Common sense, professionalism rule CEOs’ social media policies

This week’s question to the Miami Herald CEO Roundtable: President Trump is an avid Twitter user. Do you have rules about how you or your employees use social media?

We do not restrict personal use of social media but ask that all employees behave responsibly and don’t become “the news.” The Chamber uses social media to promote our member businesses and local programming. We do not use it as a platform to promote an agenda.

Our only rule is to apply common sense when using social media. Don’t post anything that would embarrass the company or yourself. That said, social media is an active communication channel for several of our teams and we encourage our employees to like, share, and re-tweet company and industry news.

Ron Antevy, president and CEO, e-Builder


We have no specific rules on social media use, beyond the professional and ethical obligations that our important work entails.

Maria Arizmendi, behavior analyst and president, Progressive Behavioral Science


In a constantly changing environment, BTI’s current direction is to funnel all social media through our marketing professionals. While we lack the speed of an instantaneous response, a consistent and controlled message appears to be working for us at this time.

Noah Breakstone, founder and managing partner, BTI Partners


Ensuring confidentiality of client information is a critical element of the practice of law. To protect the confidentiality of client information, communication with clients about legal matters utilizing social networking sites is prohibited. Any postings on social networking sites must be in strict compliance with the firm’s social media policies, which are designed to ensure that postings do not violate the rules of professional conduct, do not compromise the confidentiality of client information, and do not expose the firm to embarrassment.

Bowman Brown, partner and chairman of the Executive Committee and the Financial Services Practice Group of Shutts & Bowen


The social media presence of the business is way too important to our growth to allow my employees access. The messages, pictures, and articles that are posted online are carefully selected by myself or our social media manager. I have monthly meetings with my social media manager where we discuss what target audience we would like to attract and we come up with a plan.

Patricia Elizee, managing partner, Elizee Law Firm


Let’s be thankful that there are only 140 characters in a tweet; imagine the damage that could be done with more. Social media is one of the most exciting tools available to any business today; it is also one of the most frightening. It reminds me of my first dating experiences when I was in high school — thrilled by the potential, but terrified of doing it wrong.

Richard Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.


Our internal communications team produces all of our social media messaging. We encourage our employees to use social media as a vehicle to share events and updates about Miami Jewish Health. At the same time, we vigorously follow HIPAA and privacy requirements and do not tolerate dishonorable content or anything that may compromise the privacy and integrity of those we serve.

Jeffrey Freimark, president and CEO, Miami Jewish Health


We know that social media is a critical communications tool, so we encourage our staff to share official Children’s Trust posts with their social networks to build our brand and tell our story. We don’t have rules around their personal use of social media.

James Haj, president and CEO, The Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade County


The only policy we have regarding social media use, is honoring the First Amendment. All our employees have the right to speak their mind on their own time, just not to represent the university. I can’t be blind to the fact that we live in an era when social media is how people are finding and digesting news, communicating with their friends and colleagues, and sharing the university’s news. That being said, I don’t tweet, because I like a good night’s sleep.

George Hanbury, president and CEO, Nova Southeastern University


We address our employees’ use of social media very clearly in our Employee Handbook. We also directly address the use of social media with our contractors, vendors and concessionaires. We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to inappropriate, unsuitable and unseemly communication on social media.

Bob Hohenstein, president and CEO, Miami-Dade County Youth Fair and Exposition


We encourage all of our employees to be active on social media in their personal time, but we remind them that they are also representing the Terra brand. We advise them to be careful when discussing topics where emotions run high, such as politics and religion, and to show respect for the opinions of others.

David Martin, president and co-founder, Terra


We have 50 employees at the marina, and our team is far too busy to be active on social media during the workday. We prefer that our team members refrain from being online for personal reasons when they’re working. As a business owner, I see the branding and marketing value in social media and I stay personally engaged with our clients and the community as best I can.

Aabad Melwani, president, Rickenbacker Marina and managing principal, Marina PARC


We are currently developing our social media policy to address employee and student responsibilities regarding social media. We believe it is a great platform to support our students and promote our academic programs and services.

Avis Proctor, vice president of academic affairs and president, North Campus at Broward College


We don’t have a set policy, because we haven’t needed one yet. I go to great lengths to hire sensible adults, and trust that every employee at Housing Trust Group will act maturely both online and off. That said, it’s something we will continue to look at putting in place. We’re growing quickly and it benefits everyone to have clarity and specific guidelines on how to use technology.

Matthew Rieger, president and CEO, Housing Trust Group


At the Lincoln Road Business Improvement District, it is only a staff of two. We do not have any rules on personal social media, but we work together to manage the company’s social media, which we are careful about. We focus on the beauty and positive features of our destination and the people that make it so great. There are so many wonderful visual stories to tell about Lincoln Road and social media is the perfect medium.

Ivannia Van Arman, executive director, Lincoln Road Business Improvement District


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