It has definitely been a year of announcements coming from America’s biggest bank, Bank of America. Two announcements in particular seem to stand out to me as I reflect on what I like to call “The Year of Bank of America”. Drum roll please…
Number One: Bank of America announced in early September that they plan to cut 30,000 jobs or 10 percent of their workforce to save 5 billion dollars per year by the end of 2013. Number Two: Bank of America announced in late September that they plan to charge customers 5 dollars a month for debit card usage.
Are you outraged yet? No wonder why the Occupy Wall Street protests have become a huge hit even among some celebrities. This is getting pretty ridiculous. Why were the banks bailed out if their employees or customers aren’t benefiting from those funds? Those are all questions I’m sure the banks can answer in some eloquent verbiage that even the highest educated people won’t understand.
What is even more irritating is that there seems to be no response from Bank of America to the public’s outcry of the job cuts and the hike of debit charges. What happened to the two-way communication PR folks are supposed to have with the community?
I have a checking and savings account with Bank of America and I remember tweeting about their “Keep the Change” program and how I liked it and got an immediate response from their PR people. Not too far down the line, I tweeted to them about my disapproval of the new debit charges and got ZERO response. Why are they so quiet?
In my quest to find a video, ad, response or statement from Bank of America I have yet to do so. Is it really a good tactic on the part of a PR department to stay silent when the company is receiving so much bad press? The Press Room at Bank of America is not addressing any of the current digs taken at the company.
What I have noticed is that there was one new ad that I saw on television but was not able to find it anywhere online. The ad focused on how many and how convenient the Bank of America ATM’s are. Maybe the convenient ATM makes up for the lost of jobs and 5 bucks every month.
Hopefully Bank of America will learn from the Netflix backlash and start making smart and quick decisions. I’m actually contemplating on closing my accounts. As for damage control, Bank of America has yet to start that process… at least publicly anyway.
-Orlando P. Bailey