Editor’s note: This article is a re-run as part of our countdown of top stories from the past year.
To mark National Avocado Day on July 31, several brands introduced new promotions and partnerships intended to celebrate the superfood.
Chipotle offered free guacamole to customers who used a free digital promo code when ordering, along with temporarily waiving its delivery fee. Chipotle also shared several fun facts including what goes into its guac and the fact that musician Jason Mraz is also a longstanding avocado supplier for the brand.
Chipotle also took the holiday as an opportunity to promote its avocado dyed goods line, Chipotle goods, which upcycles leftover avocado pits from certain restaurants. “An ink is created when the pits are simmered in water, creating a sustainable, plant-based dye varying in color that ultimately results in customized apparel and accessories for the brand,” Chipotle said in a statement.
Meanwhile, chicken chain El Pollo Loco introduced a Guac Pass in partnership with Avocados from Mexico to celebrate National Avocado Day. The pass, which will be rewarded to select members of the “Loco Rewards” customer loyalty program, offers winning customers a free small chips and guac every day in August.
Avocado-related promotions were offered outside of the food space, too. Luxury sleep product manufacturer Avocado Green also took advantage of its brand association to launch a one-day flash sale for its mattresses, sheets and bed frames. Avocado Green has also partnered with the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation to plant three avocado trees in El Salvador for every mattress ordered on National Avocado Day.
These promotions offer a reminder that national days of celebration with a tie-in to your brand or product can be a great opportunity to build community and conversation, as long as you are willing to give something away for free.
Doordash responds to driver strike
Drivers who work with the popular food delivery app Doordash coordinated a strike on July 31 in an effort to demand more transparency around tips and a higher base pay of $4.50. The drivers, known as “dashers,” coordinated the strike and shared their message on social media platforms including Reddit and TikTok:
@voicelikemineLIVID!! DD does NOT care! Pissed to the highest level of pisstivity!! #noddonJuly31 #sickofit #fyp #viral♬ original sound – Denise Small
While Doordash doesn’t disclose tip amounts to dashers before accepting a delivery order, drivers were apple to use a third-party app called Para to see the tip amount embedded in the apps code until this past July, when Doordash released an update that caused Para to no longer work. Striking drivers say that the loss of this functionality was a motivating factor behind their decision.
A spokesperson for DoorDash told Motherboard that Para violated its terms of service, but did not respond to a question about rewriting its code. “Para collects its information by scraping content without authorization from the DoorDash platform. This is deeply concerning as we are committed to protecting the privacy and data security of every side of our marketplace and stakeholders,” they said.
“Para stopped working, and that’s definitely influenced my decision to strike,” said Miranda Ashley, a DoorDash driver in Highland Village/Flower Mound, Texas. “I believe DoorDash should be 100% transparent with the full payouts, as it directly affects whether or not we will accept an order.”
Why it matters:
While Doordash framed its concerns over the Para app’s data scraping as a threat to its stakeholders, the company’s failure to acknowledge the specific concerns that motivated drivers to strike rings hollow. Doordash’s response serves as a reminder to always put your employees, including freelancers and gig workers, first in any of your crisis communications by responding to their specific criticisms with actions demonstrating that your company values their skills and services.
A new infographic from Orbit Media offers a 17-step flowchart for creating high-performing online content, showing how writing and editing best practices such as outlining, formatting and structure intersect with SEO best practices including keyword and ranking research, repurposing URLs and more.
Beyond demystifying the question of where SEO should come into play when creating content, this framework makes the case that standard writing and editing practices should not be thrown out in favor of digital best practices, but instead tightly integrated from the outset of the content creation process.
Lollapalooza music festival celebrated its 30th anniversary this past weekend in Chicago’s Grant Park as the city grapples with rising COVID-19 rates. The festival worked hard to mitigate criticisms of its potential as a superspreader event by requiring that every attendee show up with paperwork proving they have been vaccinated or received a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours. The festival said that 90% of attendees brought their proof of vaccination:
Great job, Lollapalooza fans! More than 90% of you showed us your proof of vaccination today! Thanks go out to the 8% who brought their proof of negative COVID-19 tests and for the 600 of you who showed up without paperwork, we hope to see you tomorrow! Photo by @SheaFlynn. pic.twitter.com/v7yWmvUPHH
— Lollapalooza (@lollapalooza) July 29, 2021
🚨IMPORTANT🚨 Don’t forget to bring a PRINTED copy of your vaccine card, copy of your vaccine record, or NEGATIVE COVID-19 test.
We can’t wait to see you all! pic.twitter.com/qkjXP5oL5S
— Lollapalooza (@lollapalooza) July 29, 2021
Some attendees questioned the accuracy of this data, noting that they did not see records being matched with attendee IDs:
— Miggy (@miggy_mig) July 30, 2021
The negative feedback to Lollapalooza’s enforcement of its COVID-19 safety protocols on the ground serves as a reminder that communications about your pandemic-era policies and procedures will only be received well if they are consistently enforced. Partner with your operations and logistics teams on the ground to ensure that any messaging shared externally is being consistently enforced and upheld by employees and volunteers alike. The more granular your communications can be in sharing how specific policies will be enforced, the less likely you are to face blowback.
