Also: NYC announces free mega concert, Twitter launches shopping feature and Adobe gives college kids free access to analytics platform.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has unveiled the details of a massive concert taking place in Central Park on August 21 that is intended to celebrate the city’s reopening. The stacked lineup for “WE LOVE NYC: The Homecoming Concert” features Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Patti Smith, Jennifer Hudson, LL Cool J, Earth, Wind and Fire, Wyclef Jean, Journey, Barry Manilow and many more.
Though tickets to the celebration are free, proof of vaccination is required for entry.
Courtesy of NYC
“This is going to be an historic, monumental moment for all New Yorkers and all Americans,” Mayor de Blasio said in a press release. “I’ll put it plainly: You’re going to want to be here. This is a celebration of our city, of every working family who faced incredible challenges last year and overcame. This is a celebration for you.”
Some online seemed dubious of the concert’s plan to require vaccinations for entry and questioned the timing of the announcement:
New York City will cram tens of thousands into Central Park for a concert August 21. “Proof” of vaccination required. Masks optional.
Covid cases are rising rapidly in the city (Delta).
About 41% of the city is unvaccinated.
What could go wrong.
— John Bussey (@johncbussey) July 27, 2021
@JcsCommentary @CountdownEnded @TheBradRules1 @DominicTV @LidiaNews @LionelMedia
Deblasio expects 60k for this concert.
Wtf? I thought he was concerned about Covid.
Look at these older artist(they are great, but come on).https://t.co/OngWNgr7nO
— Bernard Scott (@bernardscott3) July 28, 2021
The decision to publish this press release and highlight the massive event the day after the CDC changed its mask guidelines to acknowledge the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant serves as a reminder that even a planned announcement can—and should—be delayed to reflect the latest developments in your crisis response.
Olympic athletes highlight their experiences on TikTok
Multiple Olympic athletes have embraced TikTok as a tool for connecting with their audiences in the absence of physical spectators at this year’s games using hashtags like #olympictiktok, #tokyo2020 and #tokyoolympics.
Team USA Rugby players Cody Melphy and Team USA Track & Field player Raven Saunders have used the platform to offer a behind-the-scenes peek of the Olympic Village:
@codymelphyOlympic Village insider edition ? #tokyo2020 #olympics #teamusa #olympicvillage
♬ Paradise – Bazzi
@ravenhulksaundersBreakfast review Olympic Village style #olympics #food #review #tokyoolympics #breakfast #fypシ #eat #foryoupage
♬ RIP – Croosh
Team USA Rugby player Ilona Maher, meanwhile, has brought attention to the Village’s highly controversial “cardboard beds”:
@ilonamaherTesting out the cardboard beds at the Olympic Village #beastbeautybrains #olympics #cardboardbeds #tokyoolympics #usarugby #japan #athletes #rugger
♬ original sound – Ilona Maher
Why it matters:
The massive response that these videos are receiving serve as a reminder that audience and fan engagement can take many forms on social media. While the type of content your brand or organization offers audiences should vary from platform to platform, giving a behind-the-scenes look of your organization can offer transparency that promotes conversation and builds a level genuine, organic engagement that is tough to replicate.
A recent study by Morning Consult found that 86% of those surveyed believe protecting customer’s data privacy and security is a top driver of trust for consumers looking to shop online, equally as important as whether the business is reliable or dependable, or a good value for the price. Respondents rated data privacy and security above whether the brand has good customer service or even if they make good products.
“As the retail industry emerges from the past year and a half with no deterioration in consumer trust, it’s clear retailers stepped up to the plate quickly and efficiently during an uncertain time,” Morning Consult head of industry intelligence Joanna Piacenza told PR Daily. But with rapid acceleration of e-commerce during the pandemic, customer’s increasing concerns over privacy and security remain top issues for communicators and marketers alike.
The role privacy and data security plays in driving consumer trust in e-commerce brands is top of mind as Twitter has taken a massive leap into e-commerce with the launch of its “Shop Module,” a new feature that allows users to buy products directly from a brand’s Twitter profile:
Come to Twitter to Tweet, follow along with live events, and now…to shop.
We’re testing Shop Module on iOS. Get the products you want from the places you love –– right from a brand’s profile. pic.twitter.com/2ZS8v7NIWs
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 28, 2021
Twitter revenue product lead Bruce Falk explained that the feature builds on Twitter’s launch of professional profiles earlier in the year:
Why did we do this? At our Analyst Day in February, we talked about our strategy to make our revenue more #durable ? This is a big step forward for us on that journey that builds on our Professional Profiles launch earlier this year (4/8) https://t.co/LK8vWNGIAW
— bruce.falck() ? (@boo) July 28, 2021
He also teased that next phase in Twitter’s ecommerce plan would involve establishing a Merchant Advisory Board:
Later this year, we plan to establish a Merchant Advisory Board to build deeper partnerships with businesses and make sure our products meet their needs ? (6/8)
— bruce.falck() ? (@boo) July 28, 2021
While data and privacy remain top drivers of trust for online shoppers, it’s worth noting that Twitter’s initial launch of its Shop Module contains no language about how consumer data will be exchanged, collected or anonymized as it passes from Twitter to the merchant and to the merchant’s payment partner. Especially in light of Twitter’s past gaffe with PayPal over its Tip Jar integration, remember that it’s crucial for you and your marketing team to ask e-commerce companies how they are considering user privacy and ethical data collection from the outset of a new feature launch.
