CCA Social Computing Guide
A Company Guide to Employee Participation in Blogs, Chat Rooms, Cyber Communities, List
Serves, Message Boards, Online Forums, Online Videos, Podcasts, Social Networks, Wikis
If you use a personal computer at home, the library, a friend’s or relative’s home, or log onto one at work,
you’ve probably been introduced to Internet ―social media‖. Each day, more people use the Internet to meet
friends, engage others who share interests, develop an online persona or seek information on a number of topics.
They are discovering and participating in avenues available to socialize online – and this embodies what is
termed social media.
Today, there are increasing ways for individuals to interact online with others and even build an audience of
their own. If you’ve viewed an Internet news site, you’ve probably seen reader comments that follow a story. Or
perhaps you’ve scanned YouTube for videos on a particular subject. If you’ve tried to reconnect with old
friends, you might have searched for them on Facebook, MySpace or Classmates.com. If you’re an enthusiast of
a particular hobby or an advocate for a certain cause, you may have joined online communities that encourage
and champion them. These are all examples of social media.
With the Internet’s social media being an increasingly prominent part of our lives, CCA acknowledges that our
employees may be participants and contributors to this online world. And in an industry like ours, where we
face debates over public-private partnership, many news sites and other online sites exist where members of the
public – including our employees – may weigh in on topics such as private prisons entering new communities,
careers and professional development in corrections, operational safety of private prisons and prisons being
active in the community.
We have developed this guide to help employees in instances when they specifically identify themselves as
CCA employees or indicate they are affiliated with the company in an online social media forum.
Social Media Defined
Social media is rapidly expanding. New words and phrases regularly emerge to describe the latest social media
techniques. Here, we’ve defined some of the most common ones:
Blogs – Blog, which is short for Web log, is like an online diary or journal, featuring chronological, dated posts
that are self-published by the blogger (individual writing and maintaining the blog). Many blogs allow readers
to comment on individual posts.
Chat Rooms – Online chat rooms enable visitors to engage in real time, interactive text ―conversations.‖
Participants in chat rooms may add to discussions at the same time, in the same online space.
Cybe r Communities – Cyber communities, also called online or virtual communities, are groups of people
frequently linked by a common interest who mainly communicate through the Internet.
Listserv – A listserv, sometimes called a list server, is a program that automatically sends messages to multiple
e-mail addresses on a mailing list, enabling individual subscribers to communicate with a large group of others
who often share a common interest.
Message Boards/Online Forums – These are discussion areas on Web sites, where participants may post new
messages, add comments to existing discussions, or simply read content without contributing.
Online Videos – With new technology, many of us can shoot and produce our own videos and post them online
on sites like YouTube and Google Video.
Podcasts – Podcasts include audio or video content that may be downloaded from a Web site.
Social Networks – Social networking Web sites enable users to create a personalized profile and then interact
with others through friend lists, blogs, messaging and more. Popular examples include MySpace and Facebook.
Wikis – Wikis are Web pages that are drafted and edited collaboratively. The most popular example is
Wikipedia, a dynamic online encyclopedia. In the workplace, Sharepoint is a program that similarly enables
colleagues to collaborate in document creation.
The Role of Social Media Engagement for CCA Employees
CCA employees may determine for themselves whether to participate in any social media where they identify
themselves as being affiliated with the company. As CCA begins incorporating social media as part of a
communications strategy through CCA-developed Web sites like InsideCCA.com, TheCCA360.com and
MyCCA (the new company Intranet), we recognize that CCA employees may want to interact on these sites –
and the company welcomes that participation.
Through these company sites, CCA is providing employees with opportunities to contribute content that may be
accessed by internal and external audiences on topics such as careers, professional development, community
engagement, business development, best practices, personal testimonies and more. Employees have the
opportunity to submit comments to existing articles and, in some instances, may be asked by Marketing and
Communications to contribute content to these Web sites, which are described in greater detail below.
CCA Social Media Web Sites
InsideCCA – A new CCA online newsletter (InsideCCA) will contain more interactive features, including
reader-enabled comments and feedback that may be posted (via a site moderator) in response to online articles,
as well as employee blogs, where they may post about facility achievements, professional milestones,
community outreach, operational news and more. Unlike our current bi- monthly and quarterly newsletters,
content on InsideCCA will be updated more frequently.
