How and Why to Draft a Privacy Statement for Your Company Blog
We live in a time where transparency in our social interactions is celebrated and encouraged. For example, at Sprout Insights, we’ve shown you how to engage with your customers on Twitter, create a brand presence on Pinterest, and even how to create a company blog to bring more traffic to your website. It’s pretty clear that social media interaction is good for business.
However, the same trend that has led to the viral increase in sharing of information has also made it easier for sensitive information about ourselves, our businesses, and our customers to become public knowledge. Companies like Google and Facebook have come under fire and have even been slapped with lawsuits as a result of sensitive, private information being made available without people’s consent or knowledge.
If you run a company blog, its content is visible to the world. Have you made it clear, both to your writers and to the public, who actually owns that content and who is ultimately responsible for it? Do you store “cookies” when people visit your blog? If your company blog has a commenting system in place, does it collect personal information about your blog visitors? Are commenters aware how their comments might be used, or where their comments might appear?
If you haven’t already drafted a privacy statement for your company blog to address questions like these (and others), this article provides some recommendations as to why and how you need to do this as soon as possible.
Why You Need a Privacy Statement
Having a privacy statement in place on your blog addresses two main objectives. First, it sets the expectations between your business and your readers (and contributors) as to what information is considered yours, what information is considered theirs, and how all of this information will be used and managed.
If people choose to participate in your company blog, either through reading, contributing, sharing or commenting on its content, they know exactly what their rights and responsibilities are. With a comprehensive privacy statement in place, people can make an informed decision as to whether or not they’d like to be a part of your blog community.
How to Craft a Privacy Statement
Like any good business strategy, you have to start with a good plan; don’t just start writing a privacy statement without thinking about your larger goals first. Is your objective for a privacy statement to cover you in the event of a problem, or is it more about providing a comfort level for your readers and stakeholders so that they’ll be more apt to participate in your blog?