STARTING little over a minute ago, we’re introducing a new series to IR Web Report that aims to demystify the laws, rules and regulations that govern what public companies should and should not do on the web when it comes to information about their financial performance and business activities.
It’s an ambitious project, but we’re fortunate to have a willing (and brave) volunteer in Vanessa Schoenthaler, founding member of Qashu & Schoenthaler LLP and author of the excellent blawg 100 F Street.
Her objective is simple: make sense of the convoluted and often impenetrable securities laws for an audience of social media and web professionals (who probably couldn’t think of anything less interesting to read about).
It’s an important undertaking because the past couple of years have witnessed a revolution of sorts in corporate web communications, particularly in online communications between investors and companies on social media websites.
In most cases, though, the people leading these new communications efforts have no background in investor relations communications and don’t have a good grasp of the securities laws. This often results in new media professionals either ignoring anything to do with their companies’ financial results – perceived as the safest approach, but frustrating for investors – or they are unknowingly doing things that could potentially expose their companies to regulatory problems.
With this series we hope to arm social media and web professionals with the knowledge they need to represent their companies and interact with investors on the web in a more confident and informed manner.
Vanessa also will try to explain the context behind the rules, why they exist and what the regulators are trying to achieve with them, because we believe that social media and web technologies can and should be allies of good securities regulation.
We hope you find the series helpful. Please let us know if you have any questions about the topics that are addressed.