Social Media for Public Companies

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This slideshow was presented at a seminar on June 21, 2011 at Fasken Martineau's Vancouver office highlighting best practices as well as potential legal pitfalls for public companies using social media for disclosure.

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Social Media for Public Companies

  1. 1. Social Media: Best Practices for CanadianPublic CompaniesSecurities and Mergers & Acquisitions GroupJune 21, 2011
  2. 2. Welcome• Moderator: Georald Ingborg, Partner, Fasken Martineau• Panelists: • Eleanor Fritz, Director, Compliance & Disclosure, TSX • Rhylin Bailie, Director of Communications/IR, NovaGold • Caroline Clapham, Associate, Fasken Martineau
  3. 3. How you can digitally take part today:• Share the information you heard here today on Twitter using the hashtag: #FaskenSM4Pubcos• Ask questions of the panellists using the hashtag and an @reply to: @CarolineClapham
  4. 4. Current Social Media Landscape (Canada) 140 120 Either Twitter or 100 Facebook Both Twitter and 80 Facebook 60 Twitter Only 40 Facebook Only 20 0
  5. 5. Current Social Media Landscape (Canada) Natural Resources Technology Consumer Goods Airline Banks
  6. 6. Current Social Media Landscape (Canada)• Average # of Followers = 1,375• Highest # of Followers = Lululemon (84k) and Westjet (75k)• Highest # of Fans = RIM (>7M) and Tim Hortons (1.6M)
  7. 7. NovaGold – a social media leaderGoal: expanding stakeholder reach
  8. 8. Implementation: Convincing your Team
  9. 9. $NG’s Experience:
  10. 10. General vs. Selective Disclosure
  11. 11. Material Fact or Material Change?• Kerr v. Danier Leather Inc. (Supreme Court Of Canada)• AiT Advanced Information Technologies Corporation, Bernard Jude Ashe And Deborah Weinstein (Ontario Securities Commission)Social media implication: material changes must be generally disclosed
  12. 12. Misrepresentations• Untrue statement• Half-true Statement – ie. Not enough info• Unintentional omission to discloseSocial media implication: THERE ARE NO TAKE-BACKS – every tweet/post is permanent
  13. 13. Third party information• Endorsements• Sharing news• Promotional content• Entanglement• Analyst coverageSocial media implication: be careful with third party disclosure and information
  14. 14. Disclaimers and Mandated Disclosure• Safe harbour statements - when, where and how• Technical informationSocial media implication: include links to meet disclosure requirements
  15. 15. Dissemination in the United States• Is your company listed in the US?• What constitutes dissemination?• When is dissemination acceptable?Social media implication: issuers that are not listed in the United States need to be attuned to these issues – consult legal before you post/tweet!

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