Lowe’s nebulous layoffs, Pinterest’s earnings soar, and UK House of Commons’ banned words

Also: A lively discussion about the ROI of PR, cheers and jeers for French’s mustard ice cream, and Chick-fil-A beats fast-food competitors.

Good morning, PR pros:

Chicken reigns supreme in the fast-food wars.

Chick-fil-A has become the No. 1 ranked fast-food chain, ahead of former leader In-N-Out burger and other mainstays like Wendy’s. Chipotle led the pack for Mexican American cuisine.

Though customer satisfaction matters, how we measure public sentiment and its effect on sales seems to be inherently flawed. McDonald’s frequently ranks near the bottom for customer satisfaction surveys but tops the list in sales figures.

How should we change our measurement of customer loyalty and brand affinity to reflect the true value of an organizations’ connection to customers?

Here are today’s top stories:

Lowe’s laying off thousands

The home improvement chain is reportedly cutting thousands of assembly, maintenance and facility-service positions, outsourcing the roles to third-party organizations. Lowe’s will focus instead on in-store sales and customer service positions.

The company declined to tell reporters how many employees its laying off, but CNN Business reported that as of Feb. 1, the company had “approximately 190,000 full-time and 110,000 part-time employees in the United States, Canada and Mexico.”

Why you should care: If you’re struggling with an organizational transformation, don’t forget how crucial employee communications is to your change management strategies.

Your messaging fundamentals should start with solid and complementary communications for both your internal and external stakeholders.

Related reading:


How is your audience using social media to stay abreast of the latest developments? The majority of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat users visit the platform every day. Facebook and Snapchat see almost half of their users check the platform multiple times a day.

That means content for those platforms should be updated frequently and crafted to be as timely and relevant as possible.

A majority of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram users visit these platforms on a daily basis

UK House of Commons’ banned words

The United Kingdom House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg issued an internal style guide that has made headlines and social media chatter for its strict rules, which include omitting the Oxford comma and addressing all non-titled males as “esquire.”

Banned words and phrases include:

  • Very
  • No longer fit for purpose
  • Due to
  • Ongoing
  • Invest (in schools, etc.)
  • Hopefully
  • Unacceptable
  • Equal
  • I am pleased to learn
  • Too many “I”s
  • Yourself
  • I note/understand your concerns
  • Meet with
  • Ascertain
  • Speculate

Why you should care: Your organization probably doesn’t have a style guide this stringent, but it’s never a bad time to brush up on AP Stylebook rules and revisions.

Do you have any in-house style rules that you consider wacky? Share with us under the hashtag #MorningScoop.

Related reading:


To celebrate National Mustard Day on Aug. 3, French’s partnered with Coolhaus Ice Cream and PR agency Fitzco to create a mustard ice cream:

It didn’t take long for Twitter users to voice their distaste:

Even if the idea of mustard-flavored ice cream turns your stomach, some consumers gave it positive reviews—and the press the strange concoction has already garnered is indeed sweet.

CNN’s headline reads: “Mustard ice cream is a weird new way to celebrate National Mustard Day, but hey why not.”

Pinterest shares soar after earnings report

The visual social media platform’s shares rose 15% in after-hours trading after Pinterest raised its revenue forecast, exceeding analysts’ estimates.

Why it matters: If you’re not already using the platform, consider adding it to your social media mix. Pinterest’s chief executive, Ben Silbermann, said it’s adding a mobile interface and advertising tools for small businesses. It’s also working to increase user engagement with more videos and a better experience.

If you think Pinterest isn’t for your organization, think again:

CNBC reported:

On the company’s earnings call, Pinterest CFO Todd Morgenfeld said the positive revenue outlook was bolstered by greater diversity in advertisers, including small businesses, autos and entertainment.

Related reading:


Yesterday we asked for the most common way you measure ROI in your communications efforts. Most PR pros (43%) use media hits and impressions to show campaigns’ value.

However, the poll ignited quite a conversation. Some highlighted PR pros’ struggles:

Others reminded us that one measurement is not enough:

A few communicators highlighted other important analytics:

Others hopped in to share mic-dropping truths about the relationship between PR and sales:


How do you balance requests for media hits and reach with the push to boost sales and the bottom line?

Continue the conversation by tweeting at us: @bekiweki and @PRDaily with the hashtag #MorningScoop.

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