Department stores close across the nation, hotel chains ask for $250B in government aid, and Facebook fights COVID-19 misinformation

Also: The Edelman Trust Barometer shows the importance of employer communications, Airbnb marketing head experiments with virtual networking, outstanding newsrooms, and more.

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Good morning, PR pros:

 Musa Tariq, global head of marketing for Airbnb Experiences, launched an impromptu video networking session after a meeting was canceled:

More than 40 people attended the meeting, offered through Airbnb’s portal on Zoom. Many more responded that they’d like to take part in future sessions, and Tariq promised to host another today.

It’s a great example of how you can network virtually and continue to make industry connections, even while working from home.

Here are today’s top stories:

 Many retail chains, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Disney, Bath & Body Works, REI, Macy’s, Apple, H&M and Sephora have temporarily closed locations within the United States. Some have also closed their locations in Canada and Europe, while others have shortened their store hours.

Check out an updated overview in this Twitter thread:

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