Nike’s ‘Betsy Ross’ sneaker, Amazon exec’s viral clapback and an influencer tirade

If you’re not sure why a consumer might be offended at your product line or messaging, start with the diversity represented on your team.

Good morning, PR pros:

Wikipedia’s co-founder, Dr. Larry Sanger, issued a challenge to stop using social media for 48 hours on July 4-5. The call to action is a protest against social media platforms’ data collection practices, but you might want to use this time to take a much-needed digital detox.

Here are today’s top stories:

Nike pulls American flag shoe over backlash

The sneakers featured the “Betsy Ross” United States flag (with 13 white stars in a circle) and were scheduled to go on sale this week. Nike spokesman Colin Kaepernick advised the company not to sell a potentially offensive product and Nike pulled them before the launch.

Why it matters: On Tuesday, “Nike,” “Colin Kaepernick” and “Betsy Ross” trended on Twitter as social media users weighed in. Ultimately, Nike acted on Kaepernick’s concerns to distance itself from ties to racism and white nationalism, highlighting the crucial role diversity can play in marketing decisions. Make sure your team has a range of experiences and backgrounds to avoid unintended blowback.

Related reading:


A recent survey by Releasd revealed that two in 10 executives don’t know what PR stands for and 40% don’t think it delivers good value to their organizations. It looks like communicators’ battle to prove ROI isn’t over yet.

How are you proving the worth of your efforts, PR Daily readers? Tweet me @bekiweki using the hashtag #MorningScoop to share your insights.

Amazon executive’s Twitter clapback invites criticism

On Monday, HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” published a video showing the dark side of Amazon’s fast shipping, racking up more than 2.78 million views. Amazon’s senior vice president of operations, Dave Clark, lashed out on Twitter, calling the accusations “insulting.”

Why you should care: The next time your boss wants to react to criticism, consider the potential consequences. Often, it will only serve to make the story’s news cycle last longer and make you look like poor sports in the process.

Related reading:


IKEA released a free front to play up consumers’ jokes surrounding its “Design your own sofa” planning tool. The font is called Soffa Sans and is sure to make your corporate copy more (ahem) comfy. If this font sets off an uncontrollable eye twitch, Ryan Gosling’s SNL “Papyrus” skit can provide therapy.

Ice cream truck slams influencers, wins praise

You’re not the only one annoyed by wannabe social media celebs. California-based CVT Soft Serve made headlines and Reddit’s front page after it announced that influencers would pay double for its tasty treats.

We couldn’t care less about how many followers you have, and we’re super embarrassed for you when you tell us.

Posted by CVT Soft Serve on Friday, June 28, 2019

Impress your boss: Content creators and social media rock stars can boost your brand and put your name in front of new audiences, but only if they fit your brand image and make sense for your digital PR and marketing goals. Make a splash online by finding your voice and relating to your fans. Sassiness can also be rewarded—if it makes sense for your organization.

Related reading:


Speaking of influencers, Laura Shubel (@LauraShoebell), PR account executive at Caster Communications, had an apt description for yesterday’s GIF:


How are you using influencers in your messaging efforts? Weigh in on our Twitter poll and we will share the results tomorrow.

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