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@bhas As it happens I know a few people at GS London and strangely they are bearing very little resemblance to people working in a "pillar at the bottom of the hill with a huge stone rolling down straight towards it". They are making money (less than they did last year). They are taking holidays. They are watching TV. They are taking their dogs for a walk. This was never a company with a cuddly reputation and with respect, they could save every starving child on the planet - let alone dolphins and polar bears - and I doubt it would do much to change their image at all. GS knows people don't think well of them - and you know what? I don't think they much care.
I'm not an apologist for Goldman Sachs - but I think their decision on this decision to be broadly true to their culture of silence (interesting article here http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ee1c04b4-6deb-11e1-b9c7-00144feab49a.html#axzz1qQ5Qnn1l) is probably a good one.
2 years, 8 months ago on Why Goldman Sachs Needed a Crisis Plan
@ginidietrich The $2.15bn was temporarily wiped from the share price - technically no money was lost unless you were trading their shares that day, which means their shareholders would be losing money, not the bank. For what it's worth, if I'd decided to give them my money to invest I wouldn't be withdrawing it now based on Greg Smith's views. I would take a view based on the people I dealt with directly and their performance against the market.
@wabbitoid @rachaelseda But now put in the cynical comment!
@TheJackB Mmm not sure of the value of being a poster boy for integrity in the recruitment process - I guess history will reveal all. Perhaps he doesn't really want a career in banking in any case? I'm a believer in the book deal - he'll surely do a Michael Lewis?
@TheJackB I wonder what Greg Smith thinks now - he's killed his financial career for a blip that will probably change nothing.
@ginidietrich @CraigKessler I don't think anyone thinks they put clients first. But who cares when clients make so much money anyway?
@ginidietrich I'm not sure anyone would believe anything Goldman Sachs said to disagree with Greg Smith. The company needs a sustained programme to rebuild their reputation, and it starts in the boardroom WITH the PR team. Greg Smith articulated rather beautifully as it happens everything that anyone who has a view on Goldman Sachs already thinks. The secondary commentary following the publication of the letter was surprisingly balanced. Did you read Lucy Kellaway in the FT? To summarise - so what, an employee leaves disliking his employer and this is news? Also articulated in a rather compelling way.
In my experience boards are more sanguine about certain types of PR crisis than PR people. We tend to worry about criticism lingering out there. Boards worry about return on invested capital first and foremost. Have you checked out the Goldman Sachs share price in the last couple of days? Do you think they've lost any customers?
I'm not sure this is helpful but it is funny (at least I think so, remember I'm British) and may help to deal with Gini's "what do I say at a cocktail party when people ask me what I do" dilemma http://sarahsfav.es/2012/02/16/fave-meme-what-people-think-i-do-what-i-really-do-pr-consultant-edition/.
By the way - I love the idea that Gini goes to cocktail parties - over here we're so poor we just drink at home...(according to today's Times anyway).
2 years, 10 months ago on PRSA Response to PR Definition Criticism
@ginidietrich @Frank_Strong @mdbarber Perhaps this is a cultural difference UK vs US? Not sure. Many din't know everything that PR can do - but you know, most people also only use 10% of the functionality of their PCs. The truth is that more and more people are grasping what it is that corporate marketing, PR and comms is there to do - and they din't always like it, and social media is where they get to answer back. A lot of people see through the fact that we talk brand, engagement, dialogue, relationship but really it's all measured in pounds/pence. One of the challenges business faces is they only talk to us when they want to sell to us - but they say it's more. It's about loyalty, trust. Have you read Kevin Roberts on Lovemarks? But really it's selling marks. I hope the PRSA comes up with a new definition of PR - and perhaps they might reach out to the PRCA over here for input too Yes we need a better definition.
2 years, 10 months ago on Redefining Public Relations
@ginidietrich Good for you. As long as we remember it's PR not ER.
Gini - I don't even know you but I think you've fired up an impressive debate here. Who would have thought so many people could get so excited about a definition of PR? And yet - it's telling of a "profession" that I have seen lack belief in itself, whilst at the same time claiming to embrace so many vital components of corporate strategy and execution. A profession that I have seen undervalue itself - even whilst so many proponents will vaunt their abilities and skills.
Gini - you seem to have a talent for attracting constructive polemic - perhaps you should be picking up this issue more closely with the PRSA?
@Frank_Strong @mdbarber I find most customers of public relations know what they're buying - though that doesn't mean the definition works at the cocktail party and with one's mother. Isn't the challenge that the definition needs to be more encompassing to help transform the perception that PR = manipulation + media coverage?
An awful lot of PRs are better publicists than they are PR. And sometimes publicity is a useful tactic in PR - especially if you're trying to aren't sales or votes.
Surely all we're doing is ... helping... organisations... to communicate in order to help them achieve... their goals... or aims... or purpose? Media relations can be part of it - and so can advertising! So can a telephone call, a speech, a tweet, a blog post - a picture, research, even mediation. The fact that PR got stuck in the corner of media relations says more about the specialisation and skill sets of agencies - and those aspects of communications that businesses or organisations find difficult, which is handling stakeholders like journalists. Most organisations can cope with the kinds of conversations you have with direct customers to sell to them. But what do you say to everyone else to get their attention? Or when they think badly of you? Or if they think you've done something wrong? Or if another business is more interesting or impressive then you?
I think the best PR leads to selling, the challenge is that it tends to be about everything but selling, because it's usually about engaging people before they're in buying mode and who will resist a sales message.