Goldman Sachs, the most powerful investment bank on Wall Street, is getting into the social media game. In a job posting on the company website, the bank said the ideal candidate will be responsible for “monitoring online conversations and participating in those conversations to build brand visibility and thought leadership.” It’s just the latest step in an image campaign launched by newly-installed PR honcho Jake Siewert designed to rehabilitate the company’s image after years of public scorn in the wake of the financial crisis.
Last week, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein (above) hit the business news circuit for the first time in two years, with appearances on CNBC and Bloomberg TV. Blankfein, who was paid $16.2 million last year, acknowledged that Goldman Sachs needs to burnish its public relations outreach. “Obviously it’s occurred to us that we haven’t gotten anything, er, everything right with respect to how we, how we’ve dealt with the public,” Blankfein told CNBC in comments cited by the New York Post.
It’s been a rough few months for Goldman. Six weeks ago, a young Goldman Sachs employee named Greg Smith wrote a scathing resignation op-ed in The New York Times decrying his firm’s “toxic culture,” and alleging that senior Goldman bankers had disparaged clients — supposedly the company’s number one priority — by calling them “muppets,” a pejorative terms used in Britain to describe stupid people. Speaking to CNBC, Blankfein said an internal investigation hadn’t uncovered any examples of client-abuse, and added that “we wouldn’t have the clients we have if we were anti-client.”
Siewert, a former Treasury Department official and Alcoa executive, was hired in March to replace Goldman’s legendary, outgoing PR chief Lucas van Praag. Siewert clearly has his work cut out for him, and social media is a good place to start — as any communications pro knows, it’s become an essential tool for brand-management and public outreach. According to the job description, first noticed by the FT‘s Alphaville blog, the successful candidate will, “Create and maintain Content Calendars, including writing Facebook Status Updates, Twitter posts, and LinkedIn group management.”
Goldman’s new social media manager is going to have to get up to speed quickly — the bank hasn’t even sent one tweet from its official account yet — so we’ve taken the liberty of suggesting some Twitter accounts for the successful applicant to follow.
- @GSElevator: It’s going to be important for the new Goldman Sachs social media manager to follow this account, so that they can stay fully abreast of the latest allegedly overheard gems from the company’s Wall Street headquarters. Such as: “I’m pretty sure I’ve been scammed before. I’m just too rich to notice.” And: “On our anniversary, I send my wife flowers with a Congratulations card.”
- @OccupyWallSt: It is absolutely paramount that Goldman’s new social media guru follow the Occupy Wall Street Twitter account. That way, they can send timely interoffice emails alerting senior executives to exit via the parking garage, if things start to get a little dicey out on the street.
- @SEC_News and @TheJusticeDept: It’s a probably a good idea if the social media manager follows these two accounts just in case the stray Wells Notice or federal subpoena gets lost in the mail.
- @MuppetsStudio: This is going to be an important Twitter account to follow to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings involving Goldman’s most important client and her friends.
- @mtaibbi: Don’t think of this journalist’s tweets as criticism, Goldman Sachs social media manager, think of them as “constructive feedback.”
- @BarneyFrankNews: You’re probably glad this lawmaker won’t be in Congress for very much longer, but he’ll still be entertaining.
- @RajRajaratnam: No DM fails, please.