WASHINGTON: Su-Lin Nichols stepped down from her post at JPMorgan Chase Friday to launch a strategic comms firm.
Based in Washington, DC, Nichols’ firm Lafayette Strategies specializes in corporate responsibility and social purpose comms. The firm will also have reputation management services, which go hand-in-hand with philanthropic comms, Nichols said. The firm will work in executive visibility programs, media relations, stakeholder engagement, and strategic partnerships.
"Now more than ever organizations increasingly view it as a business and mission imperative to align their skills, expertise, and philanthropic capital with programs that address major social challenges," Nichols said. "Social purpose comms can have an outside influence on your reputation and visibility of your executives."
The firm, named after a local DC neighborhood, is poised for a March 1 launch with a Fortune 500 private sector client, an environmental nonprofit, and maybe one other nonprofit. Nichols declined to identify her clients.
"I intend to lead all the client work in the beginning but have begun exploring partnerships with other small firms," Nichols added.
A globalized economy and income inequality pose some of the greatest challenges to corporations and nonprofits today, Nichols explained, leading to "a sense across sectors that too many people are not sharing in the benefits of a growing global economy."
Nichols will continue to have a leadership role at Share our Strength, a nonprofit dedicated to ending child hunger in America.
At JPMorgan Chase, Nichols was head of strategic comms for corporate responsibility. She oversaw messaging and strategy for the firm’s global philanthropic initiatives and produced the firm’s Corporate Responsibility report.
"[Nichols] has helped take our communications strategy to the next level," said Peter Scher, chairman of the Washington, DC region and head of global corporate responsibility at JPMorgan Chase. "We will miss her many contributions and wish her every success in this next chapter of her career."
Earlier in her career, Nichols served as director at Brunswick Group, working on reputation management and stakeholder engagement for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PWC, 21st Century Fox, and BP, according to her LinkedIn account. She served on BP’s crisis comms team following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Nichols also co-founded the Brunswick Group’s Women’s Breakfast series.
Nichols oversaw comms for Nightline and This Week at ABC News. She also handled publicity for Ted Koppel, Cokie Roberts, and George Stephanopoulos.