FedEx takes aim at Amazon, thought leadership shows promise for B2B, and Coca-Cola defends its new brand position

Also: The top YouTube channel for 2019, how leaders can make the most of video, how much PR pros traveled in 2019, and more.

Good morning, PR pros:

An eight-year-old is the top earner on YouTube for 2019 after earning $26 million for his videos on his channel, “Ryan’s World.”

The channel used to be called “Ryan ToysReview” and consisted mainly of “unboxing videos” in which Ryan opened toys and played with them. Despite the popularity of channels aimed at children, YouTube has run into trouble over children on its platform, settling with the FTC for $170 million over claims it was collecting the information of children using its platform without consent.

In second place, according to Forbes’ list, is the channel “Dude Perfect,” where a group of friends film their attempts of impossible feats, like making a basketball shot out of a helicopter.

How are you going to use video to draw a crowd in 2020? Share your thoughts with our hashtag #MorningScoop.

Here are today’s top stories:

FedEx turns up the heat on Amazon rivalry

The shipping company took a hit this year after Amazon stopped using it for deliveries, but has vowed to aggressively take on the delivery retailer. FedEx’s CFO made bold predictions of how the company will rebound in an earnings call with investors.

CNBC reported:

“If you think about all the positive things we’ve said and that we’re seeing, as we get into 2021, we will start lapping Amazon,” FedEx CFO Alan B. Graf Jr. said on the company’s earnings call Tuesday evening. “Without giving you specifics, we’re at the bottom, and we’re going to come up off the mat and we’re going to improve through the rest of this year and into the next.”

Why you should care: If you have bad news, it is important to describe your plan to bounce back. It might have been reassuring for investors to hear that FedEx is determined to come out on top, but the lack of specifics doesn’t necessarily inspire confidence.

If you want to truly win over a skeptical audience, be prepared to offer a few specifics rather than platitudes and chest-beating.


MEASURED THOUGHTS

“Thought leadership” might be a hackneyed PR phrase, but there is no disputing that the tactic works. In a study, Edelman found that half of decision-makers consume thought leadership at a rate of an hour or more of reading per week.

That means that the tactic is particularly meaningful for B2B organizations.

Coca-Cola found to target teens despite obesity crisis

A new report reveals that the beverage company has invested in messaging trying to change beliefs in teens that sugary drinks can have health risks, despite what many health experts have described as a childhood obesity crisis in the U.S.

Coca-Cola says that the report is surfacing old positions that predate a 2016 change in company PR priorities.

The Washington Post reported:

Kent Landers, vice president of public affairs and communications at the Coca-Cola Company, says these internal documents predate Coke’s 2016 commitment to discontinue funding physical activity programs. He says Coca-Cola has repositioned itself as a “total beverage company” with products that include water, juice, juice drinks, tea, coffee, sports drinks and energy drinks as well as sodas.

“At Coca-Cola, we recognize that too much sugar isn’t good for anyone,” Landers said. “That’s why, around the world, we are reducing the amount of sugar in our products and taking other steps to help people reduce their sugar intake. In fact, in 2017-2018, we eliminated 425,000 tons of sugar from our global portfolio of products through innovations such as new recipes, smaller packs and wider availability of low- and zero-sugar products.”

Why it matters: Coca-Cola isn’t the only company that has tried to address its reputation with changes in messaging and a focus on that PR buzzword, “purpose.” However, this report shows just how hard it is for a company to convince the public of its values when it doesn’t have a history of sacrificing profits for the greater good. If your organization is trying to rebrand as a socially conscious leader, make sure there aren’t policy documents out there that could trip up your new message. And if the turnaround is monumental, consider an apology.


FROM THE EXPERTS

What are the top video formats for leaders to reach their audiences in 2020?

Ragan Consulting’s Justin Allen shares his top content types and video formats in our latest update from the consulting partners here at Ragan and PR Daily.

Some of his ideas include:

  • Product intro/demo video
  • Thought leadership video
  • Honest and open interview

To learn more, read the full post.


SOCIAL BUZZ

After the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump, many fast words were flying between the administration’s critics and supporters. However, one part of the debate drew extra attention from word nerds: Rep. Doug Collins, R-GA, used the word “irregardless” during the debate on the floor.

Many were ready to pillory Collins for using the word:

The word is a nonstandard usage, but some resources now list it, citing its first appearance in the early 20th century:

Other words also were searched as the impeachment proceedings wore on:


WHAT YOU SAID

We asked how far you traveled in the past year for your work, and most said they traveled between 25 and 1,000 miles. However, the second most common answer was more than 5,000 miles.

Do you like travel as part of your PR work? Share your thoughts about your favorite business destinations with our hashtag #MorningScoop.


SOUNDING BOARD

At the end of the decade, many are thinking about how far they have come and where they will go next. What are some of your plans for the year ahead, PR Daily readers?

Share what you are excited for with our hashtag #MorningScoop and you could be featured in tomorrow’s article, our last for 2019.

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COMMENT

One Response to “FedEx takes aim at Amazon, thought leadership shows promise for B2B, and Coca-Cola defends its new brand position”

    Ronald N. Levy says:

    This story is an excellent guide on how to make money and how not to.

    Edelman, which is paid a hair less than a billion a year for guiding clients on PR—a billion every year!—is successful by HELPING clients with ideas about “Thought Leadership” described here, “Trust Barometer” strategies that help clients to gain more and avoid corporate disasters, and repeated PR triumphs especially in Healthcare PR, Technology PR and Washington PR.

    Coca-Cola, once the name of a decreasingly popular beverage that gives consumers a lot of calories, now earns billions and billions by HELPING customers have more happiness with fewer calories and in more ways.

    Ragan Consulting which here gives expert tips on video formats,
    and in this top newsletter of expert insights on PR, earns respect among corporations and big bucks by HELPING people with all kinds of management guidance and courses that help attendees to be more successful and happier.

    But look at the segment on poor FedEx telling how it hopes to climb back up. Does FedEx say this will be done by HELPING people as is done with such success by Edelman, Coca-Cola and Ragan? No, the FedEx plan to make money is to “turn up the heat” on another company. A weak and vulnerable company?
    No, FedEx hopes to succeed by turning up “the heat” on Amazon!

    Common sense advice to FedEx: Help! Make more money not by fighting a gladiator several times bigger and stronger than you are but by HELPING people to get what they want!