"Do You Thank the Taxpayer for Your Bailout?"
In the wake of billion dollar bailouts of both banks and other private industries, many institutions are faced with the problem of how to fix their negative images with the public. ReliantShare is a bank which received $5 billion in federal funding. CEO Ben Marshall, under pressure from unrelenting media, is trying to decide how to best handle a public relations nightmare. He feels that some of the media coverage presents an inflammatory and biased view of ReliantShare's spending. For example, the company, prerecession, purchased and upgraded a $2 million home in Connecticut for retreats and business meetings. The media portrayed this purchase as irresponsible, whereas the company saw it as a way to save significant amounts of money on hotels and travel costs. During a meeting of his team at the aforementioned retreat house in Connecticut, Marshall gathers information and opposing viewpoints about how to best handle the bank's public relations. Ammon Rodriguez is the bank's chief customer officer. She feels strongly that the bank should put forth a thank-you campaign that would show humility and acknowledge the "investment" the public has made in ReliantShare. The bank's CFO, Vernon Scott, could not disagree more. He feels that spending any money on a campaign such as this would be irresponsible and attract more negative attention from the media. He also feels that talking about the bailout will only remind the public about it. Scott believes the only direction the bank should be heading is forward and that looking with optimism toward the future is the only way to go. To further complicate matters, the bank is being extremely conservative with its funds so as to avoid future bailouts. What this means in reality is that the public is seeing little of this money in the form of loans. Marshall must convince the public that he is using the money as responsibly as possible without alienating those in need...
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