American Cancer Society High Plains Social Media Guidelines

Launch and learn right? These are our Social Media Guidelines for staff here in the High Plains Division of the American Cancer Society. We represent 7 states here in the US. Take a look and let us know what you think. The first 4 people to comment will win prizes. Feel free to adopt and modify them for your org just make sure you give us some credit and link love!

As American Cancer Society employees, we all have the opportunity to support our organization in many ways, and social media networks are a growing avenue for this. Many of you belong to social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN where the American Cancer Society already has a strong presence.

We encourage you to interact and be a part of these communities. As you are participating in your social networks, please consider the following ideas on how you can represent the American Cancer Society in a social media environment and ways that you can appropriately incorporate the Society into your postings.

ž Blogs, wikis, and other forms of online discourse are individual interactions, not company communications. Use common sense and be mindful that what you write will be public for a long time.

ž Identify yourself—name and, when relevant, your role at the American Cancer Society—when you post something about the American Cancer Society or Society-related matters. You must make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of the Society. Do Not post cancer content – link your readers back to

ž If you publish a blog or post to a blog outside of the Society, and it has something to do with the work you do or subjects associated with the Society, use a disclaimer such as this: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent American Cancer Society’s positions, strategies, or opinions.”

ž Respect copyright, fair use, and financial disclosure laws.

ž Do not provide the Society’s or another’s confidential or other proprietary information. Ask permission to publish or report on conversations that are meant to be private or internal to the American Cancer Society.

ž Don’t cite or reference clients, partners , volunteers, or vendors without their approval.

ž Respect your audience. Don’t use ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity, etc., and show proper consideration for others’ privacy and for topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory—such as politics and religion.

ž Find out who is researching the topic or blogging on the topic and cite them.

ž Don’t pick fights, be the first to correct your own mistakes, and don’t alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so.

ž Add value. Provide worthwhile information and perspective.

Want more? Click here for the rest of the document.


  1. These are good David! How are you posting these internally and being sure they are followed?

    Are there repercussions for staff members who fail to adhere to the policy?

    In terms of a disclaimer on a blog that delves into subjects close to your work, do you think a disclaimer is enough to allow an employee to say whatever they want? What would you say crosses the line in that respect?

  2. Thanks for sharing! I’m working on something similar at present and it helps to see examples of what others are doing. I do wonder how individuals can make it clear on Twitter (when limited on characters) that they represent their own views and not those of their organization. Probably needs to be included in the bio line, but not much room there once job title, etc. is listed.

  3. Jenn Sutherland

    Great guidelines! So sensible, clear, and not too stuffy – perfect for the social web! I’ll definitely be taking this into discussions for our Division.

  4. Clear, concise and transparent guidelines. It gets to the point of social media with a no-nonsense approach. I like it. Sounds like a best practice to me.