Insights into impulse purchases, Twitter’s new reply filters, and ‘Royal Sussex’ Instagram bombshell rattles the Palace

Also: YouTube influencer shares tips to quell health care ‘misinformation,’ CollegeHumor lays off almost all its staff, and more.

Good morning, PR pros:

 Facebook says it won’t change course on political ads on its plaform despite many concerns that misinformation could be spread to unwitting consumers.

The move is in contrast to other social media platforms that have either stopped political ads, retargeting and other actions on their platforms in the attempt to address misinformation and election-tampering from foreign governments.

Facebook’s announcement last year that it wouldn’t police posts made by political candidates and groups met with criticism, but the company is doubling down.

The New York Times reported:

The company also said it would not end so-called microtargeting for political ads, which lets campaigns home in on a sliver of Facebook’s users — a tactic that critics say is ideal for spreading divisive or misleading information.

Political advertising cuts to the heart of Facebook’s outsize role in society, and the company has found itself squeezed between liberal critics who want it to do a better job of policing its various social media platforms and conservatives who say their views are being unfairly muzzled.

Here are today’s top stories:

Prince Harry and Princess Meghan split from royal family

 On Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex dropped a bombshell post on their Instagram profile, revealing a new brand called “Sussex Royal” and announcing that they are distancing themselves from their royal duties, splitting their time between the United Kingdom and North America:

View this post on Instagram

“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit (link in bio) Image © PA

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

The post, which has racked up more than 1.5 million “likes” on Instagram and dominated news headlines, reads in part:

After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.

Buckingham Palace issued a terse statement following the announcement:

Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.

BBC’s royal correspondent, Jonny Dymond, tweeted that the news came as a surprise to Buckingham Palace:

Why you should care: Harry and Meghan’s decision to adopt a progressive position in a long-established institution bucks tradition, as well as the royal family’s brand, which has struggled amid news reports of arguments between family members. For brand managers, the news can serve as another reminder to prepare for crises long before they hit, as an executive can abruptly depart or an employee can leak sensitive information, plunging your organization into a reputational disaster. Within your crisis strategies, assign and outline roles to accomplish response measures and make sure your workforce understands them and is actively involved.


How will consumers follow their impulses when making purchasing decisions? That might depend on their demographic. According to a study from 5WPR, 82% of millennials are ready to pony up for an item they like the first time they see it.

It might also depend on the type of product you sell.

To learn more, see the full report.

CollegeHumor lays off more than 100 employees

 The humor website’s parent company, CH Media, laid off most of its staff after its parent company, InterActive Corp., announced that it would no longer finance the media company. InterActive also sold CH Media to the company’s chief creative officer, Sam Reich, prompting Reich to plead for support in a Twitter thread:

CollegeHumor later tweeted a post thanking viewers for their support:

Why it matters: Print publications are among many struggling to survive in an increasingly cluttered digital media landscape. These struggles increase as social media platforms’ algorithms change, which can drastically reduce publications’ reach and cut off crucial traffic and revenue streams. If your organization is facing a similar struggle, approaching it with humility, transparency and humanity can help to appeal to audience members willing to take up the torch for your brand.


Dr. Mikhail “Mike” Varshavski, who has more than 8 million followers across his social media accounts (4.75 million on YouTube), posted a video reacting to a few videos by health care professionals which have recently gone viral, sparking controversy and debate online.

In the video, Varshavski names social media a “misinformation superhighway,” calling for physicians to join social media platforms and help educate patients as more and more false health care information and advice circulate:

Varshavski says:

… We can make a difference. There’s over 3 billion people logged in online across the world. We have to, as doctors, go to where our patients are—and right now, they’re on their phones, iPads, laptops, computers, and they’re on social media. So, we need to log on, figure out how to reach them, figure out how to get these algorithms to share our content, and do the best thing we know how: Educate and practice preventative care.”

The physician also shared five tips for health care professionals on social media, which include not giving individual advice or recommendations online, not dismissing social media entirely and declaring sponsorship deals and partnerships. His words highlight the power that social media platforms can give health care professionals if used properly to reach and educate audiences.

Twitter to change tweet reply options

At the Consumer Electronics Show, Twitter’s director of product management, Suzanne Xie, announced that the social media platform will provide four options for users to control replies on their tweets. These options include “global,” where anyone can reply; “group,” for responses from Twitter users you follow and mention; “panel,” which enables only those you mention in a tweet to reply; and “statement,” which limits all replies.

Why it’s important: Twitter is rolling out the new options to cut down on harassment, and brand managers can use them to limit the amount of trolls and detractors. However, be careful not to limit too much of the conversation, lest you stifle your community and make it seem as if you don’t want to listen to your audience. Remember, social media involves two-way communication, and listening is a crucial element to successful online strategies.


We asked how you prefer to learn about industry trends, as well as changes and other related news. Almost half (44%) said you want short summaries or emails, while nearly 27% want to read in-depth articles. Almost 21% of you listen to podcasts and radio shows, but fewer than 9% watch videos.



 How do you share and celebrate your campaign successes and other communications wins?

Weigh in below and share with us your proudest accomplishment (and how you celebrated) under the #MorningScoop hashtag. We’ll share in tomorrow’s roundup.

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One Response to “Insights into impulse purchases, Twitter’s new reply filters, and ‘Royal Sussex’ Instagram bombshell rattles the Palace”

    Ronaldnlevy says:

    Is voting for president an impulse purchase?

    Voting can be like a last minute decision at the supermarket about which products to put in the shopping cart. For what we buy often like detergents or canned vegetables, we may choose the same brands that we always buy. But in selecting a pain reliever or something else we don’t buy regularly, we may make a last-minute decision.

    Many voters may be inclined to vote for the same party as in the past but choosing a candidate may more often be a judgment based on a last-minute decision: which candidate will be best for ME?

    Two candidates, Biden and Warren, may be especially affected by such last-minute impulse purchasing.

    Biden has said several times that we need to top using fossil fuels, so in the MANY oil and coal states, will the perceived self-interest of voters get them to vote against Biden and in favor of their own economic survival? When we’re in a voting booth and the curtain is closed, will we be tempted to vote for the candidate who seems best for our own economics?

    Senator Warren has announced—perhaps stirring impressed attention of PR professionals—that she favors another $200 a month in benefits for Social Security recipients. Does our PR judgment tells us that many of the 61 million Social Security recipients may in the voting booth make a last-minute impulse purchase of Warren?

    In the 2016 election expectation of a Clinton win was widespread. But a comment in the O’Dwyer’s PR newsletter pointed out a big difference in what Trump and Clinton were promising. Trump was calling for more jobs, lower taxes, and better import-export laws to benefit our auto industry. Clinton called for more fairness for the poor, minorities and LGBT people, and we can see what happened.

    I’m not advocating for any party or candidate. I’m just suggesting the idea that millions of votes may be last-minute impulse purchases. People vote not so much for candidates as for themselves. In the voting booth millions of voters may reflect that “if this candidate wins, I get another $200 a month but if another candidate wins I don’t.” PR reality may be that the candidate who promises the most benefits tends to get the most votes.