NYSE reopens with 25% of staff, ‘Some Good News’ acquisition takes heat, and Pizza Hut celebrates grads

Also: The majority of publications continue to focus on COVID-19 news, Disney World shares recipe for popular resort treat, Hy-Vee hands out masks in Iowa, and more.


Hello, communicators:

Pizza Hut is celebrating this year’s graduates with free pizzas. Eligible consumers can claim a medium one-topping pizza as part of a partnership with America’s Dairy Farmers giving away 500,000 pies:

The move exemplifies a branding effort meant to keep an organization top-of-mind, while also racking up goodwill generated by a CSR effort and partnership during COVID-19.

If you’re still searching for ways to help out the community, go deeper than a donation. By offering up products and services to meet an upcoming holiday or celebration, you stand to grab more media coverage as well as make a difference in the hearts and minds of consumers.

Here are today’s top stories:

NYSE touts safety in reopening

The New York Stock Exchange is open again after being closed for two months while people sheltered in place for COVID-19.

The trading floor looks very different, however, with safety measures in place and only a portion of its staff present.

The Wall Street Journal reported:

Only one-quarter of the NYSE’s usual population of traders will be back when the floor resumes business after a two-month closure prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. Traders who return must wear masks, avoid taking public transportation and follow tough social-distancing rules, with newly erected Plexiglas barriers to help them stay apart.

A visitor ban means splashy bell-ringings and celebrations to mark initial public offerings won’t be happening anytime soon. Media organizations that broadcast from the floor, like CNBC and Cheddar, aren’t coming back yet either.

The organization’s president, Stacey Cunningham, outlined its reopening procedures in a CNBC interview:

Why it’s important: Many organizations are focusing on reopening efforts, and no matter where you are in the process, your communications are a crucial step in your crisis strategy. By communicating early and often, you can foster additional trust and stay ahead of the narrative—which is especially important as uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 continues.


On Tuesday starting at 7 a.m. Central time, Hy-Vee is giving away up to 1,000 masks to consumers visiting its locations across Iowa.

The Des Moines Register reported:

The Iowa Department of Public Health partnered with HanesBrands, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control to provide the 75,000 “Hanes Defender” cloth masks.

The city of Wilmington, Delaware also recently partnered with nonprofit organizations to hand out roughly 19,500 masks, focusing on lower-income neighborhoods.

These partnerships can benefit both townships and cities as well as the organizations handing out the masks, and underline the importance of forging relationships with both consumers and strategic business partners during COVID-19. Doing so can help you on the road to recovery.


A recent report by Fractl titled, “How has Coronavirus impacted digital PR and link building?” revealed that although the peak of COVID-19 articles has passed, the majority of publications are continuing to focus stories around the crisis, with 10% more covering COVID-19 in April, compared with March:

Image courtesy of Fractl.

PR pros looking to land media coverage should focus their efforts on verticals including health, travel, business and finance, personal finance, relationships and education, as they’re publishing the most articles related to the crisis:

Image courtesy of Fractl.

Along with offering new information, fresh angles and experts for commentary (including organizations’ leaders), brand managers and communicators can also hone their stories and pitches by starting with the most common keywords, which Fractl reported by vertical:

Image courtesy of Fractl.

You can read the full findings here.


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

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.

Viewers’ reactions mixed on ViacomCBS purchasing ‘Some Good News’

Actor John Krasinski faced both cheers and criticism after selling his “Some Good News” YouTube series to ViacomCBS following what The Hollywood Reporter called a “massive bidding war.”

Critics complained the show’s focus stood in contrast to a corporate entity producing and creating future episodes, especially if the content is placed behind a paywall:

The show’s Twitter account shared the following reassurance:

For ViacomCBS, the acquisition was appealing purely based on the staggering viewer numbers:

 AdAge reported the following Facebook video views, courtesy of social measurement platform Tubular Labs:

1.“The Daily Show”: 231 million
2. “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 107 million
3. “The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 55.7 million
4. “Some Good News”: 55.3 million
5. “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”: 35.9 million
6. “Late Night With Seth Meyers”: 5.0 million

In other words, over the course of a couple of months, a novice to the form was competitive on Facebook vs. a group of pros with collectively decades of experience.

Why it matters: Whether it’s through an acquisition or an influencer partnership, brand managers must walk the fine line between corporate messaging and content that both engages and entertains. Consumers are savvy viewers and can be suspicious of content that doesn’t feel authentic. Don’t skip building relationships with social media users in favor of quickly racking up views, because the reach won’t last.


Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts shared the recipe for its popular “Kitchen Sink sundae” from its Beaches & Cream Soda Shop in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The concoction, which calls for a whole can of dairy whipped topping, is part of the company’s #DisneyMagicMoments campaign:

Sharing recipes continues to be an important engagement tactic, especially as Disney World hasn’t yet announced a reopening date. Even after reopening, many organizations will be at reduced capacities, so communicators should plan to continue digital engagement campaigns well into the future of COVID-19.


The COVID-19 crisis has drastically changed the landscape for communicators and PR pros. More than ever before, communicators must gain key skill sets and employ strategic communications and media relations strategies to boost their organizations’ coverage, reputation and overall brand.

Learn what the 315 communicators we surveyed say about what parts of the PR function are more important than ever, how to adjust for COVID-19, and more with our free report revealing insights that can help you perservere during this uncertain time.

Download your copy of the report here.


How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected how PR pros are looking for their next role or job? Have you adjusted your job seeking efforts? Are you looking harder than you were before?

Weigh in with your thoughts through our Twitter poll, below, and under the hashtag #DailyScoop. We’ll share in tomorrow’s roundup.



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