SocialMedia.org Talent’s Confidentiality Policy

Introduction

DO NOT SHARE SOCIALMEDIA.ORG TALENT CONTENT WITH ANYONE OUTSIDE OF SOCIALMEDIA.ORG TALENT. EVER.

Everything SocialMedia.org Talent discusses is confidential

That means the content from SocialMedia.org Talent is only for:

  1. You
  2. People who have also signed SocialMedia.org Talent confidentiality agreements

We repeat: Everything in SocialMedia.org Talent is confidential

Never, ever tell anyone outside of SocialMedia.org Talent — including your co-workers, your agencies, your vendors, your contractors, etc. — about content, contacts, conversations, and information you obtain from our community. Never say anything that would let someone else figure out what we’re talking about or who said it.

Never break the trust of your fellow members

By default, assume everything you see and hear is 100% confidential. If you’re talking with someone under our umbrella, even in informal conversations, it’s always confidential unless they specifically tell you otherwise. Members are sharing with you because they trust you. Never do anything to break that trust.


The Confidentiality Policy

SocialMedia.org Talent’s value comes from our ability to share openly and privately. Our rules on confidentiality make this possible.

All members agree and are held to our strict confidentiality requirements. Every member must sign a confidentiality contract before taking part in SocialMedia.org Talent activities. Every organization also signs a contract agreeing to the confidentiality rules.

If you violate the confidentiality contract, your participation may be revoked, and your organization’s membership may be cancelled without refund. We enforce these rules vigorously.

The confidentiality rules

  • All SocialMedia.org Talent content is confidential. This includes emails, discussions, calls, documents, audio recordings, files, and everything else you receive from SocialMedia.org Talent.
  • Personal conversations with members are confidential. If you’re talking with someone under our umbrella, it’s always confidential unless they specifically tell you otherwise.
  • SocialMedia.org Talent content cannot be shared. This means no forwarding, quoting, copying, or reposting information — inside or outside of your organization.
  • SocialMedia.org Talent content is for official members’ eyes only. You may not pass it around inside your organization, copy it for your department, or share it with anyone who hasn’t signed a SocialMedia.org Talent confidentiality contract.
  • Outsiders may never, ever see SocialMedia.org Talent content. This includes vendors, partners, agencies, consultants, journalists, the public, or anyone else outside of your organization.
  • You can’t do anything that exposes the participants or issues in a SocialMedia.org Talent conversation. You are in violation if you do something that reveals who or what we are talking about, even if you don’t share or quote the literal conversation.

Enforcement of confidentiality rules

We take confidentiality violations incredibly seriously, and we act immediately.

Violations usually result in the expulsion of the individual involved and the cancellation of the entire corporate membership — without refund. We also pursue action against the recipients of the confidential information to ensure they don’t make use of the data they received.

Incidents are rare, and everything is handled with great discretion. There are no boards, reviews, or public appeals. Members rarely hear about enforcement because we handle these issues quickly and quietly.

Appropriate use guidelines

You can’t share the communications you receive through SocialMedia.org Talent, ever. But, we want you to use the community as a source of authority to help you sell an idea internally.

When you do it, you just need to make sure you’re sharing things appropriately to protect the confidentiality and trust within SocialMedia.org Talent.

The method for appropriate use:

  • Summarize. You can summarize the big ideas, the concepts, and the learning. That means you need to rewrite it in your own words. Don’t use any original quotes from SocialMedia.org Talent communications.
  • Anonymize. You may never share identifying information about other members, or say anything that would allow someone to figure out identities. You can use generalities like “a major company” or “a social media VP at a major organization.” You cannot say, “I was talking to Joe Smith at XYZ Organization, and he said…”

When necessary, you can reference the name of the organization when talking with internal co-workers, but never to agencies, vendors, or other outsiders. Remind recipients that you cannot provide detailed identification of the sources due to the community’s confidentiality contracts. For example, you can tell a co-worker, “I’m a member of SocialMedia.org Talent, and we recently discussed X,” but you cannot share names of the organizations or individuals involved.

By following these guidelines, you get the credibility of the SocialMedia.org Talent community, while protecting the confidentiality of the individuals involved.


Confidentiality FAQ

Why is confidentiality such a serious issue?

In our private community, you can discuss issues, explore ideas, ask for help, and share concerns openly and honestly, knowing that this is a trusting and confidential environment. You’re never on the record, and you never have to worry about what you say being shared publicly. SocialMedia.org Talent is a safe space with deep trust among all members.

