Posted by Cognito on Mon, May 28 2012

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Three PR Lessons From J.P. Morgan's Recent Troubles

J.P. Morgan’s recent $2 billion+ trading loss had the words PR nightmare written all over it.  But in an impressive display of crisis communications prowess, the firm identified a disastrous publicity problem before the media caught wind of it and tackled it head on. Jamie Dimon, the firm’s chairman and CEO, recognized the importance of mitigating the reputational risk to his company by going on an aggressive media blitz, acknowledging the firm’s mistakes and discussing how they would move forward.  With this proactive approach, the initial furor lasted a little less than a week, peaking with the dismissal of former chief investment officer Ina Drew, and then receding into the background as more recent stories, such as Facebook’s IPO dud, took center stage.

Here are three lessons advisors can learn from J.P. Morgan:

  • Have consistent key messages
    J.P. Morgan had clear, consistent messages to communicate and took the opportunity to remind people that although it was fallible, it was aggressively taking corrective action and seeing to it that it would keep improving because of the incident. This helped calm the jitters running through the market following the announcement. Key messaging gives you a staging area for all of your external communications. If a crisis should ever rear its ugly head, you will feel more calm knowing that regardless of the turmoil surrounding a particular situation, your messaging is solid.
  • Build up your reputation with the media
    Dimon has his share of detractors, but they are outshouted by those who hold him in high esteem. He makes himself available for interviews and understands that, fundamentally, you must be candid, opinionated and accessible.
  • Establish a positive profile and guard it well
    In executing your public relations strategy, it’s important to remember that every article you write and contribute, every tweet, every interview, every quote, every video, slideshow, blog, broadcast appearance will help you amass a media profile that will deliver sustained long-term benefits. It all counts. J.P. Morgan’s years of proactive, professional media interaction provided a shield of sorts, from behind which it was able to prepare and execute a precise PR push when it was needed most.

To learn more about how Jamie Dimon and J.P. Morgan’s proactive PR strategies, read the full story at

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