How to integrate social media with legal requirements — Live from the Brands-Only Summit

Coverage of this session by Travis Kenney of Connect with him by following him on Twitter.

9:35 —'s Kurt Vanderah introduces UCB's Trish Nettleship.

9:36 — Trish says there are five things to think about:

9:371. Don’t allow legal to lead. In the early days, we did what legal told us to do. We’re the business. Legal is there to guide us and inform us of the risks.

9:38 — Trish: Lead with business objectives and strategies. Make legal your partner rather than the blocker. Engage cross-functional teams early to avoid delays later in the process.

9:402. Education is key. People aren’t inherently anti-social media, they simply don’t understand the opportunity.

9:41 — Trish: All legal sees is risk since they don’t understand what is possible. Give broader context of WHAT social media is. Encourage creative thinking beyond the rules of compliance and regulatory bodies, then reshape in context of what’s possible today. Be positive. Anyone can learn about social media with patience and a positive attitude.

9:433. Regulatory assessment. Assess the regulatory environment. Look at enforcements that are happening. Is the problem the regulatory environment or how it's applied?

9:45 — Trish talks about some challenges:

  • Regulations are not always black and white.
  • Digital is composed of many channels/types of touch points.
  • Limited knowledge of social media by legal.

9:474. Key risks and mitigation. User generated content is mitigated by investing in moderation, filtering, community management, and content. Correcting misinformation is mitigated by having clear criteria that determines the approach. If this, then that — use decision trees.

9:48 — Trish: Having the intent in place is important if investigated. Lack of control of message is mitigated by crisis management planning — a must.

9:49 — 5. Process. Keep it simple and don't over engineer. Get legal involved early.

9:50 — Trish: A clear process provides a comfort level to legal. Concept review, provide guardrails, and have a review process in place.

Q & A

Q:  What other advice can you offer as we try to create partnerships with legal team?

A: Trish: Get them involved early. Here's what we're thinking for next year. What do you think? We give our legal person a seat on the roster. I go to conferences with my legal team and I figure out what matters to them, to hear things through their ears.

Q: What templates did you create and how did you get expedited review?

A: Trish: Work through process as a team to determine guidelines.  Expedited review – we have a dedicated attorney who understands the social space and what we're trying to accomplish.  Simplifying the process by having a spreadsheet/guidelines ahead of time so you can get an email approval quickly.

Q: What suggestions/tips do you have on staying up to date on regulatory changes?

A: Trish: Go to the FTC's (or FDA's) site for new info/guidelines. Go to FTC/FDA's conferences to get the latest information. Don't have to go to all of them.  A good place to build partnerships/relationships with regulatory agencies and your legal team.