Last week’s SEC revised RegFD guidance brought out opinions from every possible investor relations pundit, social media guru, business thought-leader, competitive critic and (ahem) corporate services vendors. I had to field inbound calls from clients and deal with industry snark regarding our opinion, and the disingenuous view that newswires applaud the social media guidance but only with the “still need a press release” caveat.
Let’s unblur the lines between compliance v. communications in context to this new 2013 updated guidance to the 2008 updated guidance from the SEC 2000 Regulation Fair Disclosure ruling.
- File with the SEC
- Use recognized communications channels simultaneously. Or… not at all.
- Tell the story (ie: earnings announcement) as transparently and broadly as possible through the channels and media that are appropriate to the audience while targeting specific prospective investors without stepping in any deep muck from compliance point #2 above
As a single channel, social media is an impractical tool for regulatory compliance. What makes the investor relations website and news releases a practical choice is they are the de rigor “common denominator” for material information from a public company: at least for the realistic future, as much as anyone can predict that.
Is it fair to require an investor to join a certain social network to get material information? Technically, investors can lurk in Facebook and Twitter, however, practically (to receive real-time alerts) they must sign-up. LinkedIn requires you to join and will identify investors personally. Selective disclosure and Notice & Access infractions rolled into one!
Social media is an excellent tool for transparent shareholder communications. In fact, so excellent that in May 2012, we integrated the top social media network for investors, StockTwits, into our Capital Markets Visibility 365 product, a communications program created to help small and micro-caps.
PR Newswire has a full quiver of tactical investor relations and SEC compliance services to match the strategy an individual company has towards regulatory compliance and shareholder communications.
|Vintage Filings: 10-k, 10-Q and 8-Ks, XBRL||IR Room investor relations website|
|IR Room investor relations website||Earnings call telephony|
|Earnings call telephony||Earnings call webcasts|
|Earnings call webcasts||StockTwits|
|Press releases||Inbound Investor Targeting|
|Outbound Investor Target (buy, sell-side, quantitative)|
|IR Room App|
Absolutely, investors use social media and it will find its best fit in investor relations. I do know it’s great for marketing. :)
Have a great day.