A recent note from ReadWrite Editor-in-Chief Owen Thomas on Twitter (above) should be a word of caution to any PR professionals pitching major stories: In short, revealing -- even hinting -- at the status of a company's financial details, past or future, could violate SEC or other regulations.

Thomas’ statement mimics what Joi Ito said last fall to a batch of startups demo'ing their product: You shouldn't outright ask for funding in public, even on stage to a private group of VCs, without consulting legal counsel.

The recent changes in crowdfunding through the JOBS Act have a great deal of potential, but that doesn't mean startups are now in a libertarian, free-for-all market. If there's one piece of advice we could give: Lawyer up. Whether you’re a startup, a PR firm, or a marketing agency, knowing exactly what you can and cannot say publicly (and even internally) will define and direct your communications at every level.

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