Air Canada lays off 5,100 as Domino’s prepares to hire 10K, Facebook grapples with deleting misinformation, and studios release films early

Also: Josh Gad’s storytelling efforts, an infographic for savvy information consumption, how to pitch during COVID-19, Google Trends data, and more.

Good morning, PR pros:

 Actor Josh Gad has been reading children’s books live on Instagram and Twitter each day at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time in an effort to entertain both children and adults who are staying indoors:

The feel-good effort shows the power of storytelling. How are you reaching out to offer comfort to your audiences?

Here are today’s top stories:

Air Canada lays of 5,100 employees as Domino’s hires 10K

As airlines like Cathay Pacific Airways and Air Canada continue to slash passenger capacity and flights, job cuts continue. Air Canada announced it was temporarily laying off 5,100 of its employees.

However, not all organizations are bracing for job cuts. Organizations focused on delivery are experiencing higher demands as quarantines continue, with Domino’s preparing to hire roughly 10,000 full- and part-time workers.

CNBC reported:

The company is looking for delivery drivers, pizza makers, customer service representatives, managers and licensed truck drivers for its supply chain centers. The need will vary based on individual stores.

“Our corporate and franchise stores want to make sure they’re not only feeding people, but also providing opportunity to those looking for work at this time, especially those in the heavily-impacted restaurant industry,” CEO Ritch Allison said in a statement.

Why it’s important: No matter your organization’s status or continuing strategy, ensure you’re communicating early and often with your employees, focusing on their needs and remaining as transparent as possible.


TACTICALLY SPEAKING

Is it OK to pitch a story that isn’t about COVID-19 to reporters right now? Our VP of editorial, Roula Amire, caught a panel of journalists from outlets like NPR and business trades to see what kinds of stories they are looking in these unusual times.

Here’s what they had to say.


MEASURED THOUGHTS

PRSA and PRSA Health Academy recently created an infographic to help stop the spread of misinformation during the pandemic, and it’s “1,2,3” outline can be a helpful way to organize your crisis communications:

Infographic courtesy of PRSA and PRSA Health Academy.

Now more than ever, it’s crucial for communicators to practice savvy news consumption practices and help employees and consumers do the same. You can also increase stakeholder trust and strengthen your reputation by integrating these best practices, along with being as transparent, authentic and timely as possible with your messages.

Facebook struggles to delete false information

The social media platform’s automatic system to remove spam and misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak has also been removing news stories and factual content. The content is usually restored by Facebook, but that hasn’t stopped users from turning to other platforms like Twitter to complain.

The platform is also grappling with taking down ads for face masks, which it promised to forbid starting March 6.

 CNN Business reported:

Rob Leathern, the director of product management at Facebook who is responsible for the advertisements team, appeared to acknowledge Wednesday night that Facebook’s systems still need improvement.

“We have been preparing for more automation catching these ads, but it is not there yet,” Leathern said when asked on Twitter by CNN Business why an advertisement for an “N95 Face Mask” was served to one user.

Why it matters: Automatic systems can be incredibly convenient, but they have shortcomings. If you’re automating your efforts in any way, including posting to your social media accounts, don’t forget to check those systems to ensure that your messages are going out as planned and you’re responding to your followers’ questions and concerns.


FROM THE EXPERTS

The fundamentals of good PR are more crucial than ever for dealing with the current crisis. That’s the main takeaway from PRSA Chair Garland Stansell who spoke with PR Daily Editor Ted Kitterman.

See his full remarks here.

Disney, Universal and more release films digitally

The Walt Disney Co. has released “Frozen 2” on its streaming platform, Disney+, three months early, and starting today, Universal Studios is releasing on digital platforms its films that are still in theaters, including “The Invisible Man,” “Emma,” Trolls World Tour” and “The Hunt.”

Other studios including Lionsgate and Warner Bros. are following suit by releasing films including “The Way Back,” “I Still Believe” and more to digital on-demand platforms early. TV Guide compiled a list of releases.

 Why you should care: Many organizations are being forced to pivot as the crisis grows, which means finding new ways of offering value to target audiences. Think about how you can provide your offerings differently to accommodate those working from home and staying inside. Be flexible in both your business continuity plans and in your communications.


TACTICALLY SPEAKING

 Google Trends has created a COVID-19 hub that displays a list of searches and trending queries from U.S. users:

Image courtesy of Google Trends.

 

The tool can help you keep on top of news and updates that might affect your crisis communications efforts and could also help you create content that caters to your audiences’ current questions and needs.


WHAT YOU SAID

 We asked what information you’re looking for to help with your crisis communications, and more than half of you (51%) said crisis communications takeways are the most helpful, followed by news and updates (18%), tips for employee communications efforts (15%) and tools to work remotely (15%).

Ragan Communcations will be launching a new daily newsletter called “Ragan’s Crisis Communications Daily” to offer the best tips and takeaways for communicators in this crisis next week. Be sure to check back with us for this new must-read.


SOUNDING BOARD

 What has become your go-to channel as you relay important information and updates in your crisis communications plan?

Weigh in via our Twitter poll and share your tips and challenges under our new hashtag #DailyScoop.

COMMENT

One Response to “Air Canada lays off 5,100 as Domino’s prepares to hire 10K, Facebook grapples with deleting misinformation, and studios release films early”

    Ronald N. Levy says:

    Notice not just what these companies are announcing that is obvious, but also what they are NOT announcing and how Beki Winchel’s PR wisdom can help you to do do better than this.

    First the obvious: Air Canada is laying off 5,100, Domino’s will hire 10,000, Facebook is deleting misinformation (which although this isn’t said may save Facebook hundreds of millions in lawsuit damages and punitive regulation) and four top movie studios are releasing films early.

    Now look at what ISN’T said. Although the stock market has tumbled bigtime and is tumbling still more today, not one of these companies although staffed with savvy PR leaders is announcing what it is DOING so that when the market turns positive—as all declining markets eventually do—these companies will be positioned to zoom!

    You can probably imagine as well as I can, maybe better, several things each company can consider doing now so as to be well prepared for later. Are top C-suite and PR executives not meeting every day and talking about ways to grow in sales and earnings? So why not announce not what each company WILL do which is not yet decided but exciting possibilities on what it MAY do?

    Execs talk about this repeatedly when they riseth up and when they lyeth down, when they eateth tax-deductible lunches and drinketh beverages that soothe and rejuvenate.

    What the execs MAY do to grow is news. So why not USE the news to increase public awareness that when things turn around, sales and earnings may make make an upwards turn that is delightful!

    Wisely Beki Winchel counsels: “Why you should care. Many organizations are being forced to pivot as the crisis grows, which means finding new ways of offering value to target audiences.”

    So okay! Stockholders and employees are certainly target audiences. So what exciting ideas, even if far out, is each company considering? Not what it WILL do but what it is considering and MAY do, just as car companies keep designing ideas for a “car of the future.” It may not get built but the ingenuity of such fresh ideas inspires many and may get investors and employees to think “this is one hell of an ingenious management!”

    Notice how Winchel’s colleagues at PR Daily and Ragan are not just talking about a successful pivot but DOING it. As new realities make mutually profitable courses less practical for educators and students, the educational executive team is pivoting to offer appealing courses online. Could Air Canada, Domino’s, Facebook and the others not also pivot?

    “If you can’t be with the one you love,” it has been said, “love the one you are with.” If you can’t focus public attention on an appealing business situation now, how about focusing on the future? There is PR wisdom in Beki Winchel’s report of what today is necessary: “finding new ways of offering value to target audiences.” It’s what successful PR is about.

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