May 15, 2015

Resource Series | Guideline #5: Get it Right and Be Professional

By Lee Aase, Director, Mayo Clinic Social Media Network

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In essence, guideline number five restates and summarizes all previous ones. And while it’s in offered in the context of guidance for online communications, it doesn’t explicitly mention those; it’s about communications in general and emphasizes key cultural expectations:

Be professional, use good judgment and be accurate and honest in your communications; errors, omissions or unprofessional language or behavior reflect poorly on Mayo, and may result in liability for you or Mayo Clinic. Be respectful and professional to fellow employees, business partners, competitors and patients.

These standards for communication are especially important for online communications; the potential audience is not only large and far-flung, but there’s also a greater likelihood that comments will be taken out of context. This particularly applies to humor.

A joke shared face-to-face among co-workers is less likely to offend because it is in the context of the existing relationship. (Revisit what happened when Justine Sacco’s never-in-good-taste joke was posted to Twitter.)

Professionalism isn’t humorlessness and shared laughter can defuse tense situations and strengthen relationships. But jokes, especially online, should never be at the expense of others. We expect and aim to foster mutual respect in and through all our communications at Mayo Clinic.

Next Post
Guideline #6: Get Your Work Done


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