Social media policies for PR professionals: yay or nay?

June 11, 2009

I realize I’m positioning myself as a minority when I say this, but it’s true: I absolutely love Mondays.  There’s something about its fresh beginnings and new opportunities that make me excited to see what the new week brings.

Thursdays, however, get the award for my least favorite day of the week.  By the time Thursday rolls around, the week has been too long and the weekend is still too far away.

So when I grabbed a cup of coffee and headed to the Akron Beacon Journal’s Web site this Thursday morning, I was shocked to see the IT Department blocked me from viewing all news and media sites.  What a great way to start my favorite day of the week, right?

I stared at my computer for a good two minutes before I picked up the phone and called the Service Desk.  My day-to-day job includes trips to media and news Web sites to research public demographics, search for new magazines and blogs to pitch and monitor media coverage.  How is a poor, innocent public relations intern supposed to do her job without being granted access to the vehicle she uses to disseminate information?

Needless to say, IT and I are still debating the issue.  But the situation reminded me of a great story I read by PRSAY titled, “Why PR Pros Need Access to Social Media at Work.

Come on, think about it.  How can a computer programmer do his job if the computer he’s fixing doesn’t have a monitor?  How can an accountant complete a spreadsheet if he is only granted access to half the numbers?  How can a designer create a brochure if his supervisor removes the software off of his computer?  How can a truck driver drive without a wheel?

I know a “one-size-fits-all” IT policy might be appealing, but it’s not practical.  Monitoring social media is just a part of our job.

What is your opinion about social media policies for PR professionals at work?


One comment

  1. It’s so nice to see you’re blogging again. I think you have a great point here. I’m finding this a problem at my internship. Only certain departments have been granted unrestricted access to the Internet; however, the PR department has not. I think it’s a must that PR people have the tools they need to meet their employer’s expectations, and that includes social media. We’re working on extending the parameters of our access, but it’s a process. Thanks for the great advice!

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