On April 2, 2013 social media was officially deemed an acceptable venue for publicly traded companies to disclose material information to investors by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The new SEC ruling on social media stipulates that before companies use social media for material disclosures, they must alert investors where they’ll be doing so in advance.
The SEC Ruling on Social Media is particularly important to investor relations professionals, who are charged with distributing information that could impact their company’s stock price.
The SEC released Regulation Fair Disclosure back in 2000 to prevent institutional investors from gaining an unfair trading advantage over individual investors by requiring publicly listed companies to nonselectively release material information.
Since then, companies have been complying with Reg FD by using paid newswire services like PR Newswire and BusinessWire to satisfy their nonselective disclosure requirements.
As would be expected, the SEC Ruling on Social Media prompted a defensive posture from the paid PR newswire services.
But if the SEC’s 2008 Guidance on the Use of Company Websites for Corporate Disclosures is any indication, the new SEC Ruling on Social Media is unlikely to provoke a sea change in how listed companies disclose their news.
In this interview, Glen discusses these and other issues that the new ruling on social media have brought into the limelight for investor relations professionals.
SEC Ruling Topics Covered:
- Caveats to the SEC Ruling on Social Media
- IR industries response to the SEC Ruling on Social Media
- Practical methods for giving investors advance notice to impending material disclosure via social media
- Will the new SEC guidance on social media spur more embedding of social activity on company websites?
- Implementation challenges of the new SEC social media ruling
- Does the inclusion of tweets on Bloomberg terminals make Twitter a more or less risky venue?
- Navigating material disclosures between personal and branded social media accounts?
- Updates HR managers should consider making to their employee handbook as a result of this new social media ruling from the SEC.
Disclaimer: This interview is for general informational purposes only and should NOT be considered legal advice. Please refer any legal questions you may have to an attorney from your jurisdiction.
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