Incisive Media lifts ban on social networking websites

Business magazine publisher Incisive Media has lifted a ban on employees using social networking websites at work.

The company said allowing access to sites including Facebook and YouTube, which have been blocked for the past two years, would unlock the potential of social media for journalists.

Incisive Media group editorial services director David Worsfold tweeted yesterday: “Incisive gets social. We are lifting all the bans on social networking sites so we can engage with our markets and communities as they wish.”

He told Press Gazette he believed opening up the sites to journalists would be beneficial for their work.

Incisive banned the sites due to over-use, Worsfold said, but also because there was a lack of understanding at the time of the benefits social media could offer.

“We have had a huge success building communities around our brand on Linked-In and we want to explore similar sites,” he told Press Gazette.

“This is not a fundamental change, but a change of emphasis. We have been experimenting with social networking and want to do it wholeheartedly.

“Employees have been told to expect to be asked what they are doing, not because we are checking up, but because we want to build up our knowledge and understanding.”

Incisive has offices in London, Asia and the US and publishes titles including Computing and Accountancy Age.

Its chief executive Tim Weller told the World Magazine Congress in London last month how the publisher was using Linked-In to quickly create online networks.

He said Incisive’s monthly title Operation Risk and Compliance – a small circulation monthly with an annual subscription price of $1,400 a year – had attracted a community of 6,000 members on Linked-In.

Press Gazette reported in January that another publisher, Haymarket, had removed access to Facebook and Myspace for employees.

Haymarket’s IT department said in a memo to staff at the time: “We understand that social networking sites in general are used as a way of contacting clients and maintaining relationships, and we will remove the block as soon as we are satisfied that the associated risks have been mitigated to a reasonable level.”

Press Gazette understands the Haymarket ban is still in place but journalists can ask for it to be lifted if they need it for work purposes.

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