PR lessons from NPR’s revamped social media policy

The 72-page policy no longer treats social media like a fad. Here are some highlights, and what they mean for PR pros.

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The revamped 72-page policy came about after NPR analyst Juan Williams made remarks about Muslims on “The O’Reilly Factor.” He was fired, and NPR’s board conducted a review of the incident and a sweeping review of the overall policy. The review got some added urgency when an NPR executive was recorded publicly bashing conservatives and questioning the need for federal funding.

For the PR world, we can learn from NPR’s thoughtful updates to its social media policy and online interactions. Most notably, the new policies no longer treat the social media world as an oddity with no future.

“To get the most out of social media we need to understand those communities,” the policy says. “So we respect their cultures and treat those we encounter online with the same courtesy and understanding as anyone we deal with in the offline world. We do not impose ourselves on such sites. We are guests and behave as such.”

Other nuggets in the social media policy include:

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