#AskJPM? 'Bad idea.'

Bad idea.

JPMorgan opened up a Q&A session on Wednesday via Twitter and invited questions for its vice chairman, Jimmy Lee. But by the end of the day, the investment scrapped the idea in what turned out to be a press relations fiasco.

The Q&A was supposed to work like this: if you had a question, tweet it with the hashtag #askJPM. But the investment bank didn’t get questions, so-much as a stream of snarky, negative, and sometimes inappropriate tweets.

Adrian Blake, CEO of Social Media Contractors in Omaha, says businesses run into trouble when they use old media PR strategies on new media.

“The way that large corporations traditionally interact with the world outside, is through controlled environment where they are dealing with reporters and media companies,” Blake says. “It’s a very different model asking for questions from anyone.”

Patrick Ruffini, president of the digital marketing agency Engage, said JP Morgan’s campaign could have worked if they were looking to have real, and sometimes uncomfortable, conversations. He cites New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and businessman Mark Cuban, both of whom invite controversy.

“They’re actually organically interacting with people on Twitter. Getting into arguments and actually replying to critics,” Ruffini said.

And instead of tarnishing their image, he said Twitter has made them appear more human and accessible.

Check out some of the best #AskJPM tweets here.

About the author

Queena Kim covers technology for Marketplace. She lives in the Bay Area.
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SNR is better on g+ or Reddit. They learned. Did they?

The majority of the reports on the #AskJPM fail continue to refer to the response as a 'trolling'. I don't think an honest outpouring of opinion qualifies. Trolling is when a small number of users intentionally enflame a discussion. This was the entire twitter sphere expressing general disgust at a financial firm that has made numerous egregious missteps.

The company then missed an opportunity to engage with us in talking points, highlight their better moments (and yes, they employ a lot of people, and yes, they are both a hero and a villain of the financial crisis). Instead of engaging, they tucked their wounded pride into their tightey-whiteys and headed for the corporate safe-room.

That, more than the original idea, was the real fail. After all, they don't really care how the twitter-verse feels about them. They are a very profitable enterprise that is humming along just fine. Or just fines (to the tune of how many billions of dollars)? What would have been the harm in them dipping in their toes and responding.

After all, we really do want to know how to get blood stains out of a clown suit...

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