NBA postpones games after Milwaukee Bucks’ BLM protest, Salesforce and Bed Bath & Beyond to cut thousands of jobs, and TikTok chief resigns

Also: How Gen Z consumers are trying out new brands and buying from Black-owned and local businesses, Busch Beer goes to the dogs, Spotify tests virtual events, and more.

Hello, communicators:

Spotify is reportedly working on a virtual events feature, as discovered by reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong:

TechCrunch reported:

After tapping on the event, fans are informed that BTS will appear at a virtual concert on September 19. The event here is the 2020 iHeartRadio Music Festival, where BTS is scheduled to perform. In the example photos, Songkick is listed as the ticketing partner for this event.

A shift to include virtual event listings instead of live concerts wouldn’t be difficult for Spotify to implement. The company already works with ticketing partners including Ticketmaster, Songkick, Resident Advisor, Eventbrite, AXS and eplus in Japan.

Spotify declined to comment, but you can use the news as additional motivation to digitalize your offerings.

Here are today’s top stories: 

NBA postpones games after Milwaukee Bucks boycott

The National Basketball League announced it would reschedule the fifth game of the playoffs after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Many of the Bucks’ players tweeted individual reactions, as did other players across teams.

In a joint statement, the players said:

Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.

An hour prior to the players’ joint statement, the organization tweeted its support:

The games are rescheduled for Thursday, but they might also be canceled, following a tense meeting in which NBA athletes voted to either end the playoffs or to continue playing. The Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers voted to leave the NBA bubble.

Yahoo Sports reported:

Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill reports that LeBron James initially planned to vote with the consensus, but got angry and stormed out of the meeting. He also reports that there was frustration that the Milwaukee Bucks decided to initiate Wednesday’s walkout on their own.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports that every team besides the Lakers and Clippers voted to keep playing. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Wednesday’s player votes were not final and that discussions will continue through Thursday.

Why it’s important: As social justice protests and demonstrations continue around the world, it’s imperative that your organization get involved. That means listening to and working with your employees on goals and initiatives that will involve them while also underlining your organization’s values. Don’t delay, because your reputation and future talent pool are both on the line.


TACTICALLY SPEAKING

Salesforce is laying off 1,000 employees—roughly 2% of its workforce—despite the company reporting a revenue growth of 29% over last year.

CNBC reported:

“We’re reallocating resources to position the company for continued growth,” a spokesperson confirmed in a statement to CNBC. “This includes continuing to hire and redirecting some employees to fuel our strategic areas, and eliminating some positions that no longer map to our business priorities.”

Employees affected by the cuts are being given 60 days to find a new job within the company, the spokesperson said, and will have access to internal resources to help them in their search. Thus, the number who ultimately end up leaving the company could be far less than 1,000.

Bed Bath & Beyond is also cutting 2,800 jobs as it implements an “organizational realignment” aimed at cutting costs and turning to digital-first offerings.

USA Today reported:

“Saying goodbye to colleagues and friends is incredibly difficult, but this component of our comprehensive restructuring program is critical to rebuild the foundation of our business, construct a modern, balanced and durable business model, and meet the structural shift in customer shopping and service preferences that we have seen accelerate as a result of COVID-19,” Bed Bath & Beyond’s president and CEO Mark Tritton said in a statement.

As part of that plan, the company said it aims to “better serve customers in a digital-first shopping environment.” The changes will also help fund new “customer-inspired” owned brands in 2021, the company said.


MEASURED THOUGHTS

Morning Consult released a special edition of its Most Loved Brands 2020, titled “Gen Z’s Most Loved Brands.” In it, the agency revealed that 27% of Gen Z consumers are purchasing more from local organizations as they were before COVID-19, and 24% are buying from Black-owned businesses. In comparison, 17% of millennials are turning to Black-owned companies and 22% are buying local.

Image courtesy of Morning Consult.

Across age groups, 16% of consumers are buying from brands they’ve never before interacted with, and Gen Z is leading the way—26% are trying out new brands.

You can read the entire report here.


CRISIS LEADERSHIP BOARD

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

via GIPHY

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. 

TikTok chief resigns

The social media app’s chief executive announced he’s stepping down less than four months after he joined the company. TikTok’s general manager for North America, Australia and New Zealand, Vanessa Pappas, will take over as interim chief.

NPR reported:

In a message sent on Wednesday to staff at TikTok, Mayer said as the political environment has “sharply changed,” he has reflected on what kind of corporate restructuring may be coming for the company, concluding that it was best for him to depart.

