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Paul McGarrity, MD of Octave OC

Belfast-based Internet marketing and social media consultancy, Octave Online Communications, has launched a new guide for businesses and organisations on social media policy. The guide is designed to help senior managers and directors in corporate, public sector and government organisations understand more about social media risks and how they can develop a social media policy for their organisation. Social media policies define what is acceptable and unacceptable from employees representing an organisation through social media channels or their own personal profiles and from members of the public who post comments to an organisation’s social media profiles.

Over the past year, social media policy has become an important area of business management within organisations as they strive to use social media sites effectively and safely.

Managing Director of Octave Online Communications, Paul McGarrity said:

“The rapid growth in social media usage has led to more organisations embracing sites such as Facebook and Twitter as part of their marketing and customer services activity. However, there are certain risks and challenges when using social media and there is no doubt that an increasing number of senior managers are concerned about managing and mitigating these risks. Creating and implementing a social media policy that is robust, effective and workable is now a vitally important part of social media planning for large businesses and public sector organisations.”

The publication of the guide by Octave Online Communications follows a rise in the number of cases of reputational damage caused to organisations and business through misuse of social media, including:

• Nestle: In 2010 Nestle encountered a backlash on social media when it responded unprofessionally to negative comments from members of the public on its own Facebook Page.

• Habitat: In 2009 furniture retailer Habitat attracted a wave of adverse publicity by trying to push their brand into Twitter conversations about protests in Iran.

In the past two months, a number of public sector organisations have issued warnings about the misuse of social media by employees, including:

• Scottish Teachers: In January 2012 The Scottish Secondary Teachers Association warned teachers that revealing too much personal information on sites such as Facebook and Twitter could put their careers at risk.

• Police: In December 2011 it was revealed that over 150 police officers in England and Wales faced disciplinary action following activity on Facebook which included harassment and racial abuse.

The Social Media Policy Guide is available free to download from the Octave Online Communications website:


For further information contact Paul McGarrity on 07974 689642 or email:

About Octave Online Communications

Octave Online Communications is an internet marketing social media consultancy based in Belfast. The consultancy specialises in online marketing strategy and campaign management and helps clients to understand, adopt and utilise new technology and media.

The Consultancy’s services include Online Strategy and Planning, Digital Marketing Training, Search Engine Optimisation, Online Monitoring, Online Public Relations, Online Reputation Management, Pay Per Click advertising management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Policy and Risk Management and Email Marketing.

The consultancy is operated by Paul McGarrity, an Internet Marketing and PR consultant with over 12 years’ experience in the UK and Ireland marketing sector. Paul is a well-known speaker on internet marketing and writes a fortnightly internet marketing column, ‘Online Insight’, for The Irish News.

For further details on Octave Online Communications visit, email or call Paul McGarrity on +44 (0) 2895 81 2888.


This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Octave Online Communications in the following categories: Business & Finance, Education & Human Resources, Media & Marketing, Public Sector, Third Sector & Legal, for more information visit