Frito-Lay has announced a partnership with aspiring astronaut and STEM influencer Alyssa Carson to promote a contest in which the brand will sponsor 50 girls to go to Space Camp for one week as part of its “Back to School Blast Off” campaign. Families can enter the contest with the purchase of specially marked Frito-Lay variety packs.
“I developed a love for space at a young age,” Carson said in the press release. “I was fortunate enough to live out my dream to attend Space Camp, which helped me further cement my interest in the STEM field. I want to help kids get that hands-on experience at school and in their homes, which is why I’m excited to partner with Frito-Lay Variety Packs on their mission to help young students, especially female and under-represented community groups, develop their passion for space or any STEM opportunity they want to pursue.”
Frito-Lay’s new promotion aims to build goodwill the week after the company made headlines for settling with an employee union in Kansas following a three-week strike. By sharing this back-to-school promotion, the brand hopes to change the conversation, emphasizing its focus on the importance of education after a year and a half when education has been tricky for so many kids.
Music festivals tout inclusive values in decision to remove rapper DaBaby
Rap artist DaBaby has been removed from the lineup of several popular music festivals following homophobic and sexist comments he made onstage during a Miami music festival last month.
While performing last month at Rolling Loud, DaBaby directed homophobic and sexist comments toward crowd members in the LGBTQ community, as well as those with HIV/AIDS. He encouraged everyone to raise their cellphone lights on the condition that they weren’t gay men or affected by HIV/AIDS, inaccurately stating that the disease would “make you die in two to three weeks.”
Lollapalooza was founded on diversity, inclusivity, respect, and love. With that in mind, DaBaby will no longer be performing at Grant Park tonight. Young Thug will now perform at 9:00pm on the Bud Light Seltzer Stage, and G Herbo will perform at 4:00pm on the T-Mobile Stage. pic.twitter.com/Mx4UiAi4FW
— Lollapalooza (@lollapalooza) August 1, 2021
Stay tuned for a lineup addition. pic.twitter.com/ED4rhbL9Wm
— The Governors Ball (@GovBallNYC) August 2, 2021
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DaBaby’s removal from the above festival lineups followed swift and widespread comdemnation from other artists, including Elton John and Questlove:
(1/5) We've been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show. This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.
The facts are: pic.twitter.com/MqCv3vWiz2
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) July 28, 2021
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DaBaby’s attempted to apologize, but his mea culpa was insufficient as more and more festivals removed him from their programming.
Anybody who done ever been effected by AIDS/HIV y’all got the right to be upset, what I said was insensitive even though I have no intentions on offending anybody. So my apologies 🙏🏾
But the LGBT community… I ain’t trippin on y’all, do you. y’all business is y’all business.
— DaBaby (@DaBabyDaBaby) July 27, 2021
Why it matters:
DaBaby’s flawed apologies underscore how ignorance will not be excused by audiences when it is communicated with defensiveness. When issuing a mea culpa, be careful not to wrap your apology in any justification or explanation. While audiences understand that people and brands make mistakes, your vulnerability can become a strength when it is communicated from a sincere position of remorse that isn’t laced with excuses.
A recent study by Morning Consult finds that the brand’s Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS), a daily survey measuring consumer confidence in the U.S. economy, has fallen sharply since the beginning of July as COVID-19 cases and concerns about the Delta variant have been on the rise.
“Following a relative lull in new cases in June, the 7-day average in new cases in the U.S. began rising rapidly at the beginning of this month, increasing three-fold from 13,877 on July 1 to 42,226 on July 25,” said Morning Consult. “This spike in new cases coincides with the downward shift in sentiment as U.S. consumers worry about the impact the new, highly-contagious Delta variant will have on the U.S. economic recovery.”
These latest numbers serve as a reminder that your communications around new initiatives, releases and more should only be shared at a time when the economic and social climate is conducive for engagement. Don’t compete with larger conversations and cultural moments that dominate the news cycle, lest your company news be lost in the sea of more pressing national or global concerns.
Video conferencing company Zoom has agreed to pay an $85 million settlement in a lawsuit that claimed the ubiquitous software violated user privacy by sharing personal data with third-party internet services, allowing hackers to interrupt online meetings through a tactic known as “zoombombing” that takes advantage of Zoom’s screensharing feature, and more. As part of the settlement, Zoom agreed to reform its privacy practices, including notifying users when others are using third-party apps in a meeting and providing privacy training to its employees.
“The privacy and security of our users are top priorities for Zoom, and we take seriously the trust our users place in us,” the company said in a statement. “We are proud of the advancements we have made to our platform, and look forward to continuing to innovate with privacy and security at the forefront.”
In agreeing to settle the case, the company denied any wrongdoing.
Zoom’s response offers a blanket promise to increase security, but doesn’t go into specifics or explain how its privacy reforms will be enacted, enforced or scaled within the organization. This settlement highlights the extent to which remote communications have exacerbated concerns about privacy issues and prompted the general public to wonder how their data is being used and collected.
