Olympic athletes engage fans on TikTok, data privacy builds consumer trust in e-commerce, and Activision Blizzard CEO apologizes to employees

Also: NYC announces free mega concert, Twitter launches shopping feature and Adobe gives college kids free access to analytics platform.

Hello, communicators:

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has unveiled the details of a massive concert taking place in Central Park on August 21 that is intended to celebrate the city’s reopening. The stacked lineup for “WE LOVE NYC: The Homecoming Concert” features Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Patti Smith, Jennifer Hudson, LL Cool J, Earth, Wind and Fire, Wyclef Jean, Journey, Barry Manilow and many more.

Though tickets to the celebration are free, proof of vaccination is required for entry.

Courtesy of NYC

“This is going to be an historic, monumental moment for all New Yorkers and all Americans,” Mayor de Blasio said in a press release. “I’ll put it plainly: You’re going to want to be here. This is a celebration of our city, of every working family who faced incredible challenges last year and overcame. This is a celebration for you.”

Some online seemed dubious of the concert’s plan to require vaccinations for entry and questioned the timing of the announcement:

The decision to publish this press release and highlight the massive event the day after the CDC changed its mask guidelines to acknowledge the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant serves as a reminder that even a planned announcement can—and should—be delayed to reflect the latest developments in your crisis response.

Olympic athletes highlight their experiences on TikTok

Multiple Olympic athletes have embraced TikTok as a tool for connecting with their audiences in the absence of physical spectators at this year’s games using hashtags like #olympictiktok, #tokyo2020 and #tokyoolympics.

Team USA Rugby players Cody Melphy and Team USA Track & Field player Raven Saunders have used the platform to offer a behind-the-scenes peek of the Olympic Village:

@codymelphyOlympic Village insider edition 👀 #tokyo2020 #olympics #teamusa #olympicvillage

♬ Paradise – Bazzi

@ravenhulksaundersBreakfast review Olympic Village style #olympics #food #review #tokyoolympics #breakfast #fypシ #eat #foryoupage

♬ RIP – Croosh

Team USA Rugby player Ilona Maher, meanwhile, has brought attention to the Village’s highly controversial “cardboard beds”:

@ilonamaherTesting out the cardboard beds at the Olympic Village #beastbeautybrains #olympics #cardboardbeds #tokyoolympics #usarugby #japan #athletes #rugger

♬ original sound – Ilona Maher

Why it matters:

The massive response that these videos are receiving serve as a reminder that audience and fan engagement can take many forms on social media. While the type of content your brand or organization offers audiences should vary from platform to platform, giving a behind-the-scenes look of your organization can offer transparency that promotes conversation and builds a level genuine, organic engagement that is tough to replicate.


MEASURED THOUGHTS

A recent study by Morning Consult found that 86% of those surveyed believe protecting customer’s data privacy and security is a top driver of trust for consumers looking to shop online, equally as important as whether the business is reliable or dependable, or a good value for the price. Respondents rated data privacy and security above whether the brand has good customer service or even if they make good products.

Courtesy of Morning Consult

“As the retail industry emerges from the past year and a half with no deterioration in consumer trust, it’s clear retailers stepped up to the plate quickly and efficiently during an uncertain time,” Morning Consult head of industry intelligence Joanna Piacenza told PR Daily. But with rapid acceleration of e-commerce during the pandemic, customer’s increasing concerns over privacy and security remain top issues for communicators and marketers alike.


SOCIAL BUZZ

The role privacy and data security plays in driving consumer trust in e-commerce brands is top of mind as Twitter has taken a massive leap into e-commerce with the launch of its “Shop Module,” a new feature that allows users to buy products directly from a brand’s Twitter profile:

Twitter revenue product lead Bruce Falk explained that the feature builds on Twitter’s launch of professional profiles earlier in the year:

He also teased that next phase in Twitter’s ecommerce plan would involve establishing a Merchant Advisory Board:

While data and privacy remain top drivers of trust for online shoppers, it’s worth noting that Twitter’s initial launch of its Shop Module contains no language about how consumer data will be exchanged, collected or anonymized as it passes from Twitter to the merchant and to the merchant’s payment partner. Especially in light of Twitter’s past gaffe with PayPal over its Tip Jar integration, remember that it’s crucial for you and your marketing team to ask e-commerce companies how they are considering user privacy and ethical data collection from the outset of a new feature launch.


