Using social media can help us build and maintain stronger, more successful business relationships. And, it is a way for you to take part in global conversations related to our industry and the issues we care about.
If you are a National Grid employee or contractor creating or contributing to any kind of social media site, these guidelines are for you.
Accordingly, we should all follow these guiding principles:
Always ensure that the audience knows these are your personal opinions and not the official opinion of National Grid
- Stick to what you know as much as possible (your area of expertise), and provide unique, individual perspectives on what is going on at National Grid. If you are commenting on something outside your area of expertise, make this clear.
- Post meaningful, respectful comments—in other words, no spam and no remarks that could be reasonably interpreted as offensive, obscene, vulgar, libelous or discriminatory in violation of federal, state, or local laws, regulations, or ordinances (or, in other words, intended to be harmful).
- Always pause and think before posting. That being said, reply to comments in a timely manner when a response is appropriate
- Respect proprietary information, content and confidentiality
- Remember, just as your words and actions in public can reflect National Grid, what you say in the social media space also reflects the company.
Rules of Engagement
Be transparent. Your honesty—or dishonesty—will be quickly noticed in the social media environment. If you are blogging about your work, use your real name, identify that you work for National Grid, and be clear about your role. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, be the first to point it out. Avoid pictures in the workplace as they could inadvertently have a negative impact on the workplace (ie, picture of what is on desk monitor, etc.)
Be judicious. Make sure your efforts to be transparent do not violate our privacy, confidentiality, and legal guidelines for external commercial speech:
- All statements must be true and not misleading and all claims must be substantiated.
- Never comment on anything related to legal matters, litigation, or any parties with whom we may be in litigation
- Get approval for all safety-related posts including safety tips and photos and videos depicting employees, contractors or our work sites.
What you publish is widely accessible and will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully. As with all communication, a good rule of thumb is , if you would not want to see what you posted in your local newspaper or on the TV news, do not post it in the social media space.
It’s a conversation. Talk to your followers like you would talk to real people in professional situations. In other words, avoid scripted language. Do not be afraid to bring in your own personality and say what is on your mind. Consider content that is open-ended and invites response. Encourage comments.
Are you adding value? The best way to get people to read your posts is to write things that they will value. Our social communication should help our customers, partners, and co-workers. It should be thought-provoking and build a sense of community. If it helps people improve knowledge or skills, build their businesses, do their jobs, solve problems, or understand National Grid better—then it’s adding value.
Be a leader. Demonstrate National Grid Core Values in your communications such as integrity, respect for others, and value their diversity including their thoughts and opinions.
Did you make a mistake? Social Media can be forgiving, so if you make a mistake, admit it. Be upfront and be quick with your correction. If you are posting to a blog, you may choose to modify an earlier post—just make it clear that you have done so. In some instances with certain platforms, you can delete your message or post, so check that option if you think you need it.
If it gives you pause, pause. If you are about to publish something that makes you even the slightest bit uncomfortable, do not shrug it off and hit ‘send.’ Take a minute to review these guidelines and try to figure out what it is that is bothering you, then fix it. If you are still unsure, you might want to discuss it with your manager or legal representative. Ultimately, what you publish is yours—as is the responsibility. So be sure.
Contractors & Endorsements
Please remember that any social media experts contracted, or in any way compensated by National Grid, must follow all of these guidelines. As part of these guidelines, you need to disclose that you have been seeded or otherwise compensated by National Grid. Your blog will be monitored for compliance with our guidelines and accurate descriptions of our products and claims.
Moderation is the act of reviewing and approving content before it is published on the site. National Grid does not endorse or take responsibility for content posted by third parties, referred to as user generated content (UGC). This includes text input and uploaded files (video, images, audio, executables and documents).
We require moderation of all UGC posts before they are published (pre-moderation).
- We publish content that is in context to the conversation, whether positive or negative, and whether favorable or unfavorable to National Grid
- We do not publish content that is ugly, offensive, denigrating or completely out of context.
These National Grid communications resources should be helpful as you consider what content to promote in social media. Start here if you are new to this. It will help you generate ideas and become social media savvy.
National Grid US on Facebook
National Grid Us on Twitter
National Grid US on Instagram
When in doubt, contact a member of our social media team. If you have any questions, contact a member of the social media team, and if we cannot answer you, we will recommend the appropriate subject matter expert.
Remember, perception is reality. Be sure that all content associated with you is consistent with your work and with National Grid’s values and professional standards. We want our employees to have fun and talk about the positive work National Grid is doing throughout its service territory, but you are still responsible for your individual content.
Nothing in these Guidelines or National Grid’s policies are designed to interfere with, restrain, or prevent employee communications regarding wages, hours, or other terms and conditions of employment. National Grid employees have the right to engage in or refrain from such activities.
Social Media Contacts If you are interested in learning more about the National Grid social media channels or have a question related to social media activities, please reach out to:
Emily Johnson, U.S. Customer Team
Patrick Stella, U.S. Media Relations