Using social media can help us build and maintain stronger, more successful business relationships. And, it’s a way for you to take part in global conversations related to our industry and the issues we care about.
If you’re 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:
- Stick to what you know as much as possible (your area of expertise) and provide unique, individual perspectives on what’s 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).
- Refrain from engaging with customers. Our corporate National Grid accounts will respond to them, so multiple accounts responding may confuse customers and therefore hurt our brand.
- Always pause and think before posting. That 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.
Be judicious. Make sure your efforts to be transparent don’t 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 with without the appropriate approval.
* Get approval for all safety-related posts including safety tips, 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, and a good rule of thumb, if you would not want to see what you posted in your local newspaper or on the TV news, don’t post it in the social media space.
Are you adding value? The best way to get people to read your posts is to write things that they’ll 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.
If it makes you nervous, pause. If you’re about to publish something that makes you even the slightest bit uncomfortable, don’t shrug it off and hit ‘send.’ Take a minute to review these guidelines and try to figure out what’s bothering you, then fix it. If you’re 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, seeded 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’s published on the site. National Grid does not endorse or take responsibility for content posted by third party partners or employees, 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’re new to this. It will help you generate ideas and become social media savvy.
When in doubt, contact a member of our social media team. If you have any questions, contact a member of the Emerging Digital Channels team, and if we can’t answer you, we’ll 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 is 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.