The headline of this post is a quote from the 1995 comedy “Tommy Boy.”
But it could have been the shouts of frustration emanating from the offices of JPMorgan’s communications team yesterday.
In a move that has many people scratching their heads, JPMorgan, the largest investment bank in the United States, decided to hold Twitter chat under the hashtag #AskJPM. The goal was to target young people interested in investment banking. Yesterday they set-out to collect questions that they could present to Vice Chair Jimmy Lee, the executive who would host the formal chat.
Which has now – wisely – been cancelled.
Because an investment bank that just paid out the largest fine in U.S. banking history – $13 billion – for “misleading investors” during the 2008 finance crisis should not be hosting Twitter chats a couple of weeks later.
Rather than getting a benign responses from Twitter about a what it takes to have a career in investment banking, JPMorgan instead got an angry mob pounding down its doors.
Here are some examples:
As you can see, Twitter enacted its revenge on JPMorgan.
At its essence social media, especially platforms like Twitter, are open conversations. And like any free-flowing conversation that has many voices trying to be heard, the responses can often be swift and brutal. If people don’t like what they hear – or if they don’t like you – you can expect a savage response to your attempts to converse.
At its best social media is a back and forth exchange of ideas, insights, comments and content.
At its worse it can be an angry mob carrying sarcasm and wit rather than pitchforks.
JPMorgan should have known better. One wonders why the communications team thought this would be a good idea. Did they not realize the PR danger of a real-time Twitter chat in the current news environment?
What do you think? And how would you have handled this crisis as it unfolded?
Now JPMorgan Winds Up in Twitter Turmoil (via Wall Street Journal‘s MoneyBeat blog)
JPMorgan Twitter Chat Cancelled (via Huffington Post)
JPMorgan $13 billion Pay-off (via CNNMoney)