On March 14, 2012, an op-ed in The New York Times
by resigning Goldman Sachs executive director Greg Smith tore into the greedy arrogance of Wall Street stockbrokers, charging that at Goldman Sachs, executives called their clients “muppets.”
Two days later, Jennifer Connelly Public Relations
and its client, financial advisors High Tower
, released a startlingly short, powerful “whiteboard” video in which High Tower’s CEO, Elliot Weissbluth, dismantled brokerage houses, characterizing them as “butchers” who knew all about good meat, but would “never send you to the fishmonger down the street.”
For its deft, delicate skewering and barbecuing of stockbrokers, and for its contrasting portrait of financial advisors as dieticians who have only their clients’ whole financial health in mind, Jennifer Connelly PR has been declared the co-winner of the Best Specialty Campaign category in PR Daily’s 2013 Digital PR Awards.
JCPR moved fast to capitalize on Smith’s op-ed. On March 16, it pitched and placed Weissbluth’s plausible, innocent, and deadly 2 ½-minute message of gentle malice in The New York Times’
Bucks blog, and on Forbes.com, AdvisorOne.com, Dow Jones Newswires, and YouTube.
Then JCPR got in touch with the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). NAPFA decided to open its annual convention with a viewing of the High Tower video. Five-hundred financial advisors saw clearly the difference between good and evil. At this writing, Weissbluth’s perfectly timed thrust at stockbrokers has been viewed by 45,000 people on YouTube alone.
JCPR says, “The choice of video as a medium was strategic, to set High Tower apart in an industry limited by traditional, unadventurous communications.” This very diplomatic summary is undoubtedly too kind to the industry’s inability to speak plainly or intelligibly.
As JCPR puts it in another masterful understatement: “The butcher-dietician video delivers fun and refreshing communication from an industry not known for either.”
And JCPR rightly claims that its efforts made the video “instantly a part of the national conversation about ethics and finance.”
An online commenter summed it up by writing: “It’s nice to see an important concept explained in a simple and entertaining way. Our family moved our money to High Tower a while ago for exactly this reason. We’re glad we did.” Clear communication can do wondrous things.
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