The Summer of Social Media
A Chronicle of Comm 4701, "Integrating Social Media," University of Denver, Summer Quarter 2010

Week 7 Guest Lecturer: Marc Trachtenberg

Social media may seem like one big free-for-all. In truth, ethics, risks and regulations figure heavily in its use, especially for companies interacting with their customers. To learn about these potential pitfalls we turned to an attorney, Marc Trachtenberg, associate in the Chicago office of international law firm Winston & Strawn LLP.

Marc specializes in protecting brands and copyrights in the digital realm. He knows that prudent social media does not revolve around a “no comment” mindset (refreshing to this PR professional). Marc discussed how companies must engage their publics online while guarding against disseminating misinformation, issuing libelous statements, or allowing unauthorized employees to “speak for the company.” He reinforced the importance of a clear social media policy to guide Web 2.0 deportment for organizations and their workers, from the CEO on down.

We thank Marc Trachtenberg for making the case that we have constant ethical and legal responsibilities as professional communicators.

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