Many of us have seen the words, “stick to sports” show up on our Twitter timelines when media members tread into areas like politics and social matters. Some companies allow their employees the freedom to express whatever they want, others prefer their employees to be a bit more mindful and some have very strict policies on these matters. The folks at NFL Network appear to be falling somewhere in the middle of the latter two.
The NFL’s vice president of social media and emerging programming, Tom Brady (no, not THAT Tom Brady), did an spoke with SportsBusiness Journal and said NFL Media employees are being encouraged to tweet only about the game of football.
“When in doubt, keep it to the game,” Brady said. “There’s always a time to showcase your personality and be able to engage with fans and go outside of your core. But at the end of the day, as a member of the NFL Media Group, try to stick to football because that’s what people want to hear from you about.”
Those who follow Albert Breer, who is now with The MMQB, know he’s been very expressive on a wide range of topics since he left NFL Network. So the fact this company is a lot more constrictive than others isn’t exactly a new thing. However, it’s obvious that NFL Network is doing its due diligence to redouble efforts at ensuring its employees are seen as purely informational conduits as it pertains to the game of football.
The company is also working to make sure trolls are not engaged with at any level.
“Talent needs to be careful with that level of engagement,” executive producer of studio and remote content, Mike Muriano said. “Be smart and sensitive to if you’re getting trolled or not. Then just stop. Our talent, as the known quantity in this exchange, does not benefit by dressing down a fan — even if that fan is way off base. At some point, they have to know when to say that this has taken a turn and I’m not taking part anymore.”
Don’t feed the trolls — it’s a valuable bit of advice.
However, not everyone will be happy about the first aspect of these social media guidelines. There are many issues happening on a global scale that are of great import to us all. Many people are used to using social media as an outlet to express their viewpoints, and they don’t like being told what they can and cannot say.
Then again, companies also have the freedom to enforce rules on these types of things when their name is attached to the viewpoints being expressed.