Instagram drops IGTV button, public speaking tips from MLK, and how consumers get news from social media

Also: Sainsbury’s wins Twitter with Beyoncé tweet, Walmart and others get kudos on sustainability, brands cash in on big NFL game day, and more.

Good morning, PR pros:

 Beyoncé has launched her new Ivy Park collection, but the clothes have looked surprisingly familiar to some U.K. shoppers.

Many social media users were quick to point out that the clothes bore a striking resemblance to the employee uniforms for the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s. The chain’s Twitter channel was also able to join the fun:

Social listening and well-crafted humor can help make a splash on social media and make your organization a part of the bigger cultural conversation. However, if you plan on poking fun at a beloved celebrity like Beyoncé, you should be prepared for the backlash.

Here are today’s top stories:

Instagram ditches ‘IGTV’ button

The social media platform is removing the shortcut to its long-form video service, IGTV—a button it displayed at the top of users’ feeds. The shortcut didn’t net Instagram traffic; TechCrunch reported that only 1% of users downloaded the IGTV app. TikTok has racked up 1.15 billion downloads (80.5 million in the United States) over the last 18 months, compared with IGTV’s 1.1 million downloads.

TechCrunch reported:

“As we’ve continued to work on making it easier for people to create and discover IGTV content, we’ve learned that most people are finding IGTV content through previews in Feed, the IGTV channel in Explore, creators’ profiles and the standalone app. Very few are clicking into the IGTV icon in the top right corner of the home screen in the Instagram app” a Facebook company spokesperson tells TechCrunch. “We always aim to keep Instagram as simple as possible, so we’re removing this icon based on these learnings and feedback from our community.”

Why you should care: Instagram’s latest move is a reminder to play to your strengths. The social media platform is dominating users’ attention with visuals and short video content. It’s also amassing millennial and Gen Z users, who are attractive to marketers. By trying to take on competitors such as YouTube, it confused and annoyed users who didn’t want to watch lengthy videos.

Don’t try to be on all social media platforms nor create every type of content that is gaining popularity. Instead, select the channels and formats that will most effectively reach your target audiences and help you achieve your PR and marketing goals.


MEASURED THOUGHTS

Many things have changed about Americans over the last decade, but one of the biggest transformations for communicators is where people get their news.

According to the Pew Research Center, 2018 was the first year that more people got their news from social media than from newspapers. Of the social media platforms, Facebook is the most popular for Americans to get their news.

Walmart, Hilton, Alphabet and more receive top marks for sustainability

Alphabet, American Express, Bank of America, Ford Motor Co., General Mills, Hilton, Johnson & Johnson, Lego, L’Oreal, Microsoft, Toyota Motor Co. and Walmart were among the 2% of 8,000 companies given an A grade in climate action scores by global nonprofit CDP.

Why it matters:

Securing a top spot on a list that highlights your sustainability efforts or other purpose-driven communications is good PR, but these strategies can also be good for your bottom line. “Companies on the A list outperform their peers on the stock market by 5.5 percent every year, according to index provider STOXX,” Aljazerra reported.


FROM THE EXPERTS

It’s Martin Luther King Jr. day, and many communicators are remembering the civil rights icon. However, there are more lessons to take from King’s example than just his activism.

King was a powerful communicator, one of the great public speakers of the 20th century, and possibly of all time.  Check out what public speaking lessons you can learn from him, and think about how you can use your platform to bring about positive change in your community.

Head & Shoulders and BBQ chain hold watch party for ‘bad luck’ fan

 Kansas City Chiefs fan Charles Penn left the National Football League playoff game on Jan. 12 between the Chiefs and Houston Texans when Kansas City was down by 24 points at halftime. He tweeted that despite paying $200 for tickets, he was convinced he was “bad luck” and watched the second half from home. The Chiefs won, 51–31.

Following the game, Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes responded to a reporter’s question by telling Penn to “watch the next game at home”:

Head & Shoulders, which is a sponsor of Mahomes, quickly reached out and offered Penn a watch party for the AFC championship game on Jan. 19. Shortly after, Jack Stack BBQ offered to host it:

The moves netted good PR as well as good luck: The Chiefs won against the Tennessee Titans, 35–24 and will play the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV.

Why it’s important: Opportunities such as this to embrace fans and make brand ambassadors in fun, organic ways can happen when you add social listening to your priorities. Take advantage of what consumers are saying about you, the industry and your partners online, and jump at the chance to be a part of the conversation (when appropriate).


WHAT YOU SAID

 We asked how important humor is for your campaign efforts, and 45% said it’s very important. Thirty-five percent of you said channeling your inner comedian is “somewhat helpful,” and 20% said humor isn’t a focus. However, no one thought humor represented a PR risk.

PR pro John Mularoni said humor can distract from your message—a reminder to incorporate it only when it’s appropriate to your audience and brand voice.


SOUNDING BOARD

As video grows in importance for communications teams, many are scrambling to either hire video pros for their internal teams or find trusted partners to outsource the work.

When creating videos, do you outsource the work or create the content in-house?

Share your thoughts with our hashtag #MorningScoop.

 

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