Earned media best for driving purchases, consumers sour on social media, and IBM battles an age-bias lawsuit

Also: Delivery drivers are munching consumers’ food, a bevy of PR and marketing job openings, and Burger King Belgium roasts McDonald’s. 

Man holding a you're fired post it

Good morning, PR pros:

A US Foods survey of roughly 500 food delivery drivers and more than 1,500 consumers in the United States reveals that more than one in four delivery drivers (nearly 30%) eat items from customers’ orders before delivering them.

Asked whether they minded delivery drivers stealing their fries or other menu items, consumers’ average response notches an 8.4 out of 10 (with 10 being “absolutely unacceptable”).

The findings speak volumes about delivery apps’ contractor behavior and consumer trust. What discrepancies are there in your organization—and how can you work to eliminate them?

Here are today’s top stories:

IBM lawsuit claims 100,000 fired

In an ongoing age-discrimination case against IBM, the company’s former vice president of HR, Alan Wild, alleged it “laid off 50,000 to 100,00 employees in just the last several years”—specifically targeting older workers—in an effort to appeal to millennials and to compete against companies such as Amazon and Google.

IBM gave a brief response to reporters.

Bloomberg reported:

“We have reinvented IBM in the past five years to target higher value opportunities for our clients,” IBM said in a statement. “The company hires 50,000 employees each year.”

Related reading:


If you’re aiming to get information into the hands of consumers primed to buy, earned media coverage is still the way to go.

BMV’s Digital Brand: Awareness Engagement & Action Index reports that when it comes to consumers’ learning about new products and services online, 30% turn to digital news articles. Twenty-eight percent said news articles have the biggest impact on whether they purchase, too.

Pinterest and YouTube shine as Facebook falls amid low trust

The American Customer Satisfaction Index reveals that although 70% of adults in the U.S. use social media platforms, they are one of the lowest-performing industries that ACSI measures.

The report reveals consumer satisfaction with Facebook at the lowest, with a score of 63 out of 100 (a 6% decline from last year). However, Pinterest maintained its score of 80, and YouTube jumped 4% to achieve a score of 78.

Photo credit: ACSI newsroom

Why it matters: There are many opportunities for social media platforms (and the organizations using them to engage with target audiences), but there’s also much work ahead to gain back consumer trust eroded by privacy issues and data misuse.

In a press release, ACSI said:

“The Cambridge Analytica revelations have had lasting reverberations, with many Americans wary of the mishandling of private information,” says David VanAmburg, Managing Director at the ACSI. “Users are monitoring their browsers and adjusting privacy settings, while the use of ad blockers continues to grow steadily. There are some bright spots, but many social media companies will have to regain consumer trust if they want to grow satisfaction.”

Related reading:


During Wednesday’s Democratic debate, Sen. Cory Booker criticized former Vice President Joe Biden after Biden lashed out at Booker’s record on criminal justice as the former mayor of Newark, New Jersey.

Booker responded:

“Mr. Vice President, there’s a saying in my community: You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t even know the flavor,” he said.

Kool-Aid jumped at the opportunity to insert itself into the conversation, though it didn’t say much more than its mascot’s slogan: “Oh yeah!”

Twitter users’ responses were mixed:

Burger King Belgium roasts McDonald’s

As more fast-food brand managers turn to snark, Burger King is putting rivals in their place.

The company’s Belgium arm recently clapped back at a McDonald’s banner asking consumers whether they’d rather be “served by a king, or served as a king?”

Burger King Belgium’s cutting response? “Why try to roast when you can’t even flame grill?”

*mic drop*

Posted by Burger King België on Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Why it matters: When retorting, keep it humorous but on brand. Burger King’s comeback was a reference to its flame-grilled burgers, but the note urging consumers to order them was barely noticeable under the quip.

Related reading:


If you’re looking for a new PR or marketing job, Brendan Gannon’s roundup includes a Lollapalooza internship as well as openings for communication specialists and executives at Transamerica, Amazon, Twitter, Air Canada and more.



Many PR pros struggle to measure ROI and prove the effectiveness of their efforts. What’s the top analytic you use to gauge and demonstrate success?

Sound off by taking our poll and sharing your thoughts with us on Twitter: @bekiweki. Don’t forget the hashtag #MorningScoop.

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