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Friday
Mar112011

Managing an Association's Social Media Risks and Coverage Exposures 

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) recently hosted a webinar on Managing an Association’s Social Media Risks and Coverage Exposures.

Together with Jared Anderson from Axis Pro, we talked about the different categories of risk that organizations are exposed to when using social media.

This included: 

Employment – How you use social media to identify, qualify, recruit, retain and even dismiss employees is one of the most delicate areas from a risk perspective.

Privacy – Who owns a social media profile when it is used for work? Are social media communications private if company equipment is used?

Copyright  –  In an era of “copy & click” it is all too easy for staff, volunteers  or members to violate copyrighted materials or have your copyrights breached.

Intellectual Property – Who owns materials that are created by your collective social media communities? How do you defend your ownership rights?

Anti-trust  - Just like in the offline world, collusion, price fixing or anti-competitive behavior is a potential liability for your organization.

Defamation – For some reason, people can be more aggressive when communicating online than they would be in person. This can lead to mistakes being made that have a liability for the organization.

Marketing – If you are operating in a regulated or restricted  area of commerce (health care for example), you need to be aware of the limitations on certain types of marketing and sales activities. 

Trade secrets – Because of the ease of copying confidential information that is not only widely disseminated, but it becomes almost impossible to retrieve once it is out.

The bottom line is that your D&O, Media or E&O insurance policy is most likely not up to date and therefore may not be giving you the coverage that you need. It is also impossible to cover every possible liability and therefore a social media plan that includes solid policies and procedures is needed to minimize uncovered exposure.

Suggestion? Make sure you have a professionally developed social media strategy and talk with your insurance agent or broker to understand which social media related risks, if any, you currently have covered.

Want to listen to the recorded webinar session?

Click: Managing an Association’s Social Media Risks and Coverage Exposures.