Health IT

To tweet or not to tweet? #Quintiles answers healthcare social media’s question

Quintiles is always  part of conversations about the direction of the clinical research industry. The company is  now making sure that it gets a handle on less formal conversations in social media. Durham, North Carolina-based Quintiles has come up with social media guidelines for employees. Quintiles is the CRO industry’s largest provider, with more than […]

Quintiles is always  part of conversations about the direction of the clinical research industry. The company is  now making sure that it gets a handle on less formal conversations in social media.

Durham, North Carolina-based Quintiles has come up with social media guidelines for employees.

Quintiles is the CRO industry’s largest provider, with more than 20,000 employees in 60 locations around the world. For those employees who might be tempted to post about their work on a networking site, a blog or some other social media outlet, Quintiles has a message: We’re watching.

“Quintiles monitors mentions of our brand in public communication on social media channels, such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc., in order to track and manage our online reputation,” the social media guidelines say. “This means that your public posts about the company may be visible to the company.”

The guidelines state that while employee activity outside of work is not governed by corporate policies, outside employee activity that impacts the company’s reputation, or ability to conduct business falls within corporate policy. And while Quintiles doesn’t bar employees from participating in social networking, it does offer strong suggestions about preferred sites for business networking, i.e., LinkedIn (NYSE:LKND) is preferred to Facebook. The guidelines emphasize more than once that employees must always identify themselves and not use fake names. Employees also must always say that their opinions are theirs and do not represent the company.

Here are the five things to avoid in social media as outlined by Quintiles:

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1. Do not create pages or communities on behalf of Quintiles.

2. Do no post anything that might damage the reputation of Quintiles.

3. Do not discuss proprietary or confidential information.

4. Do not discuss colleagues, competitors, vendors or sponsors.

5. Do not interject in news stories.

Meanwhile, Quintiles maintains its own, internal site for employees to share information with colleagues. It’s called “QZone.” Quintiles’ dissemination of the social media guidelines was in the spirit of social media. The company tweeted them.