This morning the Wall Street Journal reported that the New York City Ballet plans to enforce a social media policy for all employees – administrative and artistic – to regulate how they use social media channels.
The ballet has a refined reputation and recently 24 year old, ballet dancer Devin Alberda (@dalberda) has been tweeting his work frustrations, much to the ballet company’s dismay. The Wall Street Journal article describes:
“Plenty of professional ballet dancers have Twitter accounts, parting the curtain on a long-cloistered world with details on their backstage warm-up process or what they’re snacking on during intermission. But some, such as Mr. Alberda, go a step further, posting the kind of workday gripes or jokes dancers might say to each other but that are rarely aired publicly. The company now is negotiating a social-media policy as part of contract talks with the dancers’ union, the American Guild of Musical Artists.”
The ballet’s executive director, Katherine Brown, said in a statement to the Journal: “Because social media usage has dramatically increased and will continue to do so, like many organizations the company is exploring the development of social media guidelines for all artistic and administrative employees with respect to their professional lives.”
If this policy is approved, the New York City Ballet would be the first major performing arts company to enforce such guidelines. The Boston Ballet is also looking into a social media policy for it’s company.
RaceTalk has frequently covered employee Twitter disasters (search our posts by “tweet #fail” to read all the previous posts on the topic) and Devin Alberda’s tweets are just another example of why every company should add social media guidelines to their employee handbook, regardless of industry. As social media channels, particularly Twitter and Facebook, continue to bleed into employees’ professional lives, these types of parameters are necessary.
Does your company have a social media policy?