LinkedIn offers marketers more data, YouTube curtails ‘fake news’ about Hong Kong, and Amazon and DoorDash cave on tipping

Also: Overstock chief resigns over Butina tryst, bartering campaign work for beer, and how your own politics dictate your stand on your leaders’ political assertiveness.

Good morning, PR pros:

Measurement can greatly help communicators looking to prove ROI—and LinkedIn is offering its marketing partners more data and insights on targeted audiences and industries.

You can see information on top topics and audience behaviors, as well as current industry trends and better performance measurement on campaigns on the platform.

In a blog post, the LinkedIn wrote:

By understanding the makeup/behaviors of your audience, the context of your industry, and the most recommendable practices for LinkedIn advertising, you’ll be poised to make smart decisions geared toward sustainable growth.

Here are today’s top stories:

YouTube weeds out channels spreading propaganda about Hong Kong

The Google-owned social media platform recently suspended 210 channels it said were part of a “coordinated” effort to influence opinions regarding protests in Hong Kong, which have continued for almost 11 weeks.

In a blog post, Google said:

Earlier this week, as part of our ongoing efforts to combat coordinated influence operations, we disabled 210 channels on YouTube when we discovered channels in this network behaved in a coordinated manner while uploading videos related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. This discovery was consistent with recent observations and actions related to China announced by Facebook and Twitter.

We found use of VPNs and other methods to disguise the origin of these accounts and other activity commonly associated with coordinated influence operations.

The move comes days after Twitter suspended more than 200,000 accounts spreading misinformation regarding the Hong Kong protests and those involved. Facebook also removed several pages, groups and profiles.

Why it matters: Continue to educate your workforce and customers on ways to be savvy news and content consumers, but also regularly check announcements and news for issues that might affect your paid social media campaigns. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more are making efforts to cut down on fake news, but stay vigilant about where your ads and content are displayed to avoid potential crises.

Related reading:


MEASURED THOUGHTS

Employees’ views on whether their company should speak out on political issues are likely to hinge on their own political persuasion.

A new study from Clutch reports that employees that lean conservative in their politics are more likely to want their employer to stay apolitical.

The report also suggests that many employees are uncomfortable with their employer making a big splash on a topic of political debate. Only 28% reported a desire for their company leaders to speak out on political issues.

These figures contradict other studies that say that stakeholders want companies to speak up.

Amazon and DoorDash update tipping policies

Amazon said it would be more transparent in its communications to its Flex delivery drivers, giving them detailed breakdowns that showed both their base pay and the amount of tips they received during their shifts.

The company also told its drivers in an email that they would no longer use tips to reach the promised hourly base pay ranging from $18 to $25.

 Engadget reported:

“While earnings vary by region and block, with the change to Amazon’s minimum contribution, we expect nationwide average earnings for these blocks to increase to more than $27 per hour,” the email reportedly read.

 DoorDash also announced it was changing its earnings and tipping policies.

In a blog post, the company’s co-founder and chief executive, Tony Xu, said its “Dashers will earn more money on average” and “every dollar customers tip will be an extra dollar in their Dasher’s pocket.”

Similar to Amazon’s breakdown, DoorDash contractors will also receive a detailed breakdown of their earnings after each delivery.

Image via the official DoorDash blog.

Why you should care: The way you treat your employees (and contractors), along with your organization’s culture, affects both your workforce and your brand image. Don’t assign employee experience to a low-priority spot on your communications checklist.

In his post, Xu defended DoorDash’s previous decisions, eventually stating that the company had to change its policies or face insurmountable consumer wrath:

… We thought we were doing the right thing for Dashers by making them whole if a customer left no tip, but the feedback we’ve received recently made clear that some of our customers who were leaving tips felt like their tips didn’t matter. We realized that we couldn’t continue to do right by Dashers if some customers felt we weren’t also doing right by them. To ensure that all of our users have a great experience on DoorDash, we needed to strike a better balance.

Related reading:


INSIDE THE INDUSTRY

PR and marketing pros continually battle for larger slices of the budget pie, but an interesting exchange might have you considering the barter system.

Creative agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty New York agreed to work on a Pabst Blue Ribbon campaign promoting its new hard seltzer product—for the price of 12,000 cans of PBR beer.

AdAge reported:

“We really wanted to work with them [and] wanted to prove ourselves and just thought it would be a fun perk for the agency, really,” says Alex Monger, BBH New York’s business director. “So we calculated how many beers could possibly be drunk in the office, over our happy hours and parties and whatever else, and suggested that number to them, and they were very happy to do that.”

… “I am not saying getting paid in beer is the future of agency remuneration models,” he says. “But I do think there is something where the old paying by the hour thing is so outdated. We are always looking with all of our clients on how we can get paid differently, be it performance-related bonuses, or based on the value of our work. Or in beer.”

What do you think of the exchange? Share your thoughts along with your PR payment stories under the hashtag #MorningScoop.

Overstock chief resigns following affair with Russian spy

 The company’s chief executive, Patrick Byrne, stepped down after revealing a romantic relationship with convicted Russian agent Maria Butina and following “Deep State” remarks that Slate reported as “wacky.”

The New York Times reported:

He posted elaborate theories on his personal website, railed against an unnamed Wall Street figure he named the Sith Lord and then, last week, delivered the most eyebrow-lifting tale of all. Mr. Byrne — operating on the advice, he said, of the Berkshire Hathaway chief executive Warren Buffett — disclosed that he had been in a romantic relationship with Maria Butina, a woman accused of being a Russian spy who tried to infiltrate circles of political power before the 2016 presidential election.

His statement, with its references to the “Deep State,” “Men in Black” and “political espionage,” sent his company’s shares sharply down and baffled investors. On Thursday, he resigned as Overstock’s chief executive and chairman, saying his continued presence was complicating the company’s business relationships.

Byrne’s resignation statement was as odd as recent interviews with reporters:

… The news that I shared is bubbling (however haphazardly) into the public. Though patriotic Americans are writing me in support, my presence may affect and complicate all manner of business relationships, from insurability to strategic discussions regarding our retail business. Thus, while I believe that I did what was necessary for the good of the country, for the good of the firm, I am in the sad position of having to sever ties with Overstock, both as CEO and board member, effective Thursday August 22.

And yes, this is available through Overstock:

Why it matters: Train executives and leaders for news media interviews and ensure they understand social media best practices.

Your organization’s leaders have a huge affect on your brand image, reputation and bottom line. Especially as more executives and leaders become more vocal on social media platforms—and speak out on social and political issues—your PR and marketing efforts can be swept away in the time it takes to tell a reporter or tweet a divisive statement.

Related reading:


WHAT YOU SAID

Yesterday we asked if you’re overjoyed or annoyed with the pumpkin-flavored mania starting earlier this year, thanks to Dunkin’ and Starbucks recently launching drinks and other fall-themed products.

Though a plurality (41%) said pumpkin-spiked coffee is gross, others are split between loving the beverages and lamenting an early end to summer:

 


SOUNDING BOARD

What’s the oddest PR or marketing proposal request—or compensation—you’ve seen? We want to hear your stories.

Share your thoughts with the hashtag #MorningScoop.

 

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