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Digital IR – A New Way of Thinking

Digital IR – A New Way of Thinking

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Published by Edelman
Edelman's approach to the disclosure of material information and IR's use of digital and social channels for engagement, in the wake of the recent SEC announcement.
Edelman's approach to the disclosure of material information and IR's use of digital and social channels for engagement, in the wake of the recent SEC announcement.

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Published by: Edelman on Jun 10, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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05/14/2014

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BACK TO THE FUTURE: DIGITAL IR
+
SOCIAL MEDIA
The SEC’s April 2nd embrace of social media in the communication of key information willbe remembered as the day IR shed its digital training wheels and ushered in a new way of thinking about digital IR.However, the value of supplementing traditional IR with social media is already so essentialto enhancing share value that many did not wait for the slow-moving SEC’s mandate tobegin rolling out robust digital, social and engagement IR initiatives.
WHY NOW?
While the SEC cited a Netflix executive’s Facebook post as the catalyst for itsclarification, the issue had already reached critical mass due to a host of drivingforces – key among them: 
Market influencers’ thirst for timely and accessibleinformation
driven by a rapid growth in the use of mobile devicesto scan charts and news has quickly made owned-web properties,news sites and social media critical sources for breaking financialnews and information. 
The proliferation of high-frequency trading programs
igniting volatility and rapid shifts in valuation, which are heavily influencedby indexed content, including data, news and information fromowned digital and social properties. 
Frequency, quality and accessibility of IR communications
as akey driver of reputation and share value, with reputation accountingfor more than half the share price of the top ten reputation leadersin 2011 and 31-percent among S&P 500 companies.
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A NEW OPPORTUNITY. A NEW SET OF CHALLENGES.
With a recent survey of IR professionals by the Bank of New York Mellon finding only9 percent have actively adopted one or more social media channels in their IR mix, thereis a clear opportunity to establish a leadership role and become a reputational leaderby being an early adopter of digital IR. However, there are conditions that must be met toachieve this as well as satisfy the SEC’s guidelines.
TRANSITIONING DIGITAL IR FROM MARGINAL TO MAINSTREAM
 
Proper disclosure requires notification
to investors of a well-built social media infrastructure,
consistency
and active usage,and
authenticity
and engagement appropriate to the medium. 
Multimedia Storytelling:
Investors now want to hear the “story”of the results – the shift to social media enables IR to bringcompelling content (website, video, infographics) to show,not just tell, the value behind the numbers. 
Integration with Corporate Communications:
Social mediais ubiquitous across stakeholder groups, and thus all externalcommunications from the company must leverage a commontool set and be screened for compliance. IR must have an“official” voice in the conversation.
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