Note: Below is the official social media policy for the Maryland Association of CPAs. This policy will likely evolve as new social media resources and technologies emerge.
In this document, "social media" refers to blogs, microblogs, podcasts, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds, and all emerging and as-yet-undiscovered social technologies.
The Maryland Association of CPAs enthusiastically supports and explores the use of social media tools and emerging technologies, and we encourage MACPA members and employees to do the same.
Those who do are strongly encouraged to adhere to the following guidelines.
The MACPA's use of social media is increasingly important given the rapid evolution of these tools. Staying relevant to our respective audiences means, in part, that we must stay current on emerging technologies. Our interest in participating in social media is to meet our members (and future members) wherever they are, and to develop and enhance relationships with members and stakeholders involved in the CPA profession.
While the decision whether to participate is their own, MACPA members and employees are encouraged to explore all forms of social media and find the one(s) that best fit their needs. Doing so expands our ability to learn and share our own knowledge with others.
2. Be smart and safe
Here are a few generally accepted guidelines to consider when using social media.
3. Most importantly ...
- First and foremost, remember you are representing the CPA profession and our organization. Your conduct should be consistent with our mission, purpose and values.
- Employees should continue to follow the guidelines on employee conduct found in the MACPA Employee Handbook.
- MACPA members should continue to follow the AICPA's Code of Professional Conduct and the laws and regulations governing Maryland CPAs at all times.
- You are personally responsible for the content you post. Remember that what you post often can be viewed by both personal and professional contacts. Post responsibly, and protect your privacy.
- If you publish content related to the MACPA on any non-MACPA site, identify yourself and use a disclaimer such as, "The views in this post are my own and not necessarily those of the MACPA."
- Do not publish any confidential or proprietary information on a social site.
- Do not discuss other MACPA members, clients, vendors or other partners without their approval. Link back to the original source whenever possible.
- Be nice. Don't use insults, obscenity, racial slurs or ethnic slurs. Don't pick fights or do anything that you would not feel comfortable doing in the MACPA's workplace. Be respectful when addressing sensitive subjects like religion and politics.
- Be yourself. Do not post anonymously or use pseudonyms.
- Be aware of and respect copyright, fair use and financial disclosure laws.
- Contribute to the knowledge pool. Whenever possible, post content that adds value to your social friends and followers.
- Use your best judgment. If you aren't sure whether what you are about to post is appropriate, review it carefully and question what you've written with an objective mind.
- If you are still unsure, ask an MACPA manager or director for his or her opinion. Remember, though, that you are solely responsible for what you post in any social media format.
- Own up to your mistakes. If you have made an error, say so -- but do not alter the original text of the incorrect post. Instead, add an update in which you explain and correct the error.
- Remember who you work for. Don't let social media activities interfere with your duties at the MACPA and your commitment to members.
... explore and have fun! Experiment with the tools and think about how they might be used to benefit the MACPA and its members. Share resources, insights, opinions and advice with your followers and ask the same of them.
And remember the advice of Principled Innovation's Jeff De Cagna, who says there are three keys to using emerging technologies:
Many thanks to IBM, whose social media policy served as inspiration for this document.
- Don't be afraid.
- Re-orient your mindset toward the future.
- Question everything by asking, "How can we be more social?"