93% of reporters visit online newsrooms, Ford’s sly emoji pitch, and FaceApp defends privacy

Also: The case for refreshing the Barcelona Principles, Oscar Mayer offers a stay in its Wienermobile, and Instagram hides ‘likes.’

Good morning, PR pros:

Oscar Mayer turned to Airbnb for a quirky way to celebrate National Hot Dog Day.

On July 24, the Kraft Heinz brand will offer fans the chance to book a night in the Wienermobile on Aug. 1, 2 or 3. The listing, which costs $136 for the selected entrant, includes a night in Chicago, a mini-fridge stocked with Oscar Mayer hot dogs, a roller grill to take home, and a decorated area outside the iconic vehicle to stretch out and enjoy “all the Chicago-style hot dog essentials.”

No word on whether the “essentials” include ketchupChicago Dog Sauce,” but Oscar Mayer maintains that a hot dog is a sandwich.

Oscar Mayer and Airbnb will collectively donate $5,000 to Rise Against Hunger, as well. A side order of benevolence makes for an especially palatable promotion.

Here are today’s top stories:

Ford sneaks in emoji proposal

Ford outshone other World Emoji Day marketing efforts by revealing it was behind the upcoming pickup-truck emoji, slated to arrive in June 2020. The unveiling was a surprise, because its proposal was submitted by Nathan Maggio, a former creative director at Blue State.

It contained no mention (or logo) of Ford, much less a disclosure.

Why it matters: Be transparent about your efforts. Jennifer 8. Lee, vice chair of the Unicode Consortium’s emoji subcommittee, told The Atlantic that although the proposal was good, the partnership “probably should have been disclosed” and “transparency would be nice.”

Related reading:


The Barcelona Principles provide a framework for PR pros to effectively measure their efforts. Though the principles were already revisited in 2015, PR Daily editor Ted Kitterman explains why several communicators—including the principles’ original lead author—say it’s time for another refresher.

Instagram expands its hiding of ‘likes’

In a move aligned with the social media platform’s recent effort to decrease online bullying, Instagram announced that it has expanded hiding the number of “likes” and video views that individual posts receive. Users in New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Ireland, Canada, Brazil and Japan are testing the feature.

The move is meant to decrease pressure leading many to question the effect that social media is having on users, especially younger people, but reactions have been mixed.

Why you should care: The change won’t affect analytics for Instagram influencers or brand managers: All engagement metrics, including “likes,” will still show. Still, take this moment to reflect on other indicators of success beyond the number of “likes” or shares your branded post received.

Related reading:


TekGroup’s Online Newsroom Survey reveals that 93% of journalists frequently visit organizations’ newsrooms, with 29% checking in daily. It’s not just for Fortune 500 companies, either: The majority (79%) of reporters say they visit the newsrooms of large and small to mid-size organizations.

FaceApp defends privacy record

An app that uses AI to edit users’ selfies has gone viral again, prompting a rash of privacy concerns and an official response from the company. Many are concerned about FaceApp’s Russian ties (its research and development team is located there), and others are criticizing the permissions that the app requests and its access into users’ photos and other data.

In an official statement, FaceApp said it doesn’t “sell or share any user data with any third parties” and that users can ask to have their data removed from the company’s servers.

Why you should care: Most communicators are sitting on a big pile of consumer data to guide targeting and messaging efforts. Take extra precautions to ensure that data is secure, and be transparent about how you are using it.  Make sure your crisis response plans include a section on data breaches.

Related reading:


How prepared is your organization for a security breach?

Tell us in our poll below, and share your thoughts under the hashtag #MorningScoop.

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