JP Morgan: We Told You So

told you so JP Morgan: We Told You So

The PR Verdict: “A” for CtW - "We told you so."

“We told you so “ seems to be the key message from the CtW Investment Group to JP Morgan.  CtW, a shareholder representing union funds, claims it was concerned over 12 months ago at what it saw as “lax and out dated” risk management controls at JP Morgan.  Those concerns were laid out to senior management. But then, oops, a year later, the storied financial institution announced a trading loss of over $2 billion and a market value drop of more than $25 billion.

CtW wins the PR prize. The Executive Director of the group told the NY Times that it had expressed its concerns to a JPM board member and the former Chief Risk Officer.  The main complaint?  That the three-person board responsible for monitoring overall risk lacked the necessary expertise to oversee the function.

CtW says that ultimately the problem reflected an overall unhealthy deference to CEO Jamie Dimon and his Chief Risk Officer.  With this sentiment resonating with pundits, it seems the party is well and truly over for banking’s favorite CEO.

The PR Verdict:  “A” (Gold Star!) for CtW, punching above its weight. By saying “we told you so” they look like the smartest ones in the room.

PR Takeaway:  Capitalize on every PR opportunity.  By coming out with these revelations now, CtW claims the upper hand and grabs the PR advantage.  Describing JP Morgan as having an “old fashioned model of governance”,  CtW legitimately puts itself at the forefront of the reforms JP Morgan will be announcing.  While it’s an uncomfortable place for JP Morgan, it’s a great place for CtW and its public profile.

To read more, click here.

 

 

What Did the Princess Ask For? Is That All?

PRINCESS What Did the Princess Ask For? Is That All?

The PR Verdict: “C” for the Princess and her call for reform.

Princess Basma Bint Saud Bin Abdulaziz (is there a shortened form?) gave the BBC a surprising interview yesterday, calling for change in her native Saudi Arabia.

From her London base, the daughter of King Saud, former ruler of Saudi Arabia, identified five needed reforms for the kingdom.  Radical in scope they included the constitution, divorce, education and social services.  She also criticised the current chaperone system for women as “infantilizing”, turning Saudi women into “a burden on their men and on society.”

The urgency of her calls came undone when she added in the interview that she is opposed to women driving, urging a delay  “until we are educated enough and until we have the necessary laws to protect us.”

The PR Verdict: “C” for the Princess and her call for reform.  She let the air out of the balloon by urging caution.  By saying that allowing women to drive is not for now, she pushed her five lofty reforms into the distant future and delayed  a simple reform from happening anytime soon.

Key PR lesson: Always start with a call to action that immediately mobilizes.  Give people something to do.  Arguing for constitutional and legal reform has its role but the Princess’s foray into free speech left her energized sympathizers limp.  While her five suggestions can be the subject of endless academic debate,  the question of women driving is a straight forward yes or no.  More importantly, it is the gateway for broader change.  Sadly a missed opportunity.

To read the interview click here

What’s your PR Verdict?

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