Tweets, Likes and Other Disclosures: Social Media and the New Corporate Message

Posted on 04-01-2014 by
Tags: new rules , social media , social business , mobile , social media blogging , Latest Headlines & Stories

Tweets, Likes and Other Disclosures: Social Media and the New Corporate Message

As reported by the LexisNexis® Real Law Editorial team, in April 2013 after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cleared public companies to use social media outlets such as Twitter® and Facebook® to announce key information in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) the floodgates opened in terms of what companies could announce in an open forum “so long as investors have been alerted about which social media will be used to disseminate such information.”

For example, on the same day it issued a quarterly earnings report in early 2013, PepsiCo Inc. sent out more than a half-dozen messages from its official Twitter account and included snippets from profit numbers and dividend payouts as well as comments from the company’s CEO. However, those details were included in a traditional earnings news release issued earlier in the day and the tweets included links to the original document.

Also reported, “Such tactics are a good start for public companies planning to use social media to disclose material information.” Some law firms, such as Philadelphia-based Pepper Hamilton LLP, recommend other best practices. A commentary posted on the firm’s corporate website shortly after the SEC guidance was released includes several key “Pepper Points” that are particularly instructive. For example:

  • “Disclosure on designated social media outlets should be coordinated as part of a company’s overall investor communication strategy.”
  • Such disclosures should be “subject to the same rigorous constraints and procedures as disclosures through other public means such as press releases or earnings conference calls.”
  • “Officers, directors and employees should be cautioned against disclosing any confidential company information…other than through approved channels and procedures.”

Those practices, and others like them, will help shape “the message” that will come from corporate use of social media as a platform for dialogue with shareholders and others. What that message will be is anyone’s guess at this point.

But the medium is there now. All that remains is to see what is done with it and find its hidden meaning.

That will happen—with time.

The above is a summary of the article featured from the LexisNexis® This Is Real Law website. Read the complete article

Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close