TAKE OUR SURVEY
The Institute for Public Relations, Ragan Communications, and the University of Florida are conducting a follow-up survey to their 2020 report, “The Career Path of a Social Media Professional.”
This year’s survey investigates and illuminates the career path potential of social media professionals, shedding light on how social media is being managed, viewed and evaluated within organizations. Here are some highlights from our 2020 report.
We invite you to take this survey whether you’re in charge of social media for your company or are involved in some aspect of social media for a client. The survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete, and all responses will remain confidential.
As thanks for taking the survey, you’ll get an opportunity to enter a drawing for three $50 gift cards and will receive a copy of the full report, which promises to be chock-full of valuable data for benchmarking and budgeting purposes. The report will be presented on Sept. 9, 2021 at Ragan’s Social Media Conference in Orlando, Florida and published through IPR and PR Daily.
Several drivers for Amazon’s partner delivery service providers (DSPs) have come forward claiming that their managers often ask them to bypass safety inspections of their vehicles that are required at the start and end of each shift. Drivers also said they were asked not to report issues with their vans that would take vehicles out of commission, making it hard to keep up with the e-commerce giant’s aggressive daily delivery quotas.
Amazon told CNBC in a statement that the company regularly audits delivery companies’ compliance with safety policies, including two vehicle safety checks every day. Amazon takes vehicles out of operation until safety issues are addressed, the company said.
“When safety protocol is broken, we take various actions including ending our relationship with a DSP [delivery service partner] if warranted,” the company said. “We’re actively investigating the experiences in this story and don’t believe they are representative of the more than 150,000 drivers that safely deliver packages every day.”
Amazon’s response highlights the challenges that come with standardizing policies and procedures across large numbers of partners and suppliers—and the reputational risk that comes with lackluster enforcement. Expand your partnership communications efforts by discussing with each partner how their corporate communications are shared with employees.
Confirm that your company has eyes and ears on your partner operations to ensure policies and procedures are not just inconvenient directives coming from on high, but are carefully-followed mandates.
RAGAN’S 2021 BENCHMARK REPORT
Ragan has released its annual Communications Benchmark Report, an exclusive study from Ragan’s Communications Leadership Council that analyzes the major trends in the profession over the last year.
During that time, comms pros have been called on to develop and distribute messages on new policies that affect internal and external stakeholders alike. Their role has become more essential as they helped keep their organizations focused and moving forward. They’ve seen their access to the C-suite increase throughout 2020, and they forged important new alliances with peers in other departments, including HR, finance and workplace wellness.
Culled from more than 750 respondents, the 32-page report is available in its entirety exclusively to members of the Communications Leadership Council.
Download your copy of the exclusive Benchmark Survey Executive Summary today and get a crucial competitive advantage that will fuel your success for 2021 and beyond.
Ben and Jerry’s founders explain West Bank, Gaza decisions in op-ed
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream founders Bennett Cohen and Jerry Greenfield have co-written an op-ed in The New York Times defending their decision to stop selling ice cream in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, areas they refer to as Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). They look to reaffirm their values as “men of ice cream, men of principle”:
We are the founders of Ben & Jerry’s. We are also proud Jews. It’s part of who we are and how we’ve identified ourselves for our whole lives.
But it’s possible to support Israel and oppose some of its policies, just as we’ve opposed policies of the U.S. government. As such, we unequivocally support the decision of the company to end business in the occupied territories, which a majority of the international community, including the United Nations, has deemed an illegal occupation.
In its statement, the company drew a contrast between the democratic territory of Israel and the territories Israel occupies. The decision to halt sales outside Israel’s democratic borders is not a boycott of Israel, according to Cohen and Greenfield and Ben & Jerry’s statement does not represent an endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).
What it means:
By refuting accusations of anti-Semitism and plainly stating that they do not endorse the BDS movement, Ben & Jerry’s hopes to show how its decisions to stop operations in the West Bank is consistent with its core beliefs. Cohen and Greenfield’s op-ed offers a masterclass in communicating your values without pointing fingers, or turning up the temperature on what is already a controversial topic.
Take note that you, too, can support a controversial business decision with values-based messaging by communicating your principles through top leaders. Putting a human face on your brand’s purpose messaging allows it to resonate with a personal tone.
Have you ever pushed for the creation of a new communications role at a partner or vendor organization after a crisis, PR pros and communicators?
Have you ever pushed for the creation of a new communications role at a partner or vendor organization after a crisis, PR pros and communicators? #DailyScoop
— PR Daily (@PRDaily) August 2, 2021
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