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!


TACTICALLY SPEAKING

Adobe plans to offer college and university students free access to its Adobe Analytics platform, an extension of its Creative Campus program that provided students access to Adobe Creative Cloud for the classroom. The program also includes a curriculum focused on the fundamentals of data collection, data strategy and architecture, standard metrics and functionality, and analysis workspace fundamentals.

According to its press release:

Professors from institutions including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Utah and University of Michigan partnered with Adobe to develop the curriculum, helping shape the program to ensure it is easy to implement among any college or university.

“The pandemic reshaped economies and exposed consumers to a digital-only reality, pushing organizations to transform themselves on a dime and seek new types of talent,” said Neeraj Arora, professor of marketing, University of Wisconsin-Madison. “The digital skills that students can acquire through Adobe’s program will greatly help them succeed in career fields such as marketing.”

Adobe’s new campaign echoes Walmart’s recent decision to provide free college tuition and books to all employees. In both cases, the brands have leaned into their values and produced strong promotions as an opportunity to highlight larger societal issues that they are able to help solve with their resources. In Adobe’s case, partnering with educators to highlight the need for stronger data literacy is a move that should resonate.


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.

Activision Blizzard CEO apologizes to employees for ‘tone deaf’ lawsuit response

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick shared a letter with employees that apologizes for how the company responded to a recent lawsuit alleging multiple instances of sexual harassment and discrimination at the company.

Polygon reports:

“Our initial responses to the issues we face together, and to your concerns, were, quite frankly, tone deaf,” Kotick said in the letter. “It is imperative that we acknowledge all perspectives and experiences and respect the feelings of those who have been mistreated in any way. I am sorry that we did not provide the right empathy and understanding.”

Kotick promised “swift action” and “long-lasting change” at Activision Blizzard, starting with a review of the company’s policies and procedures by an outside firm, and to “promote a respectful and inclusive workplace.”

The company’s official response to the lawsuits was criticized by the vast majority of employees, who staged a walkout on Wednesday to protest. Employees also drafted an open letter to the company’s leadership that criticized its defensive dismissal of the lawsuit’s claims.

The Verge shared the letter, which reads in part:

To the Leaders of Activision Blizzard,

We, the undersigned, agree that the statements from Activision Blizzard, Inc. and their legal counsel regarding the DFEH lawsuit, as well as the subsequent internal statement from Frances Townsend, are abhorrent and insulting to all that we believe our company should stand for. To put it clearly and unequivocally, our values as employees are not accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership.

What it means:

Every piece of Activision Blizzard’s internal communication regarding this lawsuit has been shared publicly, emphasizing how quickly the lines between internal and external comms can blur. The way employees’ denounced the harmful rhetoric of the company’s initial statement, meanwhile, serves as a reminder that the words you use matter. CEO Kotick’s response also underscores the fact that turning your company’s past failings into cornerstone opportunities doesn’t stop with reforming your internal culture, but also taking a hard look at the products you release.


WHAT YOU SAID

Yesterday we asked if, considering the new CDC guidelines recommending wearing masks indoors, you have discussed revising your business’ policies with leadership. A majority (46%) of you said yes, while 27% said that you plan to soon and another 27% said that policies won’t change because of the new guidelines.

Is there a question you’d like to see asked? Let us know by tagging it with #DailyScoop!

 

COMMENT

One Response to “Olympic athletes engage fans on TikTok, data privacy builds consumer trust in e-commerce, and Activision Blizzard CEO apologizes to employees”

    Ronald N Levy says:

    An apology seems like an admission of guilt. So instead of apologizing, it would have been better for Activision to (a) make clear that “it was them, not us,” that what was done wrong was done by individuals Activision disagrees with, not by Activision as a company, and (b) JOIN employees in pointing out that was done by those individuals was certainly wrong.

    One way Activison can show it’s on the side of the employees and goodness but the apology route seems to identify Activision as being guilty. Top Activision people can add what they are DOING to be damn sure that such behavior doesn’t happen again. (Saying “damn” sure can work better than “try our best.”)

    The great PR firms know these things, as do the gifted lecturers of PR Daily Crisis PR courses, and counsel to minimize trouble from “them not us” situations.

    It’s perspective, like perspective makes a horse seen from an airplane look like a violin. But in truth it’s a horse and in truth Activision is on the side of those who want fairness.

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