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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Managing Compliance Risk in Social Media

ERSP attended Financial Services & Social Media – Strategies and Tools for Managing Compliance Risk, hosted by the Law Office of Pryor Cashman LLP and which featured Tom Chernaik, CEO of CMP.LY and Robert J. deBrauwere, Partner at Pryor Cashman LLP.

Highlighted throughout the discussion was the fact that there are no "best practices" regarding social media just yet; as an emerging medium, there are only "good practices." Of particular concern among those who market through social media (or even those who simply maintain pages), is the permanence and perceived anonymity of the social media posts. What marketers need to understand is that whatever is posted online is there to stay. Even if it's been deleted, there's always a chance someone has already seen it, and all it takes is for one person to document it or take a screenshot and your post has gone viral before you know it.

Mr. Chernaik and Mr. deBrauwere touched briefly upon the importance of monitoring employees' social media usage and encouraged companies to make clear distinctions between those permitted and not permitted to post via social media. They recommended drafting separate policies and having employees agree to them before engaging in social media.

The main takeaway from the event something Mr. deBrauwere focused on -- "Don't be stupid." Just using common sense when posting via social media can go a long way in making sure the company or advertising claims are not misrepresented online.

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