For Bloggers: Upholding Your Confidentiality Agreement with Your Employer

Nowadays, you can find blogs on almost any kind of subject matter. Each one attracts a variety of readers, whether focusing on health issues, environmental issues, or hobbies, such as sports or art. If you are a blogger, don’t forget: with great power comes great responsibility. In recent years, employers are on the lookout for bad press and damage to their brand image. Paranoia, on the part of employers, has lead to monitoring employees over the internet. What you decide to share about your everyday life may severely damage your employer’s delicate marketing and PR strategies. Well, at least they may seem to think so. For example, Delta Airlines fired blogger Ellen Simonetti after reading blog readers’ inappropriate comments on a picture of her in a Delta airhostess uniform. Or let’s not forget the case of “The Washingtonians”, Jenna Cutler, who blogged about her sex life, while working as a congressional assistant. A more relatable case may be from a blogger who worked at a British accountancy firm. Catherine Sanderson was fired for blogging unfavourably about people working in the company’s Paris office.

As you can see, you never know who may be keeping track of your internet activity. How do you find a proper balance between sharing information with your audience and upholding your confidentiality agreement with your employer? Here are some tips on how to find a middle ground between saying too much and too little.

Use a Pseudonym

If you have to tell your blog community about your terrible day and the people who made it terrible, BE SURE NOT TO USE REAL NAMES! You would be surprised how many people may Google themselves or even Google YOU on the internet. To save yourself from the fate of people like Catherine Sanderson, come up with names that sound nothing like the actual people you mention. Of course, if you do plan to use and personal information (that you would be uncomfortable with your employer reading), use a pseudonym for yourself as well. You will have to make a decision do you want the credit for your work? Or do you want to communicate certain types of information to your bloggers?

Leave out Employer Information

This seems like a no-brainer, but many people at some point mention the name of their employer in their posts. If you do decide to this (which I don’t endorse), be sure to state on the webpage that your views are not the same as your employer! If possible, try not to use the company name at all. For example, instead of saying “I work for Exxon Mobile,” use this minor altercation, “I work for a major oil and gas company.”

Read Your Contract!

Let’s be honest: we are all guilty of signing agreements without reading them. This is especially true of employment contracts. Not everyone has a I.D. to decipher all that legal jargon. We pay real close attention to the amount of money we’ll make, but once we read that part, we skip out on the rest. Many times, companies have confidentiality agreements in their written agreements as well. Be sure to look through this information before you start blogging. You’ll get a better idea of what you can and cannot discuss on your blog.

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I am the owner and founder of this blog i am an avid blogger a social network addict who loves blogging and technology with the ambition of changing the world wide web one blog at a time you can contact me for guest posting and advertising opportunity


Gary has written 672 awesome articles for us at lawmacs web design blog

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     14 Responses

  1. 1
    Cutlersays

    Thanks for the post! I appreciate your insight on (TOPIC OF ARTICLE) I just wanted to drop a note and say great job. Btw….in your opinion, do you think social media a fad or a viable way to communicate a company’s message to potential customers? I’m just curious on your opinion. Thanks!

  2. 2
    Web Development Venturasays

    This is a very interesting post. I heard a lot of stories about an employee lost their job because of their controversial blogs and posts in social networking sites.
    Web Development Ventura recently posted..Selling Ice Cubes to EskimosMy Profile

  3. 3
    Shabnam Sultansays

    An excellent thought provoking post :) It is imperative that bloggers should not share confidential informations as they might end up losing job.

    • 4
      lawmacssays

      This has happened to many employees over the years they get caught up in the moment and published information on the internet that can cause harm to the company and they lost their jobs. Thanks for adding your voice to the debate.

  4. 5
    nazimwarriachsays

    Hi Lawmacs,
    You have written on a unique topic and it is a guideline for many part time bloggers not to disclose their personal information as it may cause trouble for them.
    Blogger should be clear that what to reveal and what not.

    • 6
      lawmacssays

      That is true Nazimwarrach guidelines are there to follow but sometimes but sometimes employees break them either out of anger or ignorance whatever the reason this always have its consequence

  5. 7
    Charliesays

    You should be very careful with the infromation that you are going to share.

    • 8
      lawmacssays

      Hi Charlie thanks for taking the time to comment here and i am in agreement with you that as employees we should be very careful with what we published about their employers.

  6. 9
    Russell Davisonsays

    It definitely is not good to mention any company name. This is because the company is always a separate entity from the people who work within the company. Employees start with a company and, after 3 to 7 years, they leave that company. The company name remains the same but the employees within that company change all the time. That’s the problem.

    There are some pretty amateurish employees out there with job titles ranging from van driver to vice-president. It’s these people who steal company money in the name of “expenses”. It’s these people who do no work all day, except plotting the downfall of others. So, it’s unfair to mention the name of the company as being aligned with the sad deeds of these misguided fools.

    What goes round, comes around and these people who behave mischievously in (typically) large corporations usually end up being exposed as bad people in ways other than through exposure in a blog.

    • 10
      lawmacssays

      Well said Russell it is the same for our blogs we might run an ads and your blog get tainted because of that or you accept a guest post from some undesirable then your blog should not bet made to pay for it. Thanks for sharing your knowledge here.

  7. 11
    Delena Silverfoxsays

    This is definitely a great reminder! Freedom of speech is definitely not what it used to be, and even though there have been federal rulings on employees’ rights being protected by the First Amendment (at least in the U.S.; don’t know how it is in other countries) for things they say on social media sites, it still doesn’t stop employers from firing their employees for even one small Tweet or comment on Facebook, let alone an entire blog post!

    Delena

    • 12
      lawmacssays

      Same here i don’t believe that there is any such thing as freedom of speech any where people say things and get punished tweeting and blogging can and is still getting employees fired. If you do it make sure you are very anonymous

  8. 13
    Aswanisays

    Thought provoking and very true! Honestly, I am also a full time employee here and apart from the same, I am a blogger as well. I know I too can but it is dangerous and at the same time, looks foolish. The very first thing to know here is that whatever you post online, goes public. It maybe a just matter of days before it gets seen by your employer or anyone whom you thought, would not find the same. Then, what’s next ?? Obviously, you may end up losing your job…that’s very sure! Even if you are going to follow all these points as mentioned above, there still is an unknown risk involved! I would prefer not to go for it at any cost.

    • 14
      lawmacssays

      This is a something that can land you in trouble with your employer it is a no no for me and been a trade unoinist i know what the out come will be all employees should always read the internet company’s policy.

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