Macy’s folds under criticism, Pinterest offers stress relief, and Canadian PD flubs livestream

Also: Ford creates buzz with electric truck stunt, how video is essential for converting customers, you might not be using all your PTO, and more.

Good morning, PR pros:

Ford touted its contribution to the electric vehicle chase with a video showing its all-electric F-150 towing 1.25 million pounds.

The stunt was replete with gas-burning F-150s for payload and male truck owners in neon vests offering tropes like “No way.” The company couldn’t find any female truck owners to be blown away by the electric truck’s power, but the company did put a female engineer in the driver seat when it was time to put the EV through its paces.

The stunt allows Ford to flex is electric muscles as the company tries to appeal to both truck lovers and environmentally conscious consumers.

What kinds of videos can your organization create right now that would stimulate a public discussion and grab online viewers?

Here are today’s top stories:

Macy’s pulls snarky portion plates after backlash

The retail chain apologized to its customers after many social media users criticized a collection of plates with portion marks and labels such as “mom jeans” and “food coma.”

Macy’s removed the plates, and the retailer’s social media team replied to Ward, saying it had “missed the mark”:

Why you should care: Keep your organization’s mission, values and brand voice firmly in your mind as you craft crisis responses, because you won’t please everyone. Though many lashed out at Macy’s for carrying the plates, others defended the humorous take on portion control and criticized Macy’s for crumbling under pressure.

Related reading:


MEASURED THOUGHTS

Wyzowl reported that 72% of people would rather learn about a product or service through a video, and 79% said video had persuaded them to purchase.

Vidyard’s Video in Business Benchmark Report underlined the importance of embracing the growing trend of video content but revealed that viewers’ preferences differ when it comes to branded videos.

For example, though 75% of global video views occur through mobile devices, 87% of business-related content’s views happen on desktop, so tailor your videos to your intended audience. Vidyard also revealed that Thursday is the most popular day to watch branded content, followed by Wednesday and Tuesday. Release your videos midweek for the most success.

Pinterest looks to ease stress

The visual-based social media platform recently revealed “compassionate search,” which is a box that appears above pin results whenever a user searches for terms including “anxiety” and “stress.” The box contains exercises to help you relax and boost your mental and emotional wellness.

“We didn’t just decide to throw this in the app,” Pinterest product manager Annie Ta told Wired. “We decided to put it in the app because people are already searching for these things so much.”

Impress your boss: Pinterest’s move is the intersection of corporate social responsibility and catering to its target audience. Figure out what drives your stakeholders—through surveys, social media metrics and other data gathering efforts—and aim offer solutions to their pressing issues.

Related reading:


FUN FACTS

Celebrity Cruises released a survey that revealed 47% of employees had unused paid time off over the past year. Though some of that might be due to denied requests (21%), it also is a factor for entry-level positions: Eighty-three percent of those making less than $25,000 per year took their paid time off, while 98% of those making $75,000 or more took all of their days off.

The cruise line hopes its findings will persuade you to book a vacation, but unplugging regularly will also help your work-life balance.

Mounties’ use of cat filter for online video raises eyebrows

A Facebook Live stream from British Columbia’s Northern Rockies Royal Canadian Mounted Police quickly earned the department criticism after a filter made its media relations officer, Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, appear to have cat ears and whiskers.

The stream was deleted, and Shoihet appeared in another moments later, apologizing for the “technical difficulties”:

Please see our Facebook Live media availability in regards to the Northern Rockies double homicide. Update: Suspicious Death Investigation Continueshttp://northernrockies.bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=2130&languageId=1&contentId=60748

Posted by BC RCMP on Friday, July 19, 2019

The feline filter flub was made worse when the department tweeted that it was due to an “automatic setting”:

The Mounties’ spokescat should not be confused, of course, with that other chatty Canadian critter, Banff_Squirrel.

Why it matters: Everyone makes mistakes. Though you will still face ridicule after a misstep, owning up to it quickly and honestly will help social media critics move on—and might gain you sympathizers. Because of its excuse (made worse by its blatant mistruth), BCRCMP instead suffered additional snark.

Related reading:


WHAT YOU SAID

Yesterday we asked you to caption this GIF:

Megan Scharf, account coordinator for Catapult PR, responded with a sentiment that any communicator can celebrate:

Ah, yes—the sweet silence of a meeting-less Monday.


SOUNDING BOARD

PR pros’ responsibilities are as wide as their to-do lists are long. How do you spend the majority of your time?

Weigh in below, and we’ll share in tomorrow’s #MorningScoop.


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