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Survey uncovers company fears over using social media

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By The Drum, Editorial

October 25, 2011 | 2 min read

Companies across Europe have admitted that they are concerned about the risks that social media could poses to their corporate reputations.

A survey, undertaken by trade bodies the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) and the Institute of Risk Management involving 186 company executives, asked about concerns over social media.

Nearly half said that they were worried about the potential damage that could be done by platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, while a fifth highlighted their worries about the loss of confidential information through social media.

Theft of customer information was highlighted by 43% of respondents, while damaging social media buzz was another concern for 42%.

65% of the companies represented had created formal social media guidelines however, and 14% were planning on creating and implementing such policies, however only 14% of respondents had a role that involved PR.

Michel Dennery, FERMA vice-president, Michel Dennery, said: “The Web 2.0 tools expose us to a lot of risk. We have to take care of the really valuable information, the information that we use to make money, the information that gives us competitive advantage. It needs much more protection today because the environment is much more open.

“At the same time, the new tools also offer a lot of opportunities in greater sharing of information. We can use them to communicate with suppliers, shareholders and other stakeholders. They can also help us break down internal silos,” he added.

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