Cruise lines embrace CDC restrictions amid government fight, P&G works to overcome Apple’s privacy measures, and eBay removes auction for art made in Japanese internment camp

Also: Sean Diddy Combs calls out GM’s investment in Black-owned media companies, Google adds testing capabilities for video ads, comms pros analyze COVID-19’s impact in PR, and more.

Hello, communicators:

Facebook is adding additional labels to posts that appear in News Feeds that identify the posts as “public official,” “fan page” and “satire.”

“This isn’t the first time the social network giant has tried to make the context of posts in the News Feed clearer,” reports The Verge.  “In June last year it began labeling media outlets which are ‘wholly or partially under the editorial control of their government.’”

Communicators are reminded that context should be included in every piece of messaging you share, particularly when it comes to debunking mis- and dis-information, providing details to calm stakeholders during a crisis, explaining the nuances around pandemic-related health and privacy guidelines and more.

Cruise lines embrace CDC restrictions amid Florida legal fight

The state government in Florida announced its plans to file a lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for its refusal to permit cruise ships to resume sailing from U.S. ports. Following the announcement, popular cruise lines including Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Line shared messages of compliance with the CDC’s ban, announcing that they will be extending the suspension of U.S. trips and making the safety of passengers a top priority.

CNBC reports:

“Safety is the first priority, and we know that cruising can be safe, as we have seen in Europe and Asia,” said Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean Group chairman and CEO, in a press release. He remains optimistic about the second half of this year, citing President Joe Biden’s promise for society to return to normal by July 4.

Why It Matters:

Communicators, take note to always consider the optics surrounding efforts to push back against government regulations. Lean on partners with shared interests and goals and encourage them to go on attack mode, communicating your perspectives with a more aggressive tone if you are not in a position to speak as bluntly. Take care to preserve your brand reputation by framing any position around the wellbeing of your internal and external stakeholders. Finally, hold regulatory officials to the expectations they have previously set by repeating those expectations in your messaging.


CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS

Internet auction site eBay has removed a listing for drawings made by a Japanese-American man during his imprisonment in an American internment camp during World War II after his granddaughter and nearly 60 Japanese American groups demanded the listing be taken down.

The L.A. Times reports:

“By treating such objects as art to be sold and establishing a benchmark price,” the letter read, “you encourage the perception that our history is just another commodity.”

After meeting with activists, eBay complied with the request just hours before the auction closed, with the price having just topped $480.

Spokesperson Parmita Choudhury said the auction violated company policy that prohibits “the sale of items from government or protected land.”

Communicators are reminded that company policies and guidelines should be consistently updated, and enforced, to match current popular sentiment and avoid cultural insensitivity.


CRISIS LEADERSHIP NETWORK

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

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

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SOCIAL BUZZ

Google Ads is offering a new experimental video feature that will allow brands to test and compare different video strategies to refine their campaigns.

Google says:

“Knowing the outsized impact of creative on driving sales, we’re launching video experiments globally in Google Ads over the next several weeks. These experiments are easy to set up and quick to deliver results you can act on. So whether you’re looking to understand the impact of different video ads on Brand Lift, conversions or CPAs, you too can make more informed decisions that improve your results on YouTube.”

Remember to partner with your marketing and ad teams to better understand what insights can be revealed from these tests. Apply similar methodology to your messaging strategy by performing A/B tests of your copy before sending it out, and work with video teams to tweak the language of your talk track based on what the data tells you about audience engagement and drop off.


CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS

Sean Diddy Combs wrote a letter to GM calling out the company’s lack of investment in Black-owned media companies. The letter comes one week after an open letter written by several Black media leaders called GM racist following CEO Mary Barra’s refusal to meet with them “consistently, over time and after multiple requests.”

Deadline reports:

GM spokesman Patrick Morrissey said the company had confirmed last week that it’s agreed to have a series of meetings with Black-owned media shortly “to discuss our plans and commitments going forward. Those meetings are being scheduled right now.” He also said that General Motors’ 2021 annual report due out next month will include specific commitments to diversity media shared, and shared some excerpts.

When addressing DE&I commitments, the promise to offer specifics is not the same thing as actually providing them. Listen to your audiences, and the communities you serve, by opening channels for consistent dialogue.


