KCSA Strategic Communications Launches Investor Relations Social Media Index

 KCSA Strategic Communications Launches Investor Relations Social Media Index

Results of Q3 Study Reveal Fortune 100 Companies Aren't Making the Grade Using
Social Media in Their Investor Communications

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Dec. 11, 2013

NEW YORK, Dec. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to using social media to
disclose material information, the world's largest public companies aren't
making the grade, according to a new quarterly index launched by KCSA
Strategic Communications, a public and investor relations consulting firm
headquartered in New York City. Following the third quarter earnings season,
which officially ended November 15, KCSA's index determined that of Fortune's
top 100 companies, less than 10 percent earned a "C" or better in their use of
social media with respect to investor communications.

In April of this year, the SEC issued a report stating that companies can use
social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to disclose material
information and remain in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Reg
FD). In doing so, the SEC stated that companies using social media for
disclosure purposes must alert investors of the channels they intend to use.

Jeff Corbin, CEO of KCSA, said, "Following the SEC report, KCSA began to study
the behavior of Fortune's top 100 companies to understand how, if at all, they
are taking advantage of social media to share material information with their
investors. At the end of the Q3 earnings season, we formalized this study
into an easy to understand report card. What we learned was that while many
are using social media for non-IR purposes, very few are using it in their IR
communications and those that are, are not abiding by best practices."

To monitor how the world's largest and most influential companies are
integrating social media into their investor communications, KCSA's social
media index looked at the following criteria:

  oDid the Company file a policy with the SEC on how they intend to use
    social media in their IR communications?
  oDoes the Company have IR-specific social channels?
  oIs the Company's use of social media consistent with its disclosed policy?
  oDoes the Company have a mobile investor relations strategy or app?

After the analysis, KCSA assigned a letter grade (A through F) based on the
company's performance. The grades, which are to be interpreted in the same
regard as a traditional academic letter grade system, were assigned as
followed:

  oSatisfied all criteria – A
  oSatisfied three of the criteria – B
  oSatisfied two of the criteria – C
  oSatisfied only one of the criteria – D
  oDid not satisfy any of the criteria – F

The Q3 index concluded the following key findings:

  oOnly General Electric and Google, of the entire Fortune 100, stated in an
    SEC filing that they intend to use social media in their IR disclosures.
  oNo company received an "A" and only two of the Fortune 100 companies
    received a "B":

       oGE filed with the SEC and in it stated they would share IR news via
         Facebook, Twitter and their corporate blog; GE has a Twitter account
         and blog dedicated to IR disclosure; GE does not have a mobile IR
         app.
       oGoogle filed with the SEC and in it stated they would share news via
         a Google+ channel dedicated to investor relations; Google does not
         have a mobile IR app.

  oIn addition to GE and Google, six other companies in the Fortune 100 have
    social media channels dedicated to investor relations – these include
    Sysco Corporation, Archer Daniels Midland; Pfizer; Dell; Johnson Controls
    and FedEx. In addition, Pfizer maintains a SlideShare account in which it
    posts its investor relations presentations.

In addition to the Fortune 100 companies, KCSA analyzed the leading publicly
traded social media companies with respect to their use of social media in
investor communications: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

  oFacebook and Twitter have dedicated channels only on their own platforms
    for investor relations.
  oLinkedIn does not use its own network for investor relations. It does,
    however, have a Twitter account in which it posts material IR news.

Corbin continued, "Social media has fundamentally changed how people consume
information. Therefore, public companies should embrace and develop an
investor specific social media strategy with the same thought and deliberate
execution that is used for more traditional means of investor communications."

KCSA advises that public companies take the following steps to ensure that all
investors will be on notice as to how a company will disclose, where they can
expect to obtain material information, and remain in compliance with Reg FD.

  oConduct a social media IR audit to determine whether or not a company's
    investors are engaged with social media.
  oTo the extent it is determined that investors are engaged in social media,
    formalize a social media IR policy and specify the channels a company
    intends to use for disclosure purposes.
  oFile this policy with the SEC (either with an 8-K or as part of a 10-K).
  oUse ALL of the channels specified in the filing whenever making a material
    disclosure.

Corbin concluded, "The paradigm in investor relations communications is
changing before our very eyes. Whether it be social media or mobile
technology, there is a tremendous opportunity for the world's most influential
companies to establish best practices and to set the standard for other
companies to follow. To keep the IR community apprised of the progress being
made, KCSA will continue to monitor the Fortune 100 and issue its social media
index on a quarterly basis."

For more information on KCSA Strategic Communications or the IR Social Media
Index, visit us at http://www.kcsa.com or contact Sharron Silvers,
ssilvers@kcsa.com.

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.

Media Contact:

Sharron Silvers / Alison Crisci
KCSA Strategic Communications
(212) 896-1282 / (212) 896-1252
ssilvers@kcsa.com / acrisci@kcsa.com

SOURCE KCSA Strategic Communications

Website: http://www.kcsa.com
 
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