TAKE OUR SURVEY
The Institute for Public Relations, Ragan Communications, and the University of Florida are conducting a follow-up survey to their 2020 report, “The Career Path of a Social Media Professional.”
This year’s survey investigates and illuminates the career path potential of social media professionals, shedding light on how social media is being managed, viewed and evaluated within organizations. Here are some highlights from our 2020 report.
We invite you to take this survey whether you’re in charge of social media for your company or are involved in some aspect of social media for a client. The survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete, and all responses will remain confidential.
As thanks for taking the survey, you’ll get an opportunity to enter a drawing for three $50 gift cards and will receive a copy of the full report, which promises to be chock-full of valuable data for benchmarking and budgeting purposes. The report will be presented on Sept. 9, 2021 at Ragan’s Social Media Conference in Orlando, Florida and published through IPR and PR Daily.
Take the survey today!
Adobe plans to offer college and university students free access to its Adobe Analytics platform, an extension of its Creative Campus program that provided students access to Adobe Creative Cloud for the classroom. The program also includes a curriculum focused on the fundamentals of data collection, data strategy and architecture, standard metrics and functionality, and analysis workspace fundamentals.
Professors from institutions including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Utah and University of Michigan partnered with Adobe to develop the curriculum, helping shape the program to ensure it is easy to implement among any college or university.
“The pandemic reshaped economies and exposed consumers to a digital-only reality, pushing organizations to transform themselves on a dime and seek new types of talent,” said Neeraj Arora, professor of marketing, University of Wisconsin-Madison. “The digital skills that students can acquire through Adobe’s program will greatly help them succeed in career fields such as marketing.”
Adobe’s new campaign echoes Walmart’s recent decision to provide free college tuition and books to all employees. In both cases, the brands have leaned into their values and produced strong promotions as an opportunity to highlight larger societal issues that they are able to help solve with their resources. In Adobe’s case, partnering with educators to highlight the need for stronger data literacy is a move that should resonate.
RAGAN’S 2021 BENCHMARK REPORT
Ragan has released its annual Communications Benchmark Report, an exclusive study from Ragan’s Communications Leadership Council that analyzes the major trends in the profession over the last year.
During that time, comms pros have been called on to develop and distribute messages on new policies that affect internal and external stakeholders alike. Their role has become more essential as they helped keep their organizations focused and moving forward. They’ve seen their access to the C-suite increase throughout 2020, and they forged important new alliances with peers in other departments, including HR, finance and workplace wellness.
Culled from more than 750 respondents, the 32-page report is available in its entirety exclusively to members of the Communications Leadership Council.
Download your copy of the exclusive Benchmark Survey Executive Summary today and get a crucial competitive advantage that will fuel your success for 2021 and beyond.
Activision Blizzard CEO apologizes to employees for ‘tone deaf’ lawsuit response
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick shared a letter with employees that apologizes for how the company responded to a recent lawsuit alleging multiple instances of sexual harassment and discrimination at the company.
“Our initial responses to the issues we face together, and to your concerns, were, quite frankly, tone deaf,” Kotick said in the letter. “It is imperative that we acknowledge all perspectives and experiences and respect the feelings of those who have been mistreated in any way. I am sorry that we did not provide the right empathy and understanding.”
Kotick promised “swift action” and “long-lasting change” at Activision Blizzard, starting with a review of the company’s policies and procedures by an outside firm, and to “promote a respectful and inclusive workplace.”
The company’s official response to the lawsuits was criticized by the vast majority of employees, who staged a walkout on Wednesday to protest. Employees also drafted an open letter to the company’s leadership that criticized its defensive dismissal of the lawsuit’s claims.
To the Leaders of Activision Blizzard,
We, the undersigned, agree that the statements from Activision Blizzard, Inc. and their legal counsel regarding the DFEH lawsuit, as well as the subsequent internal statement from Frances Townsend, are abhorrent and insulting to all that we believe our company should stand for. To put it clearly and unequivocally, our values as employees are not accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership.
What it means:
Every piece of Activision Blizzard’s internal communication regarding this lawsuit has been shared publicly, emphasizing how quickly the lines between internal and external comms can blur. The way employees’ denounced the harmful rhetoric of the company’s initial statement, meanwhile, serves as a reminder that the words you use matter. CEO Kotick’s response also underscores the fact that turning your company’s past failings into cornerstone opportunities doesn’t stop with reforming your internal culture, but also taking a hard look at the products you release.
WHAT YOU SAID
Yesterday we asked if, considering the new CDC guidelines recommending wearing masks indoors, you have discussed revising your business’ policies with leadership. A majority (46%) of you said yes, while 27% said that you plan to soon and another 27% said that policies won’t change because of the new guidelines.
In light of the new CDC guidelines recommending wearing masks indoors, have you discussed revising your business' policies with leadership, PR pros and communicators? #DailyScoop
— PR Daily (@PRDaily) July 28, 2021
Is there a question you’d like to see asked? Let us know by tagging it with #DailyScoop!
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