Good morning, PR pros:
KFC kindled the holiday spirit by offering “11 Herbs & Spices Firelogs” through Walmart.com. The logs emit a fried-chicken scent:
— KFC (@kfc) December 5, 2019
The logs were such a hot commodity that they sold out within a few days:
Sadly, our 11 Herbs & Spices Firelogs have SOLD OUT, but you can still have a chicken-scented holiday with a bucket of the Colonel’s Kentucky Fried Chicken! pic.twitter.com/i3L2zZAIAE
— KFC (@kfc) December 7, 2019
How is your organization showing its festivity? Share your thoughts under the #MorningScoop hashtag.
Here are today’s top stories:
Away chief resigns after toxic work culture exposed
The company’s co-founder and former chief executive, Steph Korey, has been under fire after The Verge published an article detailing her management style, which included forcing employees to work 16-hour days, skip vacations and talk to colleagues only in public Slack channels (in which Korey would berate their missteps).
Korey tweeted the following mea culpa:
Making things right at Away pic.twitter.com/QPlRlk4pLR
— Steph Korey (@stephkorey) December 6, 2019
However, her promises that Away “invested in creating a culture that allows our people to thrive” was quickly seen as a hollow statement after screenshots surfaced of the company instructing employees not to respond to The Verge’s article:
— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) December 6, 2019
On Monday, Away announced that Korey is stepping down as CEO and will become the company’s executive chairman of the board. Stuart Haseldon, Lululemon’s chief operating officer, will assume the chief executive role after Jan. 10.
Why it matters: Though internal communications are meant for employees’ eyes, those messages could wind up in external channels. Don’t say something you aren’t comfortable having appear in headlines. Also recognize that your workforce culture isn’t just a nice thing to have. Instead, it can be the information that compels or curtails consumer purchases.
FROM THE EXPERTS
A new study by Airtasker finds remote workers can be more productive and less stressed.
Bospar PR recently published a survey conducted by Propeller Insights, which listed people’s top PR winners and losers of the year.
Public figures chosen as 2019’s PR winners included several politicians as well as artist Taylor Swift, athletes Lebron James and Stephen Curry, and Tesla co-founder and chief Elon Musk:
- President Donald Trump: 21.9%
- Former first lady Michelle Obama: 7.6%
- Former President Barack Obama: 6.6%
- Taylor Swift: 5.3%
- Lebron James: 5%
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: 4.8%
- Elon Musk: 4.7%
- Elizabeth Warren: 4%
- Bernie Sanders: 3.9%
- Stephen Curry: 3.9%
Though Trump topped the list for PR wins in 2019, even more survey respondents placed him at the top of the PR losers list (32% vs. 21.9%). A few other politicians, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former President Barack Obama, also made both lists:
- President Donald Trump: 32%
- Former first lady Hillary Clinton: 9%
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: 5.8%
- Mark Zuckerberg: 5.7%
- First lady Melania Trump: 3.7%
- Colin Kaepernick: 3.7%
- Former McDonald’s chief executive Steve Easterbrook: 3.3%
- Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh: 3.3%
- Adam Schiff: 3%
- Former President Barack Obama: 2.6%
Whom would you add to either list of PR winners or losers?
Morgan Stanley to cut 1,500 jobs
The layoffs represent roughly 2% of the company’s workforce due to an “uncertain global economic outlook,” an unnamed source told CNBC. The job cuts come despite Morgan Stanley’s $10.1 billion in revenue during this year’s third quarter, beating analysts’ estimates and reporting a profit. During its reporting, chief executive James Gorman said, “We remain committed to controlling our expenses.” Morgan Stanley has not commented.
Why you should care: Morgan Stanley will probably not be the only financial institution forced to make tough decisions to cut costs and remain profitable. Externally the company is staying silent, but hopefully its internal communications team gave the workforce a heads-up. A headline in a news media outlet is the worst way for employees to discover disquieting news—especially during the holiday season.
Twitter has been buzzing about Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan’s “Comedian” piece that sold for $120,000 at the Art Basel exhibition in Miami Beach, Florida. The artwork? A ripe banana duct-taped to the wall.
Community managers from Burger King France, PepsiCo, Popeyes Chicken and Kum & Go couldn’t resist tweeting their own masterpieces:
N’avalez pas n’importe quoi. pic.twitter.com/3ao767nsaa
— Burger King France (@BurgerKingFR) December 8, 2019
Reply with your best offer. pic.twitter.com/djaZa3Qwzm
— Pepsi (@pepsi) December 6, 2019
Toasted brioche bun, two pickles, fried chicken, mayo, duct tape on canvas. $120,003.99 🤩 🎨 pic.twitter.com/xzpc7Jttsk
— Popeyes Chicken (@PopeyesChicken) December 7, 2019
ampersand doughnut with duct tape  pic.twitter.com/vRpGyiugTN
— Kum & Go (@kumandgo) December 8, 2019
The posts show that humor is an easy way to showcase your products online without resorting to an advertisement. If you take this route, leave out the marketing messages. Instead, focus on having fun with your followers.
WHAT YOU SAID
We asked when you think brands should speak out about sociopolitical issues, especially as today’s consumers want organizations to take stands, though doing so poses risks. A plurality (42%) said organizations should speak out on issues that relate to their customer base and 39% said you should speak out on issues that affect your brand. Nine percent think organizations should remain silent—and the same amount argue for the opposite tack.
Today’s consumers want brands they favor to speak out about sociopolitical issues, but such stands have inherent risks.
When should a company become vocal on potentially divisive subjects (and how much)?
Share insights and examples you love under #MorningScoop.
— PR Daily (@PRDaily) December 9, 2019
What top perk would entice you to consider switching jobs?
What is the No. 1 perk that would make you’d consider switching jobs? (Besides “all the snacks,” that is.)
Weigh in below for our upcoming #MorningScoop.
— PR Daily (@PRDaily) December 10, 2019
Share your thoughts under the hashtag #MorningScoop.
(Image via Twitter)