The purpose of writing for InsideCCA is raising morale, boosting camaraderie and enhancing companywide
communication between employees. Through dialogue between employees via comments and feedback to
postings, we aim to personalize information-sharing and strengthen networks from employee-to-employee and
TheCCA360 – Here, members of CCA’s leadership team contribute blog entries about issues involving the
corrections industry and the company. On this site, the company may rapidly respond to media coverage or
negative campaigning by external groups. The site also showcases positive CCA news at the corporate and
facility level. CCA Marketing and Communications may solicit additional content from selected CCA
employees, when subject matter expertise is needed on relevant topics. We also encourage CCA employees to
comment on leadership postings on TheCCA360 and, for online posting consideration, submit their own
personal reflections on the positive impact CCA has on our industry and communities.
Through theCCA360.com, leadership can respond to crises or reactively to unbalanced or negative publicity or
news coverage. Additionally, identified subject matter experts on the leadership level may contribute entries on
topics such as operations, real estate, food service, inmate programs, finance and other areas.
As the company seeks to enhance morale, promote information-sharing and preserve our established reputation,
we will continue to use social media.
Other Social Media Web Sites
We also recognize that the corrections industry and our company may continue to factor prominently in
traditional local and national media as well as grassroots social media (blogs, forums, message boards, etc.). As
correctional professionals with CCA, our employees may sometimes feel motivated to contribute their voices
and perspectives on such topics on online message boards, blogs, forums, chats, comments sections of news
articles and other social media outlets. Sometimes employees may do so while identifying themselves as
employees of the company.
CCA does not want to prohibit or discourage such participation, but we do think it is important that participants
in social media understand potential pitfalls and avoid actions that could harm the company and its
stakeholders. For that reason, CCA offers the quick-reference CCA Social Computing Guidelines set forth
below. The Guidelines are intended to apply to participation on CCA-sponsored and other social media Web
sites and may be updated on an ongoing basis.
CCA Social Computing Guidelines
1. Know and follow CCA’s Code of Conduct, in particular the sections headed ―Business and Confidential
Information‖ and ―External Communications.‖
2. CCA employees are personally responsible for the content they publish on blogs, wikis or any other
form of social media. Be mindful that what you publish will be available to the public for a long time.
3. Identify yourself—name and, when relevant, your role at CCA—when you discuss CCA or CCA-related
matters. Make it clear that the views you express in any social media outlet are yours alone and do not
necessarily represent the views of your employer or your colleagues.
4. Use a legitimate, operational e- mail address in your online postings – either personal (e.g. through
Yahoo, Hotmail, Comcast, BellSouth, Gmail or other provider) or professional (i.e.
5. Any proprietary company information (related to specific security, policies or financials) or private or
confidential information of offenders, other employees, or CCA contractors or vendors, is off limits. The
private or confidential information of other CCA employees should not be discussed or shared without
the prior approval of the other employee(s) unless done so under court order or pursuant to a
governmental administrative regulation. Such disclosures violate CCA policy and, in some cases, may
also put you at risk for civil or criminal liability.
6. Do not comment on or quote customers without FSC approval.
7. Legally, you are responsible for your commentary and can be held liable for statements deemed to be
defamatory, libelous or plagiarized, so please exercise caution and be aware of your personal risks when
you post on social media sites.
8. Ensure that your social media activities do not interfere with your work commitments.
9. CCA will hold employees accountable for violations of CCA policy, such as the release of confidential
information and other online activities that could present risks to the company, other employees or
10. The use of a CCA logo, CCA-produced video footage, CCA photographs or other CCA property is
11. When identifying yourself as a CCA employee in social media, follow the additional guidelines below,
which complement the high standards of The CCA Way, the values that define our workplace culture
and company philosophy:
Tell the truth.
Write deliberately and with accuracy, staying on topic.
Acknowledge and correct mistakes promptly.
Strive for high quality with every post – including basic spell checking.
Disagree with other opinions respectfully.
Link to online references and original source materials directly.
Disclose conflicts of interest.
Refrain from posting comments that contain offensive or inappropriate language, including
ethnic slurs, personal insults or obscenities.
Choose forums carefully, and avoid associating yourself with others who post items that may
reflect negatively on you or the company.
Avoid workplace, community or industry gossip in public forums.
Ask the CCA Marketing and Communications or Ethics and Compliance department if you have any
questions about social media engagement. And refer any media inquiries that may result from your social
media participation directly to the Marketing and Communications department at