Halfway through Pride Month, brands continue to introduce campaigns that attempt to provide value and support to the LGBTQ+ community. One area where organizations are hoping to shine a light is on LGBTQ+ youth currently experiencing homelessness.
Dannone North America’s plant-based beverage brand Silk is donating $100,000 to True Colors United, supporting the nonprofit’s mission to help LGBTQ+ homeless youth through education, advocacy and leadership development program. It has also launched a virtual Pride parade on its social channels that amplifies True Colors United’s mission and shares its story. Dannone’s So Delicious Dairy Free brand, meanwhile, is donating to Denver-based nonprofit Urban Peak, which also works to end youth homelessness.
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Digital wedding planning platform The Knot has also launched a Pride campaign aimed at helping combat LGBTQ+ homelessness by partnering with the Ali Forney Center, the largest LGBTQ+ community center helping LGBTQ+ homeless youth in the U.S., to create a wish list of necessities like bedding and towels that users can purchase and donate to the center’s emergency and transitional housing program The registry also includes a GoFundMe where people can donate funds directly to the center.
Each of these campaigns supports recent survey findings that consumers care more about a company’s statements, partnerships and initiatives when it comes to Pride Month than the Pride-related products it releases. Providing true support to a community with your purpose work involves looking at the issues and conversations affecting that community in greater numbers and focusing your efforts there to make a demonstrable impact.
Here are today’s top stories:
Roku and Spotify share support for antitrust bills targeting big tech
A bipartisan group of US lawmakers have announced five antitrust bills that attempt to regulate the power of big tech companies Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon. If passed, the bills will make it easier for the government to break up large companies and prevent them to engage in what critics say are anti-competitive practices, like early competitor acquisitions, discriminating against rivals on their respective platforms and more.
While the big four tech companies have yet to comment, smaller competitors who have been impacted by big tech’s dominance are speaking out.
Roku, which is currently in a standoff with Google over a deal to keep hosting the YouTube TV app on its streaming devices, called the bills a crucial step to curbing predatory behavior. “Roku has firsthand experience competing against and interacting with these monopolists,” the company said in a statement. “We’ve seen how they flagrantly ignore antitrust laws and harm consumers by leveraging their dominance in one line of business to stifle competition in another.”
Spotify, which has been a vocal critic of Apple’s actions in its App Store, called the proposals a “clear sign that momentum has shifted” after “anticompetitive practices have gone unchecked for too long, stifling competition and threatening innovation.”
Why it matters:
Sometimes advocating for change in your industry involves calling out industry leaders who are negatively impacting your business, as Roku has proven with its past public statements about Google. When communicating about bad faith industry practices, offer examples beyond your own company’s experience and relationship with those competitors to show how the breadth of the conflict goes beyond your company’s individual motivations and represents a wider issue.
In a report by Fleishman Hillard, 57% of informed consumers said that data security is a top issue to them, while 55% said data privacy was a priority. Forty-eight percent expect companies to take a stand on data security and 47% expect companies to take a stand on data privacy.
These numbers position data security and privacy as greater concerns than health care, education, climate change, employment rights, DE&I and much more.
These numbers, coupled with multiple recent examples of cybersecurity attacks on everything from oil pipelines to fast food, highlight the fact that security concerns are an industry-agnostic issue that all communicators must develop an understanding and messaging plan to address sooner rather than later.
Medical equipment company Philips has issued a recall on as many as 4 million breathing devices and ventilators because of a foam part that can become toxic when it degrades, increasing cancer risks.
“We’re going to put all our capacity to focus entirely on replacing and repairing these units,” [Philips Chief Executive Frans] Van Houten said in a call, a process he said would likely take a year. That “has a consequence that we will not be able to serve new customers, so there’s going to be a shortage in the field.”
“Philips has received reports of possible patient impact due to foam degradation,” the company said in a statement. “To date, there have been no reports of death as a result of these issues.” The company said the matter would cause “revenue headwinds” in the division making the devices but that would be compensated by strength in other businesses.
Philips’ communications emphasized that the recall was a preventative measure and addressed the impact it would have on shareholders, showing care for both consumers and investors.
