STRESS POSITION: We are faced with a tidal wave of online abuse and we’re letting staff sink

I had a good chat this week about the issue of online abuse of public sector comms people.

Yes, its a problem. In the last tracker survey where I asked this question 36 per cent said they saw verbal abuse daily and 8 per cent saw racist abuse daily. By any measure horrible figures.

The conversation turned to what’s being done about it.

Little, is the answer and at glacial pace.

Until it starts hitting the pounds, shillings and pence through employment tribunals I’m not sure that’ll change much.

Some organisations are heeding the Health and Safety Executive requirements to protect comms staff from violence in the workplace but most don’t. Verbal abuse in law is classed as violence in the workplace, by the way. There’s a whole download on it you really should dive into here.    

The problem is that senior people don’t take an active hands-on roll in monitoring social media channels so they don’t know the level of abuse.

“Grow a thicker skin.”

“It’s all part of the job.”

No it isn’t.

We are outsourcing stress and harm to the people who monitor social media channels. Then managers are doing nothing about it. 

That’s not good enough.

What’s your team doing?

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