The digital business billboard


Date: 9 September 2010

Digital billboard How would a company react if one of its employees placed derogatory comments about their business on a lamppost or billboard? They would rightly attempt to remove them and I imagine the meeting to discuss things with the offender would be an interesting one. But how many businesses have employees who make inappropriate comments about the company online? What about those people who place company information on their social networking pages alongside critical or unacceptable material? You can't tear down a digital billboard The internet is a digital billboard. However, unlike a physical billboard, the internet is a little less kind. A poster can be ripped down, never to be seen again. With the internet it's not that easy. Every time you write something on a web page, forum or social media site, it may be copied. Search engines are great at helping you to find information, but they are also good at taking their own copy and storing it. This is known as caching. For example, take a Twitter account. Say your employee tweets about their bad day at the office. A search engine caches it ... then when a customer searches for your company name, what do they find? Your employees may not know the possible consequences Whereas most people would realise that it is unacceptable to make a poster complaining about their employer or revealing sensitive company information, when it comes to the internet often people often don't see it the same way. Employees may not understand the consequences their small comment about a bad day may have on your business. They might not realise that discussing their work on a proposal document may give information away to your competitors. So what can you do? It’s all about educating employees to think before they post. Light-hearted training with examples is key. This helps employees understand what can cause problems and the potential consequences to the company (and their employment) when this occurs.

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