London Fashion Week goes digital and gender-neutral, business leaders weigh recession, and Getty Mueum’s Animal Crossing strategy

Also: Facebook launches gaming app early, why Disney turned to employee furloughs, remembering Prince, join our Twitter #RaganChat, and more.

Hello, communicators:

The Recording Academy is airing its special “Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince” in memoriam of the late singer, who died on April 21, 2016.

Star Tribune reported:

Revolution drummer Bobby Z thinks the timing of this TV special is so quintessentially Prince-like. In an era of low-budget Zoom television performances from stars’ living rooms, leave it to Prince to bring a fully staged spectacle into America’s living rooms.

“It’s the right artists, it’s the right time and the right medium. People need this at this moment. This music can help get you through this day,” said Bobby Z. “Leave it to Prince to have an old-fashioned big-time TV show when it’s going to be hard to do these kind of things for a long time. He pulled it off again: Being the biggest thing on national television when nobody else can get on. I’ve been watching him do that my whole life.”

It’s another example in a growing line of early releases and product launches, as organizations scramble to respond to the pandemic. Consider what you can offer in the way of virtual entertainment and engagement as you seek to uplift your community, as well as stay at the forefront of consumers’ minds.

Here are today’s top stories:

London Fashion Week goes digital and gender neutral

The British Fashion Council announced that for the next year, all London Fashion Weeks will “merge womenswear and meanswear into one gender neutral platform, to allow designers greater flexibility.”

London Fashion Week will now take place virtually on June 12-14, which replaces London Fashion Week: Men’s. The digital platform will house podcasts, designer diaries, digital showrooms, interviews and webinars, and be open to the public as well as the organization’s trade audiences.

 In a press release, the organization’s chief executive, Caroline Rush, said:

It is essential to look at the future and the opportunity to change, collaborate and innovate. Many of our businesses have always embraced London Fashion Week as a platform for not just fashion but for its influence on society, identity and culture. The current pandemic is leading us all to reflect more poignantly on the society we live in and how we want to live our lives and build businesses when we get through this. The other side of this crisis, we hope will be about sustainability, creativity and product that you value, respect, cherish. By creating a cultural fashion week platform, we are adapting digital innovation to best fit our needs today and something to build on as a global showcase for the future.  Designers will be able to share their stories, and for those that have them, their collections, with a wider global community; we hope that as well as personal perspectives on this difficult time, there will be inspiration in bucketloads. It is what British fashion is known for.

Why it matters: The COVID-19 timeline is still uncertain, with many states and countries still sheltering in place. Digitizing your offerings can not only help you reach consumers now, but also can help safeguard your organization as the crisis continues.

Don’t just react to the pandemic. Instead, make decisions that can pave the way for the future of your brand, including the way you engage your stakeholders.


 The Getty Museum has given Animal Crossing fans a way to digitally showcase its artwork:

The Victoria and Albert Museum jumped in for the virtual fine art appreciation by offering William Morris wallpaper to players:

The efforts show lucrative opportunities for organizations to gain consumer favor and boost brand recognition online—if you’re willing to take risks and venture into new digital territories. On April 7, The New York Times reported that the game had racked up “more than 38 million tweets since its release.”

The Times reported:

“It’s now the No. 1 most talked-about game in the world, dethroning the likes of Fate/Grand Order—which held that title for nearly two years—and Fortnite,” said Rishi Chadha, global head of gaming partnerships at Twitter. “The growth in conversation has been astronomical. Conversation volume since launch has grown over 1,000 percent and the number of people tweeting about the game has grown over 400 percent.”


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.


COVID-19 has transformed workplaces in a matter of weeks, sending internal communicators and employee relations pros scrambling to connect with their now dispersed workforces.

Learn how Phillips 66 is keeping its employees engaged during the crisis in a Q&A with the company’s senior advisor of digital projects, corporate communications, Laurie Madden. Read it here.


A recent survey of executives, directors and managers from Business Insider Intelligence revealed that 78% think it’s either “very likely” or “extremely likely” we’re heading toward a recession, with several COVID-19 effects causing the decline.

Nearly half (48%) say that limited travel is contributing to worsening economic conditions, with 46% pointing to quarantine effects and 44% calling out shortages with supply chains as well as reduced purchases:

Image courtesy of Business Insider Intelligence.

 Of the leaders Business Insider Intelligence surveyed, 45% said the pandemic has already left a “small negative impact” on their organizations, with an additional 20% saying that impact was large. As COVID-19 continues, 27% say they expect a “small negative impact” in the next three months, with nearly half (48%) bracing for a “large negative impact.”

Image courtesy of Business Insider Intelligence.

Disney furloughs up to 100,000 employees

The entertainment company has temporarily suspended pay for “nearly half of its workforce,” Financial Times reported. The pay cuts should save up to $500 million monthly as Walt Disney Company’s theme parks and hotels in both the U.S. and Europe remain closed.

CNBC reported:

Over the last few weeks Disney has laid out its plans to impose unpaid leave, first for some non-union employees, then in a subsequent deal with 43,000 union workers. The media giant will pay 100% of health insurance costs for workers currently covered for up to 12 months. While the majority of those furloughs are at the theme parks, they also extend to all of Disney’s other divisions, including the movie studio and TV division. Disney’s also asked its senior executives to accept a pay cut, with no set end.

Why it’s important: Disney is bracing itself for extended closing dates of its theme parks and hotels as the world grapples to control the spread of COVID-19. If your organization is similarly cutting employees’ pay or furloughing its workforce to stay afloat as the crisis continues, make sure you communicate often and transparently to your employees. Address their concerns as you lay out your plan forward, and update them as the crisis continues and your business model—as well as communications—adjusts in response.


Today at 3 p.m. Eastern time, we’ll discuss tactics and tips behind outstanding virtual meetings. Join us under the hashtag #RaganChat, and invite your network to join you by sharing the tweet below:


Facebook has released its gaming app two months ahead of schedule in response to COVID-19:

CNBC reported:

Facebook lags behind Twitch and YouTube when it comes to live video game broadcasts. In the first three months of 2020, the firm’s game streaming platform clocked almost 554 million hours of viewing time, compared to 1.1 billion for YouTube and 3.1 billion for Twitch, according to research from Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet.

But the company says over 700 million of its users already interact with gaming content on the main Facebook app.

Facebook might be up against tough competition, but the company is taking advantage of consumers staying at home and looking for entertainment. The New York Times reported that 2.5 billion Facebook users already engage with gaming content.


We asked how often you’re communicating with employees during the pandemic, and more than 33% of you said you reach out daily. Roughly 26% connect with workers every few days, and more than 21% touch base weekly:

Along with keeping employees informed, regularly ask them how they’re doing. Assessing their mood and outlook can help you identify concerns and needs to address.


What phrase are you using for “going back to work” following shelter-in-place orders? Are you calling it “re-entry”? “Return to normal?”

Share your thoughts, along with how you’re positioning employee messages, under the #DailyScoop hashtag.


One Response to “London Fashion Week goes digital and gender-neutral, business leaders weigh recession, and Getty Mueum’s Animal Crossing strategy”

    Ronald N. Levy says:

    Disney paying for employee health insurance reduces the chances of signs: “Mickey Mouse is a Rat!”

    It’s like paying severance to discharged employees so they’ll sign an agreement not to sue or badmouth the company on pain of having to give back the money.

    An important part of PR wisdom is not just saying what’s helpful but reducing the peril of people doing what’s harmful. It can cost less to compensate than to litigate.

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