Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How to Find out Who's using Facebook in your Hospital

Last week our internal communications department wrote a short article in our online / e-mail employee newsletter about our use of Facebook. It was meant to raise internal awareness, and maybe gain us some new followers. At the end of the article they added a short list of sanctioned institutional Facebook accounts, and my contact information for questions.

The article appeared on the home page of the intranet first thing in the morning. I took a look, and was pleased, then I ran off to my morning staff meeting, then across the street to one more meeting. Two hours later I got back to my desk to find voice-mails and e-mails from staff asking why their departmental Facebook fan pages and groups were not on the list that was in the article?

My answer? "Every group and page that has followed the institutional approval process for Facebook groups was added to the list. If you contact external communications, filled out the form and followed the guidelines, then your group should be on the list." My favorite response to that was a bit of stuttering , then "well I am going to have to contact the admin that set this up and get back to you about this" Then I think she hung up on me.

Now I know who exactly who is in violation, and they know that one of the sanctions for creating a group without institutional permission means you will not enjoy any institutional support for that group. Now we realize that anyone and everyone is allowed to set up their own Facebook page. It is not our intention to shut people down just for not following the rules. However the guidelines are in place for a reason, to protect the institution, and the administrator(s) of the content.

We found another well meaning, but sort of rogue group a few weeks ago, so we asked our legal department about our options. There was not much we could do, but they did recomend that we ask employees who create these groups that don't want to comply with the guidelines to place disclaimers on thier page stating that their page is not an official representation of the institution.

If I can't get this cleared up the easy way. I think that will be my next step.