Ethics Guide: Avoid A Social Media Crisis for National Press Photographers Association

Courtesy of CWT Advertising Essex

Social media can be a great way to advertise and connect with your audience. However, we all know that the platforms and it’s people can sometimes turn on you. In the world of visual journalism, like the National Press Photographers Association, it’s not hard to encounter an internet troll every now and then. To ensure that companies like this one are prepared for a social media crisis, there are a few things you have to consider.

  1. Know Your Audience. Knowing your following demographics (age, gender, nationality, etc.) can help you see your content through their eyes which then allows you to determine if it’s post worthy.
  2. Stay Away from Biases. It’s best not to comment or engage on conversations about politcs, relgious beliefs, ethnic topics, or cultural biases. Staying neutral on these topics can help prevent a social crisis now and in the future.
  3. Never Compromise On Privacy. If you think a subject is too sensitive to talk about, then it’s probably best not to post about. As a company, you never want to violate your policy rules, so don’t violate the social media privacy rules.
  4. Be Transparent. It’s always cool to explain on social media why you like/endorse a fellow company or product, but you never have to go into full detail. Explaining your brand’s relationships in depth isn’t always neccesary.
  5. Speak with Truth. To play off of the previous tip, when talking about your relationships, you always want to tell the truth with whatever it is your posting. People follow you for your honest opinion and your content, so you don’t betray their trust.
  6. Think before you Post. Before posting anything you always want to fact check your information and consider if what your about to send is revelvant content. Posting without a strategy or a goal in mind can lead to negative perceptions of your brand or even embarrassment.
  7. Imagine the Impact. Public perceptions matters. It’s important to monitor your engagement and provide disclaimers and citations in your posts when needed.
Courtesy of Picks and Mix Marketing

Some other ethical items to consider for your brand are confidentiality, misrepresentation, listing credentials, and defamation. Additionally you never want to supply your audience with “click-bait”, leave reviews for yourself, sell customers informations, or over notify your audience. It’s easier for your audience to trust your brand if you let them have their space, and your not constantly forcing content on them.

As the NPPA states in their code of ethics, “respect the integrity of the photographic moment”. You always want to portray the situation in your photo as best you can. In photo journalism, things can often be misinterpreted. By practicing these steps, you can easily avoid a social media crisis. It’s important to remember that social media is a ruthless environment and that although you try your best to remain unproblematic, it’s nearly impossible to operate without experiencing some sort of drama. As a brand, it is most important to stay true to your own code of ethics first and use it as a guide to strategize your social media usage.




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Becca Bochna

Becca Bochna

Aspiring blogger / UF student

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