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.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) trended on Twitter last night after issuing a warning to customers that multiple power grids are offline for June and urging them to conserve power use:
BREAKING: ERCOT is now asking people to conserve electricity through Friday, saying there are a significant number of power plants offline and expecting possible record use for June. pic.twitter.com/zWZkf0bkPq
— Matt Largey (@mattlargey) June 14, 2021
Many recalled ERCOT’s issues in February, when severe flooding left many without power for days during the cold weather:
ERCOT: our infrastructure was simply not designed for temperatures this cold
also ERCOT: our infrastructure was simply not designed for temperatures this hot
— wife Geist (@wife_geist) June 14, 2021
— anna!! (@M_asinMerry) June 14, 2021
Others pointed out that the regional utility service trending nationally online meant it had failed to communicate properly:
gee, that whole "we don't want to be part of the national grid because we don't want to be subject to federal mandates" is certainly not looking like a great strategy these days.
— Pé (@4everNeverTrump) June 14, 2021
Everything I have learned about ERCOT has been against my will pic.twitter.com/RkOcg273e7
— Spooky Suz (@spookysuz) June 14, 2021
ercot social media intern after tweeting that tweet pic.twitter.com/6ujoXOLs6j
— Nic Hates Spring (@pumpkinking39) June 14, 2021
ERCOT’s latest communications misfire serves as a reminder that your crises don’t live in a vacuum, and stakeholders will remember the last round of mishaps whether you acknowledge it or not. Be sure to measure audience sentiment before asking them for any help or show of goodwill to ensure the ask will not fall on deaf ears and further hurt your brand reputation.
Ragan is delighted to add industry event and thought leadership brand Communications Week to our portfolio. You can read the full press release here.
“We are reimagining Communications Week as a year-round endeavor,” says Ragan Communications CEO Diane Schwartz. “The rollout will begin next month with thought-provoking content on the future of communications on Commsweek.com, Ragan.com and PRDaily.com, culminating with a weeklong series in November that will feature conferences, networking events, workshops, webinars and more.”
The flagship event for 2021 will take place Nov. 15-19. Stay tuned for updates on the many opportunities and offerings that will help communicators connect, learn and celebrate their achievements later this year.
Lin-Manuel Miranda apologizes for colorism in ‘In The Heights’ casting
Actor, writer and performer Lin-Manuel Miranda has apologized to critics of his film “In The Heights” who have accused Miranda of colorism in his casting of Afro-Latinx residents of Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, where the film takes place. Merriam-Webster defines colorism as “prejudice or discrimination especially within a racial or ethnic group favoring people with lighter skin over those with darker skin.”
Miranda responded on Twitter:
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) June 14, 2021
Leslie Grace, who is Afro-Latina and plays Nina, diplomatically addresses the colorism at play in this film and Hollywood at large, saying, “I didn’t realize until making this movie that I didn’t really get to see myself or people that looked like my siblings, that are darker than me, onscreen.” She adds, “I hope that this is cracking that glass ceiling. Because I do hope to see my brothers and sisters that are darker than me lead these movies.
What it means:
Miranda and the “In the Heights” cast’s responses serve as a reminder that representation and diversity can be nuanced and complex when looking to speak to specific communities. Treat each project, campaign and piece of outreach as another opportunity to educate yourself on the nuances of various communities and unlearn the biases and assumptions that may have made the community seem monolithic from your initial outside perspective.
If it’s time to apologize, take care to explain your intentions without explaining away the criticisms you face in the first place, and validate them while making space and opportunity for future conversations with the community in question to take place.
WHAT YOU SAID
Yesterday, we asked if you have ever crafted a messaging strategy in the event of a cybersecurity attack. Over half (57%) of you said that you hadn’t, while 21% said you have crafted holding statements and crisis plans in anticipation of cybersecurity incidents and 21% have just crafted crisis plans.
Have you crafted a messaging strategy in the event of a cybersecurity attack, PR pros and communicators? #DailyScoop
— PR Daily (@PRDaily) June 14, 2021
Is there a question you’d like to see asked? Let us know by tagging #DailyScoop!