TAKE OUR SURVEY
The Institute for Public Relations, Ragan Communications, and the University of Florida are conducting a follow-up survey to their 2020 report, “The Career Path of a Social Media Professional.”
This year’s survey investigates and illuminates the career path potential of social media professionals, shedding light on how social media is being managed, viewed and evaluated within organizations. Here are some highlights from our 2020 report.
We invite you to take this survey whether you’re in charge of social media for your company or are involved in some aspect of social media for a client. The survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete, and all responses will remain confidential.
As thanks for taking the survey, you’ll get an opportunity to enter a drawing for three $50 gift cards and will receive a copy of the full report, which promises to be chock-full of valuable data for benchmarking and budgeting purposes. The report will be presented on Sept. 9, 2021 at Ragan’s Social Media Conference in Orlando, Florida and published through IPR and PR Daily.
RAGAN’S 2021 BENCHMARK REPORT
Ragan has released its annual Communications Benchmark Report, an exclusive study from Ragan’s Communications Leadership Council that analyzes the major trends in the profession over the last year.
During that time, comms pros have been called on to develop and distribute messages on new policies that affect internal and external stakeholders alike. Their role has become more essential as they helped keep their organizations focused and moving forward. They’ve seen their access to the C-suite increase throughout 2020, and they forged important new alliances with peers in other departments, including HR, finance and workplace wellness.
Culled from more than 750 respondents, the 32-page report is available in its entirety exclusively to members of the Communications Leadership Council.
Download your copy of the exclusive Benchmark Survey Executive Summary today and get a crucial competitive advantage that will fuel your success for 2021 and beyond.
Spirit Airlines passengers share outrage on social media after canceled flights
Spirit Airlines canceled hundreds of flights at the last minute on Sunday and Monday, leaving hundreds of passengers waiting in line for hours to request a refund, and forcing many to camp out at the airport.
Spirit Airlines spokesman Erik Hofmeyer blamed the flight cancellations on weather and unspecified operational challenges, a common refrain from airlines including Southwest and American this summer.
“We’re working around the clock to get back on track in the wake of some travel disruptions over the weekend due to a series of weather and operational challenges,” Hofmeyer said via email. “We needed to make proactive cancellations to some flights across the network, but the majority of flights are still scheduled as planned.”
By the time Spirit Airlines issued a social media advisory, the damage had already been done:
It was a joy to wake up at 3:15am to read the cancelation email. I am now 10 1/2 hours in text cue for customer service. Thankfully I'm also about to board another airline for my destination. Never again, you bozos.
— Larrydipietro (@larrydipietro) August 2, 2021
We're glad to have you on board, Jeff, and hope that everything smooths out for you today! ^KF
— United Airlines (@united) August 2, 2021
RIGHT NOW: Hundreds of passengers are experiencing flight cancellations on #SpiritAirlines at Myrtle Beach International Airport. Some people say they’ve been stranded since yesterday afternoon— resorting to sleeping on the floor and in window sills. @wpdeabc15 pic.twitter.com/sHh8XdtB70
— Donovan Harris (@donoharrtv) August 2, 2021
— Aysha Becerra (@love_ur_self130) August 2, 2021
Some Twitter users pointed out that the way Spirit framed the cancelations intentionally exempted the airline from liability for compensating customers with hotels:
Same thing in Boston… people sleeping on the floor overnight with kids… Spirit is claiming it’s “air traffic” and “weather” so not helping anyone with hotels.
— Lora Marden (@lora_marden) August 2, 2021
Others started a rumor that what the company framed as “operational issues” was a pilots’ strike:
— Matilda Lucas (@chilumat) August 1, 2021
@SpiritAirlines Stop lying to the consumers and the public about what's going on. No pilots. No staff. Empty promises. Fraudulent acts. Thousands stranded and rebooking. #spiritstrike pic.twitter.com/Vfbrl6Ojlt
— Matthew Galey (@Two_Mites) August 2, 2021
This company eventually responded to this rumor in a statement to local news.
“There is no strike,” Spirit representative Field Sutton said in an email. “I’m aware of the rumor of a pilot strike, but it’s 100% false. We have a fantastic team of pilots working very hard during this busy travel season.”
What it means:
This crisis also highlights the extent to which your social media team must be strategically embedded in your larger corporate crisis plan, provided with the resources to conduct social listening at scale empowered to act autonomously to take heated conversations offline and de-escalate them as needed.
WHAT YOU SAID
Yesterday we asked if you have ever pushed for the creation of a new communications role at a partner or vendor organization after a crisis. A majority (43%) of you said that you had, but the efforts were unsuccessful. Meanwhile, 29% of you said that you had lobbied successfully and another 29% said that you have never pushed a partner or organization to grow its comms team.
Have you ever pushed for the creation of a new communications role at a partner or vendor organization after a crisis, PR pros and communicators? #DailyScoop
— PR Daily (@PRDaily) August 2, 2021
Is there a question you’d like to see asked? Let us know using the hashtag #DailyScoop!