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The PR Takeaways From Obama’s Wall St. Speech

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President Obama came to New York yesterday to speak in front of 700 political and business leaders on the topic of financial reform.

As Liz Moyer wrote in Forbes, “Goldman Sachs executives know how to put on a good PR show. They attended President Obama’s speech in New York on Thursday, much to the surprise of some, even though rivals steered clear.”

While PR agency owners debated this week on Goldman’s PR strategy and how “open” they should be moving forward, Obama said to the entire industry, “I want to urge you to join us, instead of fighting us in this effort.”

How does this change things and frame the financial reform debate moving forward?

“I thought he did a good job, but some of the language was pungent for effect. ‘Reckless practice rampant,’ ‘Financial weapons of mass destruction,’ ‘deviant,’ ‘highly leverage,’ ‘loosely monitored,’ etc. It remains to be seen how the bill looks after it gets done later this Summer. The fun is yet to come,” Scott Tangney, Executive Vice President at Makovsky & Company told PRNewser. Makovsky counts Citibank-Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase and Merrill Lynch as clients.

However, the New York speech is of course not the only place the Obama administration is getting out its message. As Dallas Lawrence, chair of the social and digital media practice for Levick Strategic Communications wrote:

For much of the last month, Obama’s digital team has engaged in a paid advertising effort that targets a variety of key search terms–such as “Goldman SEC”–on the leading search engine, and it has integrated that paid SEM initiative with numerous online campaign tactics.

Many of the financial PR executives we’ve spoken with agree that Goldman and other firms need to open up, but the question remains: just how much? “In general, Wall Street will be more focused on showing and telling how it helps Main Street. That been my recommendation for Goldman Sachs all along,” said Tangney.

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