I had the opportunity to witness a creative approach last Thursday at PRSA-NY’s inaugural #SocialWallStreet Meetup. Held at the Museum of American Finance, the event featured a discussion of how to address the questions facing Wall Street’s use of social media. New regulations have been passed, but few companies seem eager to embrace the opportunity. The decision to frame the event as an “unconference” was more than the cheerful adoption of an undefined buzzword.
Social media have changed the ways in which brands engage with their audiences as well as employees, partners and advocates. But these new communication channels bring their own challenges for companies, such as the need to be transparent and ethical with communications, as well as to provide proper disclosure and comply with governmental regulator guidelines. This paper outlines the state of guidance from key governing bodies in the USA (namely, the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Food and Drug Administration). It also discusses the ethical issues involved with new disclosure considerations surrounding native advertising and content marketing practices, as well as with word-of-mouth marketing; the key considerations regarding compliance with guidelines across new platforms, tools and devices; and practical guidance on how to communicate properly via new channels. – By Tom Chernaik and Sam Ford