|November 11, 2009|
|Goldman, God and Goodwill Gone|
|By Greg Hazley|
|Is Goldman Sachs PR tone deaf or is the titan of Wall Street just getting the short end of the public opinion stick?|
GS is taking a PR beating we haven't seen since AIG was accused of hosting chic sales seminars while on a government respirator. While Rolling Stone's iconic "vampire squid" feature on the investment bank probably didn't do much PR damage on its own, GS' latest press run-in is a global stumble.
The Times of London's John Arlidge did an epic send-up of Goldman chief Lloyd Blankfein in Sunday's edition that picked up on a seemingly offhand comment by the CEO. That remark led to a headline and new round of Wall Street bashing for GS.
Blankfein, with an "impish grin," told Arlidge that he's doing "God's work," a comment which led to a loud headline for a piece in which Blankfein was making his case with success.
He almost had it. The CEO made the case to Arlidge that Goldman's business enables capital to flow to businesses, which hire workers and keep the economy chugging.
As former White House speech writer Ed Walsh noted: "The humor – the impishness – mostly got lost in translation and the impression left was of a Wall Street big shot with a much-too-high opinion of himself and his firm."
His advice: "As flush as Goldman’s balance sheet might be, its goodwill vault is empty. Best to keep the jokes to a minimum and be boring with the press."
Blankfein is out making the rounds ahead of bonus time at Goldman, a time when the bank will need to brace for another round of that "populist overreaction" the banking industry was trying to counter over the summer with an $85K PR blitz.
We're wondering how much headway that push has made in the "populist" conscience, especially with the swine flu vaccine flap last week. Here's SNL's take on that PR blip:
(Photo via newsroom-magazine)
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