The insurance giant AXA has just published a Guide to Digital Common Sense written by its staff. Each employee was encouraged to share experiences of his/her own online "persona", and explain how it is linked to that of the company.


A company’s “e-reputation” isn’t just the responsibility of the Communication and Marketing departments. In order to project its brand image and polish its online persona, insurance company AXA decided to draw on its human resources. The company asked its staff to take part in a project to write up and share their experiences of digital media, with the aim of publishing a Guide to Digital Common Sense. The basic goal is to make staff more aware of the latest digital technology topics and issues, which they don’t always grasp very well. In fact, as Ifop revealed in a survey carried out for L'Atelier for a Théma session on Personal Branding, only 4% of all employees share information about their job or company on a daily basis, whether via social networks or on the Internet. 
A guide resulting from collaborative work 
During July and August 2011, AXA gathered comments and impressions from over 500 employees on the Group’s collaborative platform. These were then compiled into a list of 20 pieces of advice aimed at the various partners of the company and the general public so that everyone would be aware of how best to manage his/her own identity on the Web and could develop that of his/her company in a constructive way. The guide, arranged in several sections, provides a number of tips, such as the need to understand that anything posted on the Internet will stay there forever - hence the vital importance of anticipating the long-term consequences of divulging information.
Advice on how to protect yourself when communicating 
The guide also advises against publishing strictly personal data, such as an address, or place and date of birth. On the Internet it’s important to combine freedom of expression with a professional code of ethics so as not to compromise your company’s reputation. It’s also vital to ensure that an individual employee’s opinion is taken as such and not as the views of the company as a whole. AXA wants its staff to communicate more about their activities and with this in mind the company has made it clear that it’s ready to support them and help them take the necessary protective action should they find themselves the target of attacks or the victim of defamatory statements on the Internet.