Andy Sernovitz: Social Media Ethics Briefing — Live from Blogwell

3:10 — Kurt Vanderah introduces GasPedal and Social Media Business Council’s CEO, Andy Sernovitz.

3:12 – Andy says “it’s all about trust.” Great, meaningful message – built on trust foundation first. Ethics is the first thing you do. Only way to make it work;  the right thing to do. I trust these people enough to put my name behind them.

3:17 – Andy points out the importance of disclosure. Must know who is behind the message. Great disclosure improves effectiveness of the marketing message.

3:18 – Andy says it’s really simple stuff. Is not a matter of personal opinion. It’s federal law – that have to do disclosure. Get legal advice.

3:19 – Andy points out that it’s not a social media issue. False endorsement is old stuff. Can’t pay a reporter to write good stuff about you.

3:20 – Andy says FTC told us exactly what to do. Really specific. Three big ideas. When people speaking on your behalf, tell the truth and say they are speaking for you.

3:21 – Andy says you must monitor the conversations and attempt to correct misstatements. You have to clean up your messes. Must make a good-faith effort to tell bloggers to be accurate. Do a good faith effort.

3:22 – Andy: The law says you must create social media policies and training.

3:23 – Andy recommends you never, ever pay for coverage. When you pay for it, it’s not social media. It’s advertising. You bought space. Also, nobody will ever trust you again.

3:24 – Andy tells audience about “real disclosure.” Clear and conspicuous to the average reader.

3:25 – Andy tells about the “mom test.” Don’t lie to your mom, is effective guideline.

3:26 – Andy shares 10 magic words: “I work for X and this is my personal opinion.”

3:27 – Andy gives three deeper things to disclose: Who are you? Were you paid? Is it an honest opinion based on a real experience?

3:28 – Andy talks about biggest risk of all – a training failure. Only takes one person in your company to cause a national scandal.

3:30 – Andy: Create a policy. Train your company. Make it a part of your standard HR. You are not liable for rogue employees if you have policy and training. Copy of toolkit on www.socialmedia.org. Series of checklists.

3:34 – Andy: Make sure your agencies understand too. You, the brand, are 100 percent liable for any improper practices, such as unethical intern at agency.

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