How do you achieve regulatory compliance with your digital footprint?

28 Mar 2019

If you’re in a regulated industry such as financial services a key challenge is how to make sure your content across your digital footprint is continually compliant with your regulatory (industry and/or country) commitments. This applies to not only your website, but also your social media presence on channels such as LinkedIn and Facebook.  

For example the Financial Conduct Authority’s guidance on “Social media and customer communications” running to over twenty pages.  For global companies, the challenge around regulatory compliance and digital content are even greater as the rules you need to follow can differ from territory to territory. The way you go to market in Hong Kong may have different constraints compared to the way you go to market in the UK.

The key challenges of digital content and regulatory compliance

When it comes to regulatory compliance, three of the key challenges facing digital teams:

  1. How do you make sure new content is compliant when the management of your website content and social media is likely to be decentralised and you simply can’t continually scrutinise every content change / update?
  2. How do you make sure all your content is up to date and stays up to date when there is a change to any regulatory guidance?
  3. In the unfortunate event of an issue that needs addressing, how can you show your own management and any external parties that you acted as quickly as possible? 

Why automation is the key?

Automation is an essential approach to keeping your content on the right side of regulatory compliance. For example, using the Sitemorse platform central digital teams can set automated checks to flag particular terms and phrases across your website pages, social media interactions and even PDFs.  When contentious or sensitive terms you define are used in digital content it might suggest that you are at risk of not meeting regulatory standards. With Sitemorse’s automation capabilities if an issue is spotted a notification can be sent to the right person across your decentralised digital team, and any issues can be swiftly resolved. 

For example, let’s say you’re a financial services company and a new member of the social media team has recently joined. He’s on the late shift and inadvertently sends out a tweet about your services, but it is non-compliant because it is actually a financial promotion and there are no accompanying notices about risk.

This could immediately create an alert for the head of the digital marketing / compliance lead. Sitemorse has been set up to provide an alert when it looks as if a new webpage or a social media could be promoting financial products. The warning algorithm might be based on different product names, the appearance of a % sign (to indicate returns) or some vocabulary usually associated with a financial promotion. The content manager can quickly review the tweet and make a quick call to the social media team if the tween needs deleting. Job done.  

Keeping up to date

An automated approach also helps you overcome the challenge of keeping up with regulations. For example, in Sitemorse you can easily add new rules to assess and check your content to reflect any updates to guidance from your regulator. 

Finally, because Sitemorse also records every version of every page of your website and your social media posts and keeps a full audit trail of any changes made, you can also prove to any external parties about the actions were taken. Keeping the versions of any rogue content can also help with internal reporting and training your content team – also very useful to demonstrate content has been removed, say following a take down notice.

Keeping your content on the right side of regulatory compliance

Keeping your content compliant across different aspects such as accessibility, your own brand rules and indeed regulatory compliance is hard, but it’s also very important. Taking an automated approach is the only realistic option for busy digital teams with devolved publishing models. If you work in a regulated industry and you’d like to know how Sitemorse can help you keep control over your digital estate, then get in touch.