Boyd Gaming lays off 2,500 employees, Apple asks retail employees to WFH, and earned media drives 88% of consumers to websites

Also: TSA and other organizations jump on #NationalTapeMeasureDay, Johnnie Walker will come in paper bottles, Hostess solicits brownie names, and more.

Hello, communicators:

Though many brand managers took part in #NationalFrenchFryDay on Monday, fewer seem to be taking advantage of #NationalTapeMeasureDay.

Not to be discouraged, TSA jumped at the opportunity to highlight its social distancing efforts:

Fabricland in Ontario, Canada also mentioned social distancing, but in an effort to inspire consumers to buy its tape measures:

The Winter Park Police Department in Florida tweeted about #NationalTapeMeasureDay and social distancing in a more cheeky tweet:

All three tweets showcase different (and simple) ways you can take advantage of a national “holiday” to spread awareness, promote your products and services or capture attention and engagement.

How are you participating in holidays online, especially during COVID-19? Share your thoughts under the #DailyScoop hashtag.

Here are today’s top stories:

Boyd Gaming lays off 2,500 employees

The company, which owns and operates 10 casinos in Las Vegas, announced job cuts affecting at least 25% of its workforce—or roughly 2,500 employees. Additional layoffs might also come, depending on the success of the casinos’ re-opening efforts.

NBC 3 News Las Vegas reported:

In the [Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act] letter, filed with the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, the company said that it could permanently layoff 25 percent to 60 percent of its workforce.

“While we have been able to reopen most of our properties since that time, we are still facing significant restrictions on our business, and visitation levels remain well below pre-pandemic levels,” the company said in a statement.

Why it’s important: Don’t stop at meeting legal standards for notifying employees about furloughs and layoffs. Instead, communicate regularly and transparently with your workforce, so they can prepare for what’s coming. Doing so can increase both trust from your team as well as overall brand reputation.


TACTICALLY SPEAKING

Johnnie Walker will have a new look in 2021 as its parent company, Diageo, tests paper bottles for the 200-year-old whisky brand.

CNBC reported:

The bottle’s development is the product of a collaboration between the drinks giant and venture management firm Pilot Lite, which in turn led to the development of a business called Pulpex Limited.

… In addition to bottles for Diageo, Pulpex has set up a “partner consortium” of fast-moving consumer goods, or FMCG, businesses. This includes PepsiCo and Unilever, who are also set to release their own products using the paper bottle technology next year.

Though some brands, including The Coca-Cola Company, aren’t completely getting rid of single-use plastic bottles due to consumer demand, many organizations are testing or implementing more environmentally friendly packaging.

In the throes of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter, many initiatives have taken a backseat to more urgent and emerging crises. However, that doesn’t mean climate change isn’t still an issue—nor should that mean abandoning your sustainability efforts.


MEASURED THOUGHTS

Bospar recently published findings from its PR & Marketing in The New Normal study, which revealed that 88% of consumers in the United States said PR storytelling placements drive them to visit organizations’ websites.

It doesn’t take that long to reap the benefits of storytelling within media relations efforts, either.

Bospar wrote in a blog post:

Nearly one in five Americans (19%) said they only needed to see a story once before being driven to visit. And nearly a quarter (23%) said they needed to see the company in the news twice before visiting. By the time a company has appeared 10 times in news 85% of Americans say they would visit the company’s website.

The majority of consumers surveyed (92%) also said they’d potentially purchase a product due to a story placement.


CRISIS LEADERSHIP BOARD

Looking for more insight on how to address the current global crisis and lead your organization into a strong recovery?

via GIPHY

Join Ragan’s Crisis Leadership Board to network and brainstorm with peers, get the latest intelligence and research, and start to strategize for the future of your organization.

Learn more about this exclusive membership here.

Apple persuades retail employees to WFH

The retailer is asking its retail employees who work for locations which closed again amid COVID-19 to work from home in a virtual customer service program. The closings affect more than 90 stores.

Gizmodo reported:

Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and people, told workers in a video over the weekend that “If your store is closed, please sign up for Retail at Home,” according to Bloomberg. She added, “… Please talk to your manager, because we really need to make sure that we shift our teams to greet our customers remotely in this time. We may need to be working remotely for some period of time.”

Why it’s important: Many organizations are grappling with re-opening plans and phases—and with COVID-19 cases spiking again in the U.S., many brick-and-mortar stores are either re-closing or highlighting e-commerce options. Events are also continuing to be hit: The 2020 Chicago Marathon announced its cancelation, and PRSA is moving its International Conference (ICON 2020) to a virtual conference.

No matter your organization or workforce, help your employees and partners prepare for continued remote working. That can come in the form of stipends for office supplies or virtual training and development opportunities.


TAKE OUR SURVEY

Ragan has partnered with PoliteMail to ask how COVID-19 has affected your role as a communicator, including what channels you’re using more than ever before and what your organization’s employees are asking.

Please take our survey here.

As a thank you, you’ll receive a copy of the results, The State of Communication Summer 2020.

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SOCIAL BUZZ

Hostess is asking consumers to vote on a new name for its brownie:

The moniker finalists include “Chipper,” “General Delicious,” “Q.T. Square,” “Sweetie” and “Little Buddy,” with the winner to be announced on Aug. 1.

Though asking for name suggestions and voting on the most popular title has given several organizations more than they bargained for (such as “Boaty McBoatFace,” “Ferry McFerryFace” and “Trainy McTrainFace,”) Hostess seems to have vetted the finalist entries to ensure all are appropriate to the product and brand.

However, asking for consumers’ opinions can still sharply turn the conversation into territory you’d like not to venture. Use this tactic with caution, and be prepared for feedback, even when you don’t solicit any—as is the case with the National Football League’s Washington D.C. team, which announced a new name and logo is coming soon.


WHAT YOU SAID

We asked if you complete tasks or respond to emails on the weekends as you work from home, and nearly 37% of you said you only jump in when it’s urgent. Roughly 32% said you sometimes work on the weekends, while 23% said you regularly are finishing projects during that time. Less than 8% of you said you shut off your notifications.


SOUNDING BOARD

Are you measuring your employee engagement efforts, especially during COVID-19?

Share how you’re keeping your fingers on the pulse of internal and employee communications below and under the #DailyScoop hashtag.

COMMENT

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