NEW YORK (1/10/14)--After a disastrous foray into social media use in November and at the end of a week that saw the banking giant hit with a $2.6 billion settlement for its alleged role in Bernard Madoff's multibillion dollar Ponzi scheme, JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced a major personnel change to bolster its social-media strategy.
Kristin Lemkau, head of communications for the banks' consumer division, was promoted this week to chief marketing officer. The move came on the same day that federal officials announced the deferred prosecution agreement regarding the settlement, which American Banker called the largest settlement of its kind in U.S. history (American Banker Jan. 8).
Lemkau said she plans on improving JPMorgan's social-media strategy, describing the recent #AskJPM campaign as regrettable. In November, the bank's communications team scheduled the event, a Twitter Q&A with vice president Jimmy Lee, only for the executive to be inundated with criticism and sarcastic questions (News Now Nov. 15, 2013).
The hashtag proved to be a magnet for criticism, drawing 6,000 responses in six hours. Acerbic inquiries ranged from what the participants called the bank's questionable take on ethics, its legal troubles, and the wisdom of hosting the #AskJPM event itself.
"Is this the type of brilliant marketing idea that makes JPMorgan Execs so much richer and more highly valued than us commoners?" one user asked.
Lemkau described the debacle as a learning experience, saying the bank shouldn't turn its back on an important medium.
For an example of how one credit union recently used its social media message to make a positive impact on its community, see the related story in this issue of News Now: Social media pay-it-forward pays off for Royal CU.