Businesses close for global climate protests, Facebook’s new ad formats, and major brand communicators offer storytelling lessons

Also: Instagram cracks down on weight-loss ads, Facebook announces new content oversight board, clever protest signs circulate on social media, and more.

Good morning PR pros:

Employees are making headlines around the world as young people are walking off the job to protest climate change.

Some businesses, including Ben & Jerry’s, Lush and Patagonia decided to close on Friday in a show of solidarity with the activists.

Other major companies are promising change, but employees say the changes don’t go far enough. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has promised to follow the Paris climate agreement, but employees say it’s not enough.

How are you talking with your stakeholders about climate issues and corporate social responsibility? A second strike is planned for Friday, Sept. 27.

Here are today’s top stories:

Facebook expands AR and playable ad formats

The social media giant is making three main changes to its digital ad offering.

TechCrunch reported:

First, it says that poll ads (which you may already have seen in Instagram Stories) are moving to the main feed of the Facebook mobile app. Second, the augmented reality ads that Facebook has already been testing are moving into open beta this fall. Third, Facebook is making playable ads available to all advertisers, not just gaming companies.

This means marketers and communicators will have new ways to engage consumers on their channels.

Why you should care: Engagement is the holy grail of social media marketing, and offering an interactive experience to users could be a game changer in establishing sustained connections with online visitors. Communicators must consider how they can use these ad formats to develop connections with their audience as organic reach continues to dwindle on the platform.

Related reading:


MEASURED THOUGHTS

For influencer audiences, disingenuous content is a greater sin than buying fake followers.

According to a new study from Takumi, the top reason people will unfollow an influencer is for disingenuous endorsements, which means marketers must find influencer partners that align with their brand and offerings.

Amazon walks back plan to ax some customer service roles

The company was set to discontinue a program that allowed virtual customer service reps to work as little as four hours a week responding to customers. The plan was to increase hours or end the relationship with the employee, but after complaints arose, the company backtracked, saying, “We think we missed the mark,” according to Business Insider.

Why it matters: When employees feel mistreated, they will go outside your organization to make a fuss and your internal problem can become a PR crisis. By clearly affirming its values and quickly addressing the misunderstanding, Amazon is moving on from a conversation that could have been very nasty.

Related reading:


INDUSTRY BUZZ

Facebook has announced the structure of an oversight board that will help regulate the platform’s content.

The move is an attempt to satisfy critics frustrated by the lack of transparency and sometimes dangerous content that has flourished on Facebook, including the livestreaming of a terrorist attack in New Zealand. By announcing the board and creating a governing structure, Facebook hopes to recapture the user trust that it needs to survive.

(Image via)

Instagram to restrict some products

The social media site says it will keep young users from accessing content promoting controversial items like weight loss supplements and types of cosmetic surgery. The company says the promotion of these products has always been against its rules, but the growth of influencer and celebrity marketing has forced the company to act.

Why you should care: Instagram will probably use artificial intelligence to monitor campaigns and messages, and using the wrong language in your ad could get your content flagged when it shouldn’t be. Make sure you follow best practices and avoid tactics that mimic sleazy weight loss supplement campaigns.

On the other hand, the move is good for the influencer marketing industry as a whole, as it seeks to protect the tactic’s reputation. Regulation is key to enabling the industry can break out as a major marketing tactic.

Related reading:


FROM OUR EXPERTS

Brian Pittman reports from Ragan’s “Brand Storytelling and Content Marketing Conference” at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, about how to put feeling into your storytelling. Read about the insights shared by leaders from Microsoft, The North Face and Lockheed Martin, and check back with us later in the day for his report on Day 2 of the conference.


SOCIAL BUZZ

Many online were sharing their favorite signs from the climate protests around the world, showing that real world messages can pack quite a punch online.

Favorites included references to pop culture, were full of wit and humor, and had a clear, emotional urgency.


WHAT YOU SAID

We asked you to weigh in on the biggest change to the communications role in the last decade, and the overwhelming majority say it’s the rise of social media.

Others say the decline of traditional media and fake news/the death of facts have been big changes as well. Employee activism received the fewest votes, though perhaps employees’ ability to speak out on social media is implicit in the first option.


SOUNDING BOARD

When it comes to climate, how should organizations speak out? What is the best way to participate in the global conversation around climate change?

Share your thoughts with the hashtag #MorningScoop.


(Image via)

PR Daily News Feed

Sign up to receive the latest articles from PR Daily directly in your inbox.

COMMENT