PepsiCo is creating a new “Cocoa” flavor, which it will debut next year. To build buzz for the beverage ahead of time, the company’s social media team asked Twitter followers to retweet the news at least 2,021 times:
What’s sweeter than saying “bye” to the worst year ever? Pepsi “Cocoa” Cola – the latest concept from the Pepsi Test Kitchen.
— Pepsi (@pepsi) December 17, 2020
The number was hit within a few hours and the tweet has amassed more than 4,100 retweets at time of publishing:
Well, it looks like you’re all pretty thirsty for some Pepsi “Cocoa” Cola. Stay tuned for details coming in 2021!
— Pepsi (@pepsi) December 17, 2020
Building off that momentum, Pepsi’s team is continuing to tweet “hot takes and cold Pepsi” (or so it says in its Twitter bio).
This year had big “take a bath with an entire pizza” energy and honestly? Here for it.
— Pepsi (@pepsi) December 17, 2020
Here are today’s top stories:
Coca-Cola cuts 2,200 jobs
The beverage company’s layoffs will affect 1,200 in the United States—roughly 12% of its workforce—with 500 jobs eliminated at Coke’s Atlanta headquarters. The job cuts are a mix of voluntary buyouts and job cuts, racking up $350 million to $550 million in severance costs.
The company announced plans to trim its workforce over the summer, when it said that it was offering buyouts to 4,000 workers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
It also said then that it plans to reduce its number of operating units from 17 businesses in four regions to nine operating units in those areas. Coca-Cola did not share on Thursday which specific units would be affected.
The coronavirus pandemic has hammered Coke’s business, as sales at places like stadiums and movie theaters dried up due to lockdowns. Its revenue fell 9% year-on-year to $8.7 billion between July and September.
Why it’s important: It’s crucial for corporate, internal, executive and employee communicators to consistently share information and updates with the members of their workforce, so that if layoffs and realignments must happen, employees are warned ahead of news headlines and supported as much as possible as they prepare for next steps. Both your employees as well as consumers are watching to see how brands handle communicating tough business decisions, which will affect reputation and brand image.
In an effort to grab positive press, the National Football League is working on plans to invite frontline health care workers who have received the COVID-19 vaccine to Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7, 2021.
In a memo to Rob Higgins, president of the Super Bowl host committee in Tampa, Florida, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the organization is “discussing with public health officials” how to complete the effort “in a safe and responsible way”:
Earlier today, Commissioner Roger Goodell sent this letter to Rob Higgins, President of the Tampa Super Bowl Host Committee: pic.twitter.com/Yo0pGjwt2d
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 16, 2020
In Netflix’s annual review, “What We Watched 2020,” the streaming service revealed the top “stories that helped us escape at home,” saying this year’s viewership trends reflects the “highs and lows” of the year.
Though people stayed at home this year, many sought to learn, connect and embrace other cultures. Netflix reported that foreign language content rose more than 50% and useers spent twice as much time watching reality TV and documentaries in 2020, compared with last year. Not surprisingly, “Tiger King” and “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez” claimed the top spots for docu-series.
Netflix users also watch twice as much romantic content this year, compared with 2019. “Love is Blind” remained on the platform’s “Top 10” list in the United States for 47 consecutive days after its February release, making it the second-longest run in the Top 10 for any Netflix title.
Searches for “home baking shows” rose nearly 50% in March 2020, too, with food and home improvement shows such as “Nailed It!,” “Million Dollar Beach House” and “Crazy Delicious” as some of Netflix’s most popular titles. That trend matched consumers’ internet searches and purchasing behaviors as baking and do-it-yourself projects became a focus for many.
Netflix captured its yearly snapshot with a colorful graphic:
You can view the entire report here.
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Google hit with another antitrust lawsuit
Almost 40 states filed suit against the technology giant, making it the third such suit that Google must address—and it did, swiftly after the lawsuit was filed.
In the latest legal salvo, Democratic and Republican attorneys general from 38 states and territories, led by Colorado and Nebraska, took aim at a broad swath of Google’s digital empire. They claim that Google has solidified its monopoly in search—capturing roughly 90 percent of all queries—through an array of anti-competitive tactics that have created a “moat around its kingdom.” Chief among them are the special deals that Google signs to ensure it is the default option on many Web browsers, smartphones and newer connected devices such as smart televisions and speakers.
In a blog post striking out against the allegations, Google’s director of economic policy, Adam Cohen, wrote:
Redesigning Google Search [the way argued in the lawsuit] would harm the quality of your search results. And it would come at the expense of businesses like retailers, restaurants, repair shops, airlines and hotels whose listings in Google help them get discovered, and connect directly with customers. They would have a harder time reaching new customers and competing against big commerce and travel platforms and other aggregators and middlemen.
The data shows that our local results in Search drive more than 4 billion direct connections for businesses every month (such as visits to businesses’ websites, people calling merchants, getting directions to stores, ordering food from restaurants).
Why it matters: As consumers become more concerned over organization’s data and privacy policies, governments and regulators have been more aggressively trying to shut down monopolies. Both sets of concerns will grow in 2021, and communicators should be both mindful and proactive about them within their efforts and campaigns.
Vice’s food brand, Munchies, has joined OnlyFans—a subscription-based social media platform in which fans pay content creators for exclusive and tailored content. The platform is also known for its racy content, which Vice is leaning into by offering an “intimate” look at food through special step-by-step recipes and content:
— MUNCHIES (@munchies) December 17, 2020
The company is charging $4.99 monthly for a subscription, and said it’ll add more of its verticals to the platform if the experiment is successful.
Many organizations will want to steer clear of OnlyFans, but Vice’s efforts showcase the possibilities when you’re willing to take risks with content strategies and social media engagement to reach new audiences.
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Please take this 10-minute survey here.
As you’re altering your holiday campaigns and searching for ways to engage consumers and employees during COVID-19, don’t forget the power of gifts. These can come in the form of interactive content and holiday sweepstakes for your social media followers or thoughtful gifts given by you or your entire organization to members of your workforce, partners, influencers and more.
Check out these gift ideas:
- Find a gift your colleague will enjoy and support Black makers at the same time with these gifts from Uncommon Goods, which include necklaces, biscuit and jam sets, face masks and more.
- Grab your social media pro colleague a print from Society6 that proclaims, “It’s not you—it’s the algorithm.”
- Send a holiday greeting that strengthens both your relationship and your brand with gift baskets from Harry & David.
- Get your pet WFH colleague Zoom-ready with an outfit or accessory from Chewy’s Holiday Shop.
- Remind employees it’s OK to take a break in between campaigns and crisis responses with a work-life balance keychain from Uncommon Goods. (Sales also help bring paid family leave to all 50 states!)
- Don’t underestimate the power of food, especially dipped in chocolate, with a basket from Edible Arrangements.
WHAT YOU SAID
We asked how often you create and distribute press releases, and nearly 54% of you use them only as needed, while 22% publish them monthly or quarterly and more than 19% send weekly press releases. Under 5% write press releases on a daily basis:
How often do you create and send press releases?
Share with us how your strategy has changed in 2020 and whether you're decreasing press releases in favour of owned content and storytelling. We'll share the results in tomorrow's #DailyScoop!
— PR Daily (@PRDaily) December 17, 2020
Is there a question you’d like us to ask in an upcoming poll? Let us know!
What are your favorite films or TV shows depicting communicators?
Using a GIF: What are your favorite films or TV shows depicting communicators?
— PR Daily (@PRDaily) December 18, 2020
Share your thoughts below or on Twitter using the #DailyScoop hashtag.
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