I recently had the opportunity to attend some Social Media training where I work. I thought it was interesting in light of church work. The gist of the training was that if you affiliate yourself with the company online, you are representing the company, and yes you can be fired for representing the company in a bad light. (There are hundreds of examples, but I thought a good one was the example of the two employees that caused Dominoâ€™s Pizza stock to collapse after getting a million views of them doing gross things at work on a youtube video). I think the church suffers a similar risk as I, with all my good intentions, am out here shooting my mouth off. On top of this, I also suffer a great risk, as I, in a flight of fancy, forget the very public and unalterable nature of the internet. (Think of the Fedex employee who got fired for tweeting how much he hated where his customer lived). My reputation can be damaged forever based on one blog comment which I can never delete because I donâ€™t own the blog I commented on, and google snatched it up and archived it, etc.
While the church cannot fire its lay ministry for putting the church in a bad light, and I donâ€™t think any of us can afford to hire our own PR firm to filter our public statements, I thought Iâ€™d highlight the 1 Do and 3 Donâ€™t Dos from the training I got at work.
1. Do be genuine, authentic, and honest.
2. Do not bash the competition ever.
3. Do not say mean or unkind things to anyone.
4. Do not disclose private information.
Good rules to live by anyway, but especially good rules as we represent the church online (whether we want to or not). I am going to try harder in the future to follow these rules. If you catch me getting out of line, let me know. For the times I have been out of line in the past, I apologize.