Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Josh Boyd

Committee Chair

Josh Boyd

Committee Member 1

Stacey Connaughton

Committee Member 2

Hyunyi Cho


The practice of financial public relations is widespread in the field of public relations, but there is little research concerning the practice of financial public relations. In response to the call for additional research on financial public relations, this paper will examine the intersections of financial public relations, issue management, and organizational communication. Specifically, this project will explore how contemporary issue management requires companies to maintain their actional and institutional legitimacy. ^ Following the Financial Crisis of 2008, major banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo attempted to rebuild stakeholder and shareholder trust in the American financial system. Financial public relations played a key role in rebuilding this trust. Through a rhetorical analysis of the use of strategic communication by JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, a number of conclusions can be drawn about the practice of issue management and financial public relations. Specifically, this paper found that legitimacy is of importance in post-crisis corporate communication. How JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo responded to questions raised about their actional and institutional legitimacy impacted their press coverage and organizational discourse. This underscores the importance of careful communication in managing shareholder and stakeholder concerns and rebuilding public trust in their corporations.