Opposing financial services’ social media paralysis at #NICSAGMM

“Lawyers never get in trouble for saying ‘no’ to marketing.” I learned this from one of my favorite corporate bosses.

So I hastily scribbled a tweet when Rajib Chanda of Ropes & Gray made the following statement on the “Social Media in the Workplace” panel at NICSA’s General Membership Meeting on October 6.

Chanda made the point that there’s plenty of guidance for social media compliance. FINRA has been more forthcoming than the SEC. However, firms that fall under the SEC can look to its regulation of communications via other media.

Like Chanda, panel moderator Paul Butcher, director of global corporate social media for Citi, urged financial services companies to act.

He said, social media is NOT like walking across Niagara Falls on a tightrope carrying a piano. In his opinion, companies should use social media within carefully defined constraints.

Citi’s approach includes the following:

  • Global social media guidelines
  • A registration process for those who will potentially use social media on behalf of the company
  • Training on Citi’s best practices and guidelines
  • Appropriate use of technology and branding

If you’re still worried about risks from social media, panelist Anthony “Sandy” Codding, Jr. of Marsh/FINPRO described the kinds of insurance you can buy for protection in areas including defamation, intellectual property, errors and omissions, privacy liability, disclosure of financial information, and employment.