Music festivals emphasize pro-LGBTQ values, economic confidence dips as Delta variant rages, and Spirit Airlines’ customers tweet their displeasure

Also: Frito-Lay launches space camp contest, Amazon responds to record regulatory fine and Zoom promises privacy changes.

Hello, communicators:

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.

Frito-Lay-blast-off

Courtesy of Frito-Lay

“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.

The Washington Post reports:

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.”

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A post shared by Day N Vegas (@daynvegas2021)

DaBaby’s removal from the above festival lineups followed swift and widespread comdemnation from other artists, including Elton John and Questlove:

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A post shared by Questlove (@questlove)

DaBaby’s attempted to apologize, but his mea culpa was insufficient as more and more festivals removed him from their programming.

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.


MEASURED THOUGHTS

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.”

Courtesy of Morning Consult

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.


TECH TALK

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 New York Times reports:

“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.

Take the survey today!


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.

USA Today reports:

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:

Some Twitter users pointed out that the way Spirit framed the cancelations intentionally exempted the airline from liability for compensating customers with hotels:

Others started a rumor that what the company framed as “operational issues” was a pilots’ strike:

This company eventually responded to this rumor in a statement to local news.

WUSA9 reports:

“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.

Is there a question you’d like to see asked? Let us know using the hashtag #DailyScoop!

COMMENT

One Response to “Music festivals emphasize pro-LGBTQ values, economic confidence dips as Delta variant rages, and Spirit Airlines’ customers tweet their displeasure”

    Ronald N Levy says:

    What’s happening to Amazon—endless attacks by publicity-hungry politicians hoping to look heroic and perhaps get higher office maybe even president—teaches PR lessons to nearly all large companies.

    .1. Thousands of politicians know they can get space and time by attacking
    a large company as not doing enough for the public.

    .2. ANY company can be accused, even one like Amazon or Walmart that saves billions a year for the public, pays billions in taxes that help the public, and pays billions in payroll the public needs.

    .3. You’re at two disadvantages if your company is attacked: (a) the attacker talks first so by the time you answer, the PR Principle of Primacy is that the public may already be partly convinced by who went first; and (b) almost ALL companies can be accused that they could be charging less, paying more or being safer because this is true. All.

    .4. What most people decide will depend not just on arguable facts but on how much the public LIKES the company. If a company is backing some huge research project to protect our air quality, or make bells ring if kids walk into a school with pot or a pistol, or help find ways to make our marriages stronger, or research cardionutrition capsules to make our hearts stronger, the company is more likely to win. But if the company is known mainly for the accusation and for making money, the accusation can result in public disapproval on the theory that where there’s smoke there’s often fire, and billions in company money may be lost.

    .5. The cost of doing Preventive PR—PR so 150 million Americans will know why they should LIKE a company—may be much lower than the cost of NOT doing Preventive PR.

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