Paul Holmes 19 Nov 2013 // 3:39PM GMT
I understand that people are now mocking and/or berating JPMorgan for its naïveté in scheduling a Twitter version of “ask me anything” and then promptly shutting it down when it became apparent (shock!) that the majority of the questions were critical of some of the bank’s practices. That’s a shame, because I have a couple of questions of my own… Question One: Why would you schedule a social media “press conference” like this if you weren’t prepared to answer difficult questions #askJPM Answer: Either (a) it never occurred to anyone on the public relations team that things would get this bad and they freaked out when they saw the questions, or (b) the public relations team ever bothered to explain to vice chairman James Lee just how this whole social media thing works and he freaked out when he saw the questions. Either way, I’d argue that the freak out was worse than the original idea, because… Question Two: How awesome would it have been if someone at JPMorgan had been willing to answer at least some of these questions #askJPM? Answer: Pretty awesome. Of course, the company is never going to appease its most vocal critics, but it could have earned a few reputation points for having the courage to at least engage with them, and the candor to acknowledge that (in the parlance of our times) “mistakes were made” and perhaps explain what the company is doing to make sure the same mistakes don’t get made again. And no, FT, this doesn't "underscore the risk of Twitter engagement." It underscores the risk of thinking you're prepared for Twitter engagement when you clearly are not.