McDonald’s to require masks, Everlane addresses claims of racism and toxic culture, and Microsoft teams up with NBA on virtual fan experience

Also: Red Robin maps out consumer decisions, Frito-Lay highlights its offerings in its 2020 Snack Index, O: The Oprah Magazine to stop printing, and more.

Hello, communicators:          

Red Robin’s social media team turned to charts when persuading consumers to order:

The flowchart and Venn diagram are just two ways you can offer marketing messages in more fun and shareable ways.

Have you used charts, infographics or diagrams to highlight a value proposition or engage with social media fans? Let us know under the #DailyScoop hashtag. 

McDonald’s to require face masks

The fast food chain announced that starting Aug. 1, customers must wear face coverings to enter its locations as the company pushes back re-opening plans for another 30 days.

In a press release, McDonalds’ wrote:

…While nearly 82% of our restaurants are in states or localities that require facial coverings for both crew and customers today, it’s important we protect the safety of all employees and customers.

The intent of this policy is to take a proactive approach and focus on quickly finding solutions when customers are unable or unwilling to wear a face covering. In those situations where a customer declines to wear a face covering, we’ll put in place additional procedures to take care of them in a friendly, expedited way.

Other organizations requiring masks, including Walmart, are providing managers and employees with de-escalation training as part of their new policies and procedures.

CNN reported:

Walmart, the largest retailer in the country, said it would station employees it calls health ambassadors at the entrance of stores to remind shoppers about mask compliance as they enter.

But a short training video for health ambassadors makes clear there are limits to the job. If a customer refuses to wear a mask, health ambassadors are instructed to let the customer into the store and notify management “so that they can determine the next steps.”

Why it’s important: Provide your workforce with the necessary resources and training to handle crises during COVID-19 and beyond. Even if your frontline employees are not traditionally part of your crisis strategy, they are often the first people with whom customers interact. Train everyone, from cashiers to social media team members, how to handle backlash along with your brand’s approved response methods. This also means empowering frontline managers with additional tools and resources to lead employees.


TACTICALLY SPEAKING

Microsoft, Michelob Ultra and the National Basketball League are partnering to give fans interactive experiences as part of the sports organization’s #WholeNewGame campaign.

For each of the games, more than 300 chosen fans will be invited to view the matchup through Microsoft Teams’ “Together Mode,” which will use AI technology to place the participants in virtual stands and enable them to interact with the game, while other viewers are able to see their reactions.

The effort is one of the ways the NBA is making the experience interactive without fans physically present at its games.

The NBA wrote in a press release:

In collaboration with broadcast partners ESPN and Turner Sports, more than 30 cameras, including many in robotic form, will be repositioned closer to the court and showcase never-before-seen camera angles in places that are otherwise not accessible with fans in the arena.  Microphones around the court will capture enhanced sounds from the floor, including sneaker squeaks and ball bounces.  DJs and announcers will be in-venue to help replicate the sounds and experiences teams are accustomed to in-arena.

Innovative solutions don’t always require huge budgets or partnerships with industry giants. Think of ways that you can use existing digital channels—whether social media platforms or your own assets, such as a website, app or newsroom—to better engage with your stakeholders and provide experiences that surprise and delight.


MEASURED THOUGHTS

Through its 2020 Snack Index, Frito-Lay shared that though 86% of consumers have changed their summer plans in light of COVID-19, they will probably still bring snacks to their activities and gatherings, and online snack sales have risen 43% since March 1:

Along with these statistics, the video showcases favorite Frito-Lay snacks across the United States and can give you inspiration for harnessing data for brand storytelling.


CRISIS LEADERSHIP BOARD

Looking for more insight on how to address the current global crisis and lead your organization into a strong recovery?

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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.

Everlane’s chief creative officer steps back after racist behavior claims

The clothing company racked up kudos and support in the past for its commitment to “radical transparency,” but The New York Times reported that Everlane’s leadership recently confirmed many employee allegations that included personal space violations, “insensitive terms” used when talking about Black models, inconsistent promotion policies and more.

 The New York Times reported:

Alexandra Spunt, the company’s chief creative officer who has received significant criticism from staff, will be “no longer leading the creative team” and will be “transitioning” while “advising the senior leadership team as needed.”

In a statement to The Times, Mr. Preysman said that the company had “urgent work to do to rewrite Everlane’s code of ethics.” It would be opening a seat for a Black board member in the next year, adding a Black person to the senior leadership team in the next year, rolling out anti-racism training for the entire company by August, and teaming with two racism accountability organizations.

Why it’s important: As more consumers purchase from brands that align with their values and employees seek to work for organizations that do the same, your brand’s mission and values are crucial to establishing a strong reputation, recruiting talent and building brand loyalty. If the story that you’re presenting to the public doesn’t match your internal culture, the disparity will come to light.


TAKE OUR SURVEY

Have your storytelling efforts shifted during COVID-19 and as your organization responds to the nationwide movement for racial equality and inclusion? We want to hear how you’re telling your brand’s story, including what messages you’re using and the content formats and channels you’re focusing on to strengthen your reputation and effectively reach stakeholders.

Please take our survey here. All responses are confidential and anonymous.

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Survey findings will be released at Ragan’s Brand Storytelling During a Crisis Virtual Conference, Aug. 4-5. You can hear the results—and learn how to tell your brand’s story to help you thrive in our “new normal”—with speakers from Con Edison, Google, Experian, Minnesota Timberwolves, Crayola, Marriott International, Girl Scouts of the USA, Cleveland Clinic and more.


TACTICALLY SPEAKING

After 20 years, O: The Oprah Magazine will stop printing after its December 2020 issue, as first reported by Business of Fashion.

The PR team at Hearst Magazines, still reeling from its presidents’ recent resignation, was quick to point out that the brand will continue digitally, though it’s unclear if that will be in the form of online issues.  

The Hollywood Reporter wrote:

Asked for comment, a rep for Hearst Magazines emphasized to The Hollywood Reporter that the brand is not going away but will become “more digitally centric.”

“As the brand celebrates twenty years of O, The Oprah Magazine, we’re thinking about what’s next, but again the partnership and the brand are not going away,” the rep said in a statement. “This is a natural next step for the brand, which has grown to an online audience of 8 million, extending its voice and vision with video and social content. We will continue to invest in this platform as the brand grows and evolves into one that is more digitally centric.”

Said Winfrey in a statement: “I’m proud of this team and what we have delivered to our readers over the past 20 years. I look forward to the next step in our evolution.”

As your organization adjusts to changing consumer behavior, especially during COVID-19, consider how you can shift your focus and offerings to seet you up for success both presently and in the future.


WHAT YOU SAID

We asked what you think about brands taking part of trending memes, and nearly 74% of you said it’s a tactic to consider if it fits with your brand’s voice. Roughly 14% said they embrace the practice, while 6% said using memes comes off as trying too hard—and 6% said it’s unprofessional.

Is there a question you’d like us to ask in an upcoming poll? Let us know!


SOUNDING BOARD

How are you building trust and goodwill with consumers and  other stakeholders during COVID-19?

Share your thoughts and examples below and under the #DailyScoop hashtag.

COMMENT

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