A CEO Who Gets It

July 23, 2009 at 1:50 pm 1 comment

Meltdown ExecutivesThe New York Times reports on JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and his high profile. This is not a case of the S.S. Hubris bearing down on an iceberg. This is a textbook example of a corporate leader using his position to enhance his company’s image, shape policy to his industry’s favor, and foster a public discussion of the issues.

Mr. Dimon calls government relations his “seventh line of business” as he obtains audiences with top administration officials including White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and Director of the National Economic Council Lawrence Summers. He has earned praise in President Obama’s speeches. According to The New York Times, Mr. Dimon gave himself poor marks in 2007 for his interaction with Washington. He proceeded to do better, just in time for the rise of a president from Chicago (Dimon’s previous home base) and the economic meltdown.

Lessons for every business leader from Mr. Dimon:

  • Get to know the government leaders (and their staffs) who affect your organization. If you are a small business owner, that can mean city council and planning commission members.
  • Define key issues. Consider yourself a spokesperson on matters that can help or hurt your business. Develop your own talking points.
  • Identify and use communication channels. Mr. Dimon can travel to Washington and command major media. Your channels may be speaking at local government sessions, submitting op-eds to your local paper and trade publications,  blogging, and convening or attending meetings of government and business leaders.

The New York Times points out that JPMorgan Chase is grabbing share from its megabank competitors, Citigroup and Bank of America, as they struggle. That share is not merely dollars and cents; it is reputation, spearheaded by Mr. Dimon’s deliberate efforts to be visible and vocal. It is every business leader’s job to be “chief communicator,” a term used by Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross. Jamie Dimon is a CEO who gets it.


Entry filed under: Crisis Communications, Leadership, Public Affairs, Public Relations. Tags: , , , , , , , .

V for Victory and Viral Banking on PR

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. J.P. Morgan Chase’s Gift to the Opposition |  |  May 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    […] The news has wiped out billions of dollars of value for J.P. Morgan Chase, reflected in the trading blunders themselves and the sudden drop of its stock value. It has also wiped out the argument to halt or roll back regulation under Dodd-Frank, the sweeping legislation meant to tame the financial industry following its 2008 collapse. A leading voice to curb Dodd-Frank has been Jamie Dimon, J.P. Morgan Chase’s CEO, heralded as the rare banking chief executive who understood media relations and government relations (including past praise from this writer.) […]


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