SEC Social Media Guidelines Still Unclear For Investor Relations
ACCORDING TO KCSA STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS' SURVEY, LEADING INVESTOR RELATIONS PROFESSIONALS DO NOT THINK THE SEC HAS GIVEN SUFFICIENT AND CLEAR GUIDELINES ON USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR DISCLOSURE
NEW YORK, April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Tuesday, the SEC issued a statement that social media is an acceptable means for accomplishing disclosure of material information by public companies. Even after this development, the vast majority (77 percent) of CFOs and investor relations professionals at major public companies do not think the SEC has given enough guidance on how to use social media to disclose company information – this is according to a new survey conducted by KCSA Strategic Communications, a leading integrated communications firm specializing in financial public relations, investor relations, social media and creative marketing services.
The survey was conducted immediately following the SEC's announcement. The SEC's determination was in response to its allegation that Netflix's CEO, Reed Hastings, had inappropriately revealed what may have been material company information via Facebook in December 2012. Hastings' Facebook post sparked an SEC probe and prompted questioning on how public companies can use social media in order to comply with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Reg FD).
Following the Netflix incident, KCSA's CEO Jeff Corbin wrote a letter to the SEC proposing a series of Reg FD updates to include social media channels.
KCSA's survey involved in-depth interviews with leading heads of investor relations at more than 25 public companies in a wide range of industries. KCSA sought to discover their take on the SEC's statement, how this may or may not impact public companies' future communications and how they believe companies can best leverage social media.
According to the results of the survey:
- 69 percent of companies would like to be able to use social media to disclose company information.
- 38 percent are currently using social media as part of investor relations.
- Of the respondents, over half (56 percent) use Twitter, 22 percent use LinkedIn and 11 percent use Facebook. 11 percent also utilize other social media sites such as blogs, Slideshare and StockTwits.
- While 62 percent of companies are not currently using social media to disseminate material information, 86 percent would be willing to incorporate social media into their investor relations strategies if the SEC provided clearer guidance.
According to Jeff Corbin, chief executive officer of KCSA, "Social media has become a basic part of the communications fabric of investors and companies. Consumers have become accustomed to engaging in conversations with the companies they follow via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The SEC's statement Tuesday makes complete sense and demonstrates the regulatory body's willingness to accept and welcome the 21st Century ways of doing things. Social media is here to stay, and public companies should embrace this communications medium as a vital and viable way to accomplish disclosure."
About KCSA Strategic Communications
KCSA is a fully-integrated communications agency specializing in public relations, investor relations and marketing with expertise in financial and professional services, technology, healthcare, media, energy and public services companies. Since 1969, the firm has demonstrated strategic thinking and program execution that drives results for its clients in the ever-changing communications and digital landscape. The firm's clients are its best references. For more information, please visit www.kcsa.com.
SOURCE KCSA Strategic Communications
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