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Wells Fargo Circles the Wagons: Communicating during a Crisis
West, June A.; Craddock, Jenny Case BC-0263 / Published July 12, 2017 / 22 pages.
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Product Overview

In October 2016, Timothy Sloan, the newly appointed CEO of American banking giant Wells Fargo, faced a massive public-relations crisis. A few weeks earlier, a United States government agency had announced the results of its regulatory review of the bank and exposed a shocking practice common in the retail division, in which aggressive community bankers had created more than a million fraudulent accounts and credit card applications on behalf of unaware customers for the past several years. Over the next few weeks, the bank?and Sloan's predecessor, John Stumpf, in particular?suffered from harsh criticism from politicians, journalists, and former employees alike, ultimately forcing Stumpf's resignation. As Sloan sought to minimize the public-image backlash and restore general trust in Wells Fargo, he struggled to construct the best communication strategy for the bank's next chapter.

Learning Objectives

- Reveal the impact of words and communications on business - Introduce the utility of an effective communication strategy in a time of crisis - Expose the ways messages can be adapted to suit different audiences and desired results - Introduce the importance of aligning an organization's communications with its overall strategy

  • Overview

    In October 2016, Timothy Sloan, the newly appointed CEO of American banking giant Wells Fargo, faced a massive public-relations crisis. A few weeks earlier, a United States government agency had announced the results of its regulatory review of the bank and exposed a shocking practice common in the retail division, in which aggressive community bankers had created more than a million fraudulent accounts and credit card applications on behalf of unaware customers for the past several years. Over the next few weeks, the bank?and Sloan's predecessor, John Stumpf, in particular?suffered from harsh criticism from politicians, journalists, and former employees alike, ultimately forcing Stumpf's resignation. As Sloan sought to minimize the public-image backlash and restore general trust in Wells Fargo, he struggled to construct the best communication strategy for the bank's next chapter.

  • Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    - Reveal the impact of words and communications on business - Introduce the utility of an effective communication strategy in a time of crisis - Expose the ways messages can be adapted to suit different audiences and desired results - Introduce the importance of aligning an organization's communications with its overall strategy