The purpose of this blog is to unify volunteers across the state and share their success stories and challenges. The OmBlog hopes to give readers an idea of what a day in the life of an ombudsman is like and inspire more people to join the program, becoming advocates for Florida’s most vulnerable population. The OmBlog is a moderated blog, so all comments will be reviewed for compliance with program policies before posting. While the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program realizes the Web is a 24/7 medium, and welcomes your comments at any time, given the need to manage state resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during normal business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be reviewed for posting as soon as possible: This usually means within the next 3 business days.
We expect conversations to follow the guidelines listed under “10 Social Media Tips” listed below:
10 Social Media Tips
Excerpts from the social media policies of several large corporations, including Kodak, IBM, Intel and social media blogger Mashable.com.
Be responsible for what you write. Always express ideas and opinions in a respectful manner. Do not speak on behalf of the Ombudsman Program. Whenever you express your opinion concerning a topic in which Ombudsman Program is involved, add a disclaimer to the effect: “The opinions and positions expressed are my own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.” Only those authorized by the Program may speak on its behalf.
Be authentic. While social media tends to blur the lines between the professional and the personal, the key is to keep what you post from being too much of one or the other. If it’s personal, keep it light. If it’s professional, casualize it a little. In either case, be real. Be passionate about what you do and let that show through your online personality. Be clear about your position in the Ombudsman Program.
It’s all about community. Social media is a great way to get the word out about our program. However, social media is, by nature, social. It is not the place for monologues. Everything you post, tweet or blog should have the air of an open-ended conversation, meant to encourage discussion. Broaden the conversation by citing and linking to others who are writing about the same topics.
Exercise good judgment. Never post anything denigrating or offensive about any person, business or organization, including long-term care facilities. Posting offensive language will not be tolerated and will be removed. When disagreeing with others’ opinions, keep your comments appropriate and polite. Always pause and think before posting. If you have doubts about posting something, don’t post it.
Protect confidential and proprietary information. Follow the law related to protecting confidentiality and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program’s Code of Ethics at all times. Never post unsubstantiated claims concerning the program’s involvement in particular complaint investigations, administrative assessments, legislative proposals, financial matters or anything else considered “confidential.” Do not use resident names or other identifying information without the resident’s consent.
Balance self-promotion and an external focus. Use tweets, status updates and posts to highlight things about the Ombudsman Program and advocacy that people would find interesting. However, social media is all about conversation. Balance promotion of the program with an external focus by re-tweeting someone else’s tweets, commenting on others’ posts and linking to other blogs, videos and news articles.
Bring value. Share insight, stories from the field, link to articles or news clips of relevant interest to your readers. Provide a unique perspective and post meaningful responses.
Respond. Always reply to comments in a timely manner. Thank everybody who friends you, follows you or comments on something you write, even if it’s just a few words. Always encourage an open, revolving conversation.
Use Spell Check. Copy/Paste whatever you are about to post into a Word document first. Status updates and tweets are often just a sentence or two, making typos more obvious. Silly mistakes not only lessen your credibility, but may get more attention than your topic.
Remember your day job. Social media is not meant to replace the outreach efforts of traditional media; it is simply another tool to add to your arsenal of outreach and awareness-raising efforts. But it won’t get you very far if you fail to execute the core competencies of the Ombudsman Program’s daily business. As Ombudsman Program employees and volunteers, our first goal is to advocate for residents.
The OmBlog will not post comments that include the following:
- Abusive, vulgar, or profane language, or any language that is denigrating or offensive about any person, business or organization, including a long-term care facility.
- Threats of physical or bodily harm.
- Confidential, proprietary information, or unsubstantiated claims concerning involvement in particular complaint investigations, administrative assessments, legislative proposals, financial matters or anything else considered “confidential.”
- Resident names or other identifying information without the resident’s consent.
- Off-topic comments.
- Questions from the media.
- Identical posts (in cases of identical posts, the first submission will be posted).