Facebook launches Zoom competitor, Live Nation amends refund policy and Google shares ways to market during COVID-19

Also: Museums show off their sassiest objects on Twitter, workout wear company offers free masks, why PR pros should embrace digital skills, and more.

Hello, communicators:

Workout clothing company Dhvani is offering a free mask to anyone in the United States:

You can request your free mask at DHVANI.com/FreeMasks and donate to help others receive masks through the company’s GoFundMe campaign.

Dhvani is one of many brands offering relief and extras to both essential workers and consumers throughout the pandemic. CNN compiled a list of organizations offering discounts and free products to front-line health care workers.

What can you offer to bolster spirits and make lives easier?

Here are today’s top stories:

Facebook launches Zoom rival

The social media platform is beefing up its video offerings with the launch of “Messenger Rooms,” a virtual video-conferencing tool that enables up to 50 people to “drop in on you whenever they like” (though room creators can remove people at any time).

The video chats, which come with virtual backgrounds and augmented reality filters, will expand to Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook’s smart home device, Portal.

Facebook’s co-founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, also announced additional video features in a personal Facebook post:

For live video, there are now more than 800 million daily actives engaging with livestreams across Facebook and Instagram for workout classes, concerts, faith services and more. We’re bringing Live With back to Facebook so you can add another person into your live video. We’re also making it easier to raise money and donate money directly in Live. On Instagram, you can now watch live videos on desktop and we’re also adding a feature to let you save your live videos to IGTV. You’ll also be able to go live from Portal to Facebook Pages and Groups soon as well.

Why it matters: In its announcement, Facebook reported that “between Messenger and WhatsApp, more than 700 million accounts participate in voice and video calls every day, and the number of calls has more than doubled in many countries since the pandemic began.” The features offer another way for you to easily connect with online communities and forge deeper relationships with brand advocates.


SOCIAL BUZZ

Yorksire Museum recently kicked off a #CuratorBattle on Twitter to find museums’ “sassiest objects”:

Several museums’ social media managers joined in the conversation to showcase their collections and the stories behind them:

 

 

The lighthearted competition is a fun way for closed museums to connect with their communities online, increase engagement and keep their brands top-of-mind while their buildings are closed. You can do the same, no matter your organization or industry, with compelling content and behind-the-scenes peeks.


MEASURED THOUGHTS

In a guide titled, “Navigating the road ahead,” Google shares several ways brand managers can adjust their digital marketing campaigns and strategies during COVID-19.

The best way PR and marketing pros can adjust their plans is by getting a handle on rapidly changing consumer behaviors, which Google organized into three categories. “Shock” behaviors will probably decline as we continue to shelter-in-place and after the edicts are lifted. Other behaviors, such as exercise and delivery searches, could remain as long-lasting or permanent consumer methods:

Image courtesy of Google.

 Google also outlined three stages of adjusting PR and marketing strategies: responding to changing consumer behaviors, rebuilding their marketing campaigns using more data and measurement, and recovering their business models through offering new or altered products and services.

Image courtesy of Google.

You can learn more by downloading the guide here.


CRISIS LEADERSHIP BOARD

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

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

Learn more about this exclusive membership here.

Live Nation rolls out new refund policy after backlash

The company changed tack on its strategy for canceled and postponed shows following criticism from consumers demanding refunds. Live Nation called the new strategy its “Ticket Relief Plan”:

In the new plan, consumers will automatically get a refund for canceled events—and will have the option to trade that refund for a 150% credit for future tickets, if the event was scheduled at a Live Nation venue. Customers who have tickets for postponed shows can use their tickets for the new date or can chose to get a refund within 30 days of the new date’s announcement. If a postponed show doesn’t have a new date—one of the complaints consumers gave—the refund window will open 60 days following the postponement announcement.

Live Nation’s chief executive, Michael Rapino, tweeted that the policy revision was a direct response to feedback, saying, “We hear you”:

Why it’s important: COVID-19 has caused most organizations to pivot both communications strategies and offerings, but continuing shelter-in-place restrictions provide another stumbling block for organizations working with live events. Keep consumers updated and be as transparent as possible in your communications. By offering an updated policty such as Live Nation’s, you help provide consumers with answers during a time of uncertainty.

Don’t wait until backlash grows, however. Make these decisions before your community gets angry.


FROM THE EXPERTS

Digital skills are more important now during this crisis than ever before.

Here’s why one PR pro says communicators should use any downtime they have right now to learn a few new skills around digital comms. Some suggestions include SEO, measurement, Google tools like AdWords and much more.

Read the full rundown here.


WHAT YOU SAID

We asked for your favorite digital content “freebies” as you both work from and stay at home, and nearly 38% said streaming TV shows and movies top the list, while 29% are embracing workout videos and routines. Twenty-five percent of you are turning to recipes and cooking tips:

Writer Brandon W. Mudd said NFL’s free trial for its Game Pass has uplifted his spirits:


SOUNDING BOARD 

Are you relying on video as a key channel during this crisis? Share how you are approaching communicating key messages in our latest Twitter Poll:

Have additional thoughts about video and crisis communications? Share with us in the comments or tweet us @PRDaily  with our hashtag #DailyScoop.

 

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