How to Incorporate Rules and Disclaimers into Your Social Media Campaigns

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Posted by Dana Kilroy on 23 Sep 2015 / 0 Comment

Including rules for your Campaign is an absolute must, regardless of what type of Campaign you’re running. Not only is it often a legal requirement (you can learn more about legal issues and see a template we use here) but it gives your participants information about the Campaign and what you plan to do with data you collect from them.

Because rules and disclaimers tend to be lengthy, they can appear overwhelming to users when they’re included on your Campaign in their entirety. However, it’s important that the rules are visible without being intrusive. Our go-to suggestion is to add an OFFICIAL RULES button to your Campaign. This creates a button that contains your rules.

When a visitor clicks on the button, the Campaign rules or disclaimer will appear in a popup, and the visitor can close it when they’re done reading to continue participating in the Campaign.



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You can actually name the button anything you want, and you can use this setup for multiple purposes — displaying an image or a document download upon button click, for example. But one of its best uses is to neatly contain your rules so that they’re prominent and accessible without overwhelming the design of your Campaign. Here’s how to set it up.

How to add an Official Rules button to your Campaign

Start by adding a Rich Text Widget to your Campaign. This Widget is where the text of your rules should be placed. You can either paste existing rules into the text box, or you can type them directly into the Widget.

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Set this Widget’s visibility to “popup.”



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Next, you’ll need to set up your Links Widget. Add a Links Widget to your Campaign, and click the blue “Add New Link” button.

This will open up the options for your Link. The “Link Text” is where you put the label for the button. Then, you’ll want to set the Link to “Take Action.” In this case, the Action is: Rich Text Widget set to Popup.



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Be sure to save and exit the Widget once you’re finished setting it up.

Now you’ll have a rules button on your Campaign; when a visitor clicks on it, a popup containing the rules of your Campaign will appear, and the user can close the window when they’re done reading.  If they want to open it again, they just have to click the button again. It’s that simple! The Links Widget is a useful tool and one of my personal favorite ways to make a Campaign cleanly designed and user-friendly.

If you decide the OFFICIAL RULES button is a feature you want to use on other Campaigns, you can copy the Widgets and paste them into a new Campaign. (We’ve got more information about how to do this in our help docs.) You can also make a copy of your Campaign to use for a new Campaign, or create a template from it so that you can reuse the features you’ve already added.

That’s all there is to it! Need more help with your new rules button? Send an email to theteam@shortstacklab.com.



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Judge: Social media disclaimers for employees are unlawful

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How many of you have social media policies that contain a provision that reads something like this:

If you identify yourself as an associate of the Company and publish any work-related information online, you must use this disclaimer: ‘ The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies or opinions of the Company.

Yeah, I write these disclaimers all the time for clients. Apparently, they’re unlawful—or so says an administrative law judge in this recent opinion.

‘Unduly burdensome’ to the employee

In what the administrative law judge considered to be a matter of first impression, he found that the provision above was overly broad and discouraged the rights of employees to discuss the terms and conditions of employment:

“The requirement that a disclaimer be posted by the employee every time he or she speaks on work related issues and is identifiable as an employee of the employer, is unduly burdensome, well beyond any legitimate interest of the employer, and will have a tendency to chill legitimate Section 7 speech by the burden it brings to it. The Respondent’s rule impinges on Section 7 activity beyond any reasonable accommodation with any legitimate concern.”

A matter of first impression, huh?

I seem to recall the National Labor Relations Board‘s own general counsel blessing a social media policy-heck, it was WalMart’s-that had the same disclaimer language. You can view WalMart’s policy here (p. 23, last bullet).

The judge found this general counsel guidance to be unpersuasive.

[RELATED: Learn to create an intranet that increases employee engagement, social collaboration and knowledge sharing at our SharePoint for Corporate Communicators conference.]

Is this really a non-issue?

The administrative law judge reasoned that requiring this disclaimer for every online communication by an employee which concerns work-related information and as to which the employee is identifiable as an employee for the employer would be burdensome and overreaching.

(Oh, I beg to differ. This doesn’t seem overly broad or burdensome to me.)

On many social media sites (e.g., Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter), an individual is unlikely to identify his/her employer. So, it’s a non-issue. On other social networking platforms such as Facebook or a work-related blog where the individual may identify himself as an employee, is it so hard to put the required disclaimer somewhere on the site?

Even if this particular disclaimer is overreaching, surely, one could appreciate how a company wants to ensure that individuals reading online employee-speech about the company don’t mistake those words for the position of the company.

We’ll see what happens if this case goes to the full National Labor Relations Board on appeal.

Eric B. Meyer is a partner in the Labor and Employment Group of the Philadelphia-based law firm of Dilworth Paxson LLP. A version of this article first appeared on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.  

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