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Why your social media crisis might actually be a crisis of purpose

Last year, JP Morgan suffered a big embarrassment on social media. In case you were on the moon at the time and missed it, the story was a planned Twitter Q&A with a JP Morgan vice chairman which was cancelled after a barrage of furious attacks at the company’s reputation. Ouch. It’s quite staggering when you think about it – one of the largest financial institutions on the planet effectively losing its voice. Silenced by ordinary people.

JP Morgan Twitter Q&A

The final tweet from the poor JP Morgan Twitter bod trying to handle the situation is worth reflecting on.

JP Morgan Twitter Q&A

JP Morgan Twitter Q&A

‘Back to the drawing board.’ Let’s think about that for a moment. It means starting again. A new plan. A new design. But for what – JP Morgan’s social media marketing? Sorry, not good enough. No social media programme or crisis comms plan can protect you from the level of hate that was directed at JP Morgan.

This is not a social media crisis. It’s a crisis of purpose. What must an organisation stand for if generates such hate and criticism? There’s something much deeper in the organisation’s DNA which needs to go back to the drawing board. Its very reason for existence – the purpose out of which all of its activities stem.

JP Morgan’s Twitter disaster is just one small example of why everything in a business, from the products and services it provides to customers and the value it creates in the world must start from an meaningful purpose. Anything less is a crisis waiting to happen.

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