out there listening and participating in discussions related to your company.

But by actually following through on this philosophy, and listening to your users, you can identify and solve the problems you didn’t know were problems.

As SMUGgles know, I like Yammer a lot, and have been experimenting with it. I’ve even started a Yammer curriculum in this university.

Continue reading “Yammering, Listening, and Improving the Product”