DoorDash lags on data breach disclosure, Instagram users seen declining, and the wealth-gap problem for communicators

Also: Anheuser-Busch ditches influencer over racist tweets, Japan Airlines seeks to child-proof your flight, PR pros are taking over brand concerns, and more.

Good morning, PR pros:

A new report suggests that the wealth gap in the U.S. is the largest it has been in 50 years.

NPR reported:

U.S. income inequality was “significantly higher” in 2018 than in 2017, the federal agency says in its latest American Community Survey report. The last time a change in the metric was deemed statistically significant was when it grew from 2012-2013.

Think that’s not your problem as a communicator? Think again.

According to the multi-stakeholder theory, communicators are responsible to more than just customers. The rise in income inequality means trust will remain low for corporations and that employees will feel less loyal toward their employers, leading to more activism and protests.

If you care about protecting your organization’s band, you should monitor the wealth gap closely and prepare your messages accordingly.

Here are today’s top stories:

Anheuser-Busch cut ties with ‘beer money’ fundraiser after racist tweets

After Carson King’s sign for beer money went viral, the Iowa resident decided to continue raising money for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Soon after, both Anheuser-Busch and Venmo partnered with King, committing to match the donations he received—until a profile by the Des Moines Register uncovered racist tweets King posted in 2012.

Anheuser-Busch quickly severed ties, telling CNN that King’s statements didn’t “align with our values as a brand”:

Venmo issued the following statement, as reported by ABC’s KCRG-TV9:

Venmo’s decision to match the money raised for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital was inspired by the kindness of the entire Venmo community and their desire to support a worthy cause,” the company said in a statement to KCRG-TV9. “Our intent has never changed, and we continue to honor our pledge to support the patients, families and staff members of the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics.”

The Des Moines Register also issued a statement explaining its decision to publish the material (though the news broke before it could do so):

King issued an apology on Twitter, as well as in a press conference:

Why it matters: The statements from all parties employ standard good PR practices, but King’s tweets that “embarrassed and stunned” him are forever on the internet for all to see. They’re also the lede in several news stories. When partnering with an ambassador, fan or influencer, always vet their online history. If you still decide to partner despite an unsavory past, have your crisis response ready for the social media pitchforks once those posts are uncovered.

Related reading:


According to a new report from Trust Insights and Talkwalker, industry experts expect user growth for platforms like YouTube, TikTok and Discord, but forecast downturns for Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and more.

Is Instagram in danger of losing its coveted status as a top-flight social media platform? With millions of users, it seems unlikely to become irrelevant anytime soon, but the social media landscape is still changing, and that means companies must continue to research new platforms and seek new audiences.

DoorDash data breach affects 4.9 million

 The delivery drivers, customers and merchants affected in the security breach suffered the revelation of their names, addresses, order history and last four digits of their credit cards or bank accounts. The breach happened May 4 but doesn’t affect customers who joined after April 5.

 Why it matters: Though it can be tempting, don’t delay giving your audience bad news. Many are wondering why it took DoorDash nearly five months to reveal it had suffered a security breach. By being slow to share that information, the company looks as though it’s been hiding something—or that its IT team is lacking, which isn’t a good look for an app-based startup.

Related reading:


Japan Airlines unveiled a new tool that shows where a child between 8 days and 2 years old is sitting on the plane, so passengers can avoid booking seats next to them.

The move is likely to prove popular with travelers who don’t enjoy sitting next to wailing infants and is an example of ways you can put the customer first without threatening your profits with extra expenses.

Building customer loyalty with exceptional service doesn’t have to cost exorbitantly more than your current efforts. It might be as simple as getting into your customer’s shoes—or seat.

‘OK’ gesture considered hateful

The Anti-Defamation League recently ruled that the “OK” hand gesture is a hate symbol, part of 36 new terms and gestures the civil rights organization included in its database.

NPR reported:

Oren Segal, director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism, told NPR that for years on fringe online message boards such as 4chan and 8chan, the “OK” sign has been deployed in memes and other images promoting hate. Given the number of white supremacists who have adopted it, he said it can now carry a nefarious message.

“Context is always key,” Segal said. “More people than not will use the OK symbol as just ‘OK.’ But in those cases where there’s more underlining meaning, I think it’s important for people to understand that it could be used, and is being used, for hate as well.”

Why you should care: Context is crucial for nearly every aspect of PR campaigns, and it’s becoming increasingly important to understand internet culture and current trends and memes, even if you never interact with them or the people behind them. You don’t want your organization to stumble due to a misunderstanding.

Related reading


We asked how much you’re involved with your organization’s branding efforts.

Most respondents said they had something to do with managing the brand, and 33% said they were responsible for the brand. Communicators must learn to be comfortable with marketing terms and the theory behind brand management to advance in their careers.


Is your organization prepared for the crises that come with a data breach or hacking incident?

Weigh in on our poll and share your thoughts with us under the hashtag #MorningScoop.


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One Response to “DoorDash lags on data breach disclosure, Instagram users seen declining, and the wealth-gap problem for communicators”

    Ronald N. Levy says:

    Another savvy PR move by Anheuser-Busch! It was the first major account of mighty FleishmanHillard, the internal Anheuser-Busch PR people have been superb, and now the company is not only doing the right thing but doing it promptly enough to avoid trouble and deservedly win goodwill.

    An original way to raise money for a good cause could be to sponsor a Budweiser Beer Party to Fight Cancer. An event that brings goodwill from tens of millions—consumers and retailers that might be glad to have supporting in-store displays. The event could last perhaps an hour or two during lunch break so nothing gets out of hand, and be done in cooperation with America’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the world’s leading anti-cancer research team.

    Many corporate goodwill projects are rewarding to a company way down the road if ever, but a Budweiser anti-cancer beer party could win so much goodwill from grateful Americans that the cost is promptly paid for many times over by increased sales. Millions and millions of us have lost a relative to cancer.

    Washington leaders notice who is doing good deeds. All political leaders enjoy protecting the public, sometimes by taking public positions against bad guys. When a company gets national media coverage for fighting cancer or any other major disease, many political leaders may be more inclined to help and not hurt the public’s protector.

    Praised with good cause are companies that protect our lives.