MEASURED THOUGHTS

PRSA-NY surveyed over 100 communicators on the impact of COVID-19 in the industry over the last year and found that less than 8% of professionals surveyed expect to be back in the office full-time, with 61.7% of respondents expecting their company to return to the office with a hybrid model. Just over 12% of respondents expect to work remotely full-time.

Over 90% of professionals surveyed believe COVID-19 demonstrated the value of communications for organizations, with over half believing it showed the value across all facets of the industry, including corporate, internal, employee and external communications. Additionally, 95% of respondents reported having to make adjustments to their communications strategies over the last 12 months due to COVID-19.

Communicators should take note that in times of unprecedented crisis and change, every internal stakeholder should be treated as a communicator, too, whether or not they reside on your team. As the data suggests, communications best practices should be embedded in every department and at every level of your organization.

P&G confirms partnership with Chinese company, denies privacy claims

Procter & Gamble is working with a Chinese trade group to develop technology that sidesteps Apple’s privacy rules, per a report in The Wall Street Journal. The technology, which is being tested in China, was designed to give companies a workaround to target Apple users despite the company’s new privacy tools give Apple users more control over who has access to their data and how that data is used.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

[P&G] has joined forces with dozens of Chinese trade groups and tech firms working with the state-backed China Advertising Association to develop the new technique, which would use technology called device fingerprinting, the people said. Dubbed CAID, the advertising method is being tested through apps and gathers iPhone user data. Through the use of an algorithm, it can track users for purposes of targeting ads in a way that Apple is seeking to prevent.

P&G, whose involvement hasn’t been previously reported, said in a statement that it is providing input to the trade group consistent with the company’s goal of finding ways to “deliver useful content consumers want in a way that prioritizes data privacy, transparency and consent. That means partnering with platforms and publishers—both directly and through our advertising associations across the globe,” it said.

The company declined to provide additional details about the program, including whether it intends to use the technology.

[UPDATED April 12, 2021]

P&G says that its work does not circumvent Apple’ privacy standards. Chief Bran Officer Mark Pritchard wrote in a post on LinkedIn:

Consumers are at the heart of P&G’s brand building. That’s why we are doubling down on transparency, and consent-based consumer data collection, leveraging industry best practices. This is becoming part of the value equation of a trusted brand. We notify consumers about what data we are collecting and how we will use it so that they can make informed decisions about whether to opt-in to our programs, and when they do consent, we provide them with useful information and content from our trusted brands. We do this through multiple consumer touchpoints where we engage with consumers responsibly. And, we enrich consumer data in a clear and transparent way with behavioral and purchase signals to improve analytics, build algorithms, and develop consumer engagement applications that drive growth and efficiency.

Why It Matters:

Communicators should start crafting language messaging now around user privacy that anticipates the myriad changes that are about to be implemented by Apple, Google (which is sunsetting third-party cookies over the next year) and other technology companies to give users more control over their data.

Work with advertising and marketing teams to ensure that your business practices are privacy compliant ahead of these changes to avoid a future crisis in wait, and make sure that any front-facing language about your privacy policies is clear, easy-to-understand and being followed through internally in good faith.


CONFERENCE ALERT

The business community is facing a workplace wellness revolution. No longer does “wellness” qualify as a nice-to-have employee benefit; it is now tightly integrated many facets of organizational strategy, especially communications.

Join us at Ragan’s Workplace Wellness Conference on April 21, 2021 to glean the essential tools and context you need to advance your career and guide your organization through this time of rapid change.

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Attendees will learn what it means to embrace the fact that employees who are mentally, physically, financially and socially healthy are more productive, engaged and resilient to potential crises.

Learn powerful insights and secrets from speakers at organizations including NVIDIA, Northwell Health, PwC, Microsoft, Cornell University, Facebook and more.

Register for our event here.


WHAT YOU SAID

On Tuesday, we asked when you prefer to hold meetings with your team. Responses were evenly split between the top two choices, with 38% of you preferring to meet at the top of the week and 37% of you preferring to meet at the middle of the week. Meanwhile, 20% said that you only like to hold meetings as needed, and not at a specific time. Just 5% of you like to meet at the end of the week.

Is there a question you would like to see asked? Let us know by tagging it with #DailyScoop!


SOUNDING BOARD

Now that another Friday is here at least, how are you really feeling about your work/life balance, PR pros and communicators?

Let us know under the hashtag #DailyScoop. We’ll share the results in Monday’s roundup.

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