“I want to be clear that this decision has nothing to do with the company, what I see for our future, or the belief I have in what we are building,” Mayer wrote in his message, which TikTok shared with NPR.

“I understand that the role that I signed up for — including running TikTok globally — will look very different as a result of the US Administration’s action to push for a sell off of the US business,” Mayer said.

Pappas announced on Aug. 24 that TikTok filed a suit to block the Trump administration’s goal to ban the app in the U.S., unless it was sold to another company. Interested parties include Microsoft and Oracle.

Why it’s important: You might try your best to keep your organization, its employees and executives out of political issues, but that’s becoming harder to achieve. It’s especially challenging as the 2020 presidential election draws closer and as brand managers navigate social issues including racial justice, along with the COVID-19 crisis. Prepare now for a potential “Trump crisis”—which might include your organization being criticized or being called out for planning a project that isn’t in the works. Help your leaders know what to do in response and how to handle shifting responsibilities and communications.


DOWNLOAD OUR REPORT

Following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others, organizations were pushed more forcefully than ever before to take stands against systemic racism and move to support social justice initiatives. Which responses made an impact—and which responses fell flat?

Learn from 10 of the biggest brand messages in our special report, “Organizational responses to Black Lives Matter.” The report offers communicators important takeaways to lead organizations and clients in the second half of 2020 and into the future.

Download our report here.

via GIPHY


TACTICALLY SPEAKING

Busch Beer launched a new brew—this one for consumers’ canine pals:

Busch launched the beverage on “National Dog Day” with a contest, promising 100 consumers who purchased the opportunity to win a dog bed:

The brewing company will also donate $1 to Best Friends Animal Society for each case purchased, up to $50,000.

Michigan Live reported: 

“After a long day there’s nothing quite like having a Busch with a friend, and with so many new pet owners across America this year, we wanted to create a brew to give our fans a chance to share a Busch brew with their ‘best friend’,” says Daniel Blake, VP of Value Brands at Anheuser-Busch. “Additionally, we’re proud to be able to partner with Best Friends Animal Society and continue our efforts to help those furry friends still looking for a home.”

For organizations looking to accommodate changing consumer behaviors as people continue to shelter in place and work from home, consider what you can offer to your consumers’ four-legged friends.


WHAT YOU SAID

We asked what communications function you think most needs to be overhauled, and 42% of you said PR and communiciations measurement. Nearly 35% said press releases and pitching strategies should be modified, while almost 12% said your organization’s intranet and internal channels could use a refresh, and nearly 12% said the same should be done to their executive communications:

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


SOUNDING BOARD

As you continue to work from home, what are you using to achieve a sustainable work/life balance?

Share your morning routine below and under the #DailyScoop hashtag.

 

COMMENT

One Response to “NBA postpones games after Milwaukee Bucks’ BLM protest, Salesforce and Bed Bath & Beyond to cut thousands of jobs, and TikTok chief resigns”

    Ronald N. Levy says:

    Consider the possibility, which may sound far out at first, that some of these shootings by police may result from a PR failure.

    In this case and others, police say they shot the person because (a)he didn’t stop when ordered by police to stop, (b) the police thought he might be going for a weapon like the knife the latest victim had said he had in the car, (c) many police have been killed by the driver following a traffic stop, and (d) standard operating procedure for police–what they are trained is the right thing to do–is that if the person doesn’t stop and you think he may be headed for a weapon, shoot.

    Where PR comes in is that sometimes effective PR can persuade people to stop right away if the police say to stop, wear a mask if local health authorities say to do that, don’t drive if you’ve had more than one drink and certainly if you’ve had more than two, and in other ways do what the law says.

    PR could have respected sports heroes and stars of entertainment say you’re not a sucker or a pushover to obey the law, and that more intelligent people may be more
    inclined to obey the law than less intelligent people are.

    Do you know what happens to many guys in jail? Many people don’t but PR could inform them and give them intense motivation to avoid being jailed.

    PR gets people to buy cars that cost several times as much as a $20,000 car. PR gets people to behave in a way that shows how much money or intelligence they have. So could PR be used to sell the idea that it’s smarter to stop when the cop says stop, and to comply with what doctors and lawyers and teachers say?

    I think the answer may be yes and that PR can do more for the public than PR is doing now. I think we can SELL intelligent goodness.

    There are “pro bono” groups of lawyers, doctors and other professionals, so should PRSA or the association of PR firms form pro bono PR teams?

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