Without the assurance of confidentiality, our members would no longer be comfortable sharing with one another. Our community would be reduced to a generic open forum; without substantial conversations, we would cease to be a valuable group.

Please respect your fellow members by ensuring full discretion. You can trust other members to do the same.

What happens when someone violates the confidentiality rules?

The SocialMedia.org Talent professional staff responds quickly and firmly.

Investigations and expulsions are handled with complete discretion. All of this is handled at the staff level. We will never ask members to judge other members.

  • We immediately shut down access for all members from the member organization.
  • We investigate the possible violation thoroughly, including digital records and discussions with the Organization Chair, the offending individual, and others who may have been involved.
  • The offending member must give us a high level of confidence that there will be no further incidents, or they will be removed from SocialMedia.org Talent. The member must make substantial effort to undo the damage.
  • We require written assurances that their team understands and agrees to the confidentiality policies.
  • If there is any question or concern, the entire member organization will be ejected from SocialMedia.org Talent without notice or refund.
  • Only when we are fully confident that there is no further problem will we re-establish access.
  • We also pursue action against the recipients of the leaked information to assess the damage and prevent further spreading.

Is there any community content that’s public?

By default, assume everything you see and hear is 100% confidential unless specifically told otherwise. You’ll know it’s public because we’ll explicitly tell you. Portions of some meetings, for example, are open for sharing. Our public newsletter, our public website, and similar content is also free to share. Again, we’ll clearly tell you.

Who can I share with?

Anyone who is also a member of SocialMedia.org Talent who has signed the confidentiality agreements and knows the rules. This does not include any other employees of your organization or other member organizations.

Why can’t I share with the rest of my company?

Members wouldn’t meaningfully participate if they felt like your entire department was going to read what they say. And there’s no way to prevent further leaks when you relay something organization-wide.

When you participate in our community, you know who you are speaking with, you know they signed a formal agreement about confidentiality, and you can look them in the eye at a meeting and know that they will respect the confidence of your discussions.

Are there different rules for sharing with co-workers vs. people outside of my organization?

Slightly. Internally, it’s generally OK to say, “I was talking with fellow members (unnamed) in SocialMedia.org Talent, and they’re all doing this…” This gives you air cover and backup for your initiatives. But externally, you should never reference that information came from SocialMedia.org Talent.

Why can’t I share with my agencies and vendors?

This is a 100% vendor-free organization. That is one of our most fundamental guarantees. It enables honest conversations about vendors, which is one of the most valuable parts of the experience. Your trusted consultant or the PR agency person also works for a lot of other clients — which would violate our vendor-free rules.

What can I share with my agency/consultant/contractor/tech provider?

Nothing. Don’t even think about it. If you see something through SocialMedia.org Talent, it can’t be shared with anyone outside of the community. Never share anything, in any format, that could be traced back to an organization or individual. If that vendor or agency can trace the information back to a member, they’ll talk to them about it — and once that member realizes they’re being ambushed with confidential information, they’ll never share with any of us again.

Can I even tell people I’m a member?

Of course. You can share general information that you are a member of SocialMedia.org Talent (and how much you love it). Just don’t share the substance of the conversations. You can say you’re at a meeting or on a call — but you can’t say what we’re talking about.

What can I attribute to SocialMedia.org Talent?

Not much. You should always follow the appropriate use guidelines by removing all potentially identifying information about individuals or organizations and make the ideas your own. Internally, it’s generally OK to attribute the concepts you learned to SocialMedia.org Talent to leverage the power of the group without compromising anyone’s confidentiality.

How do you stop my proprietary information from getting leaked?

When you signed your confidentiality contract, you agreed not to share your organization’s confidential information, proprietary data, or intellectual property. Any information you provide will be shared within the community, and (despite our best efforts to prevent it) could be shared outside the community. Other than our efforts to enforce our confidentiality policies, there are no formal or legal protections to prevent further dissemination. Follow your organization’s rules.

If I suspect a confidentiality violation, how do I report it?

Please contact your Community Manager or email us at talent@socialmedia.org. We will immediately and discreetly investigate. Your anonymity will be protected.


The Confidentiality Contracts All Members Sign


Personal Confidentiality Contract

SocialMedia.org Health Member Agreement


Company Confidentiality Contract

SocialMedia.org Health Organization Participation Agreement