Good morning, PR pros:
Snapchat is working on another big redesign, with hopes of avoiding the backlash that nearly upended the platform and caused users to scurry to its competitors.
The big changes being tested are a new home for the “Snap Map” and Snapchat’s original video programming, as well as a breaking news headlines feature that would boost top stories to accompany Snapchat’s Discover page.
Snap is making additional choices to change how users experience the app.
Perhaps most dramatically for Snap, which once seemed to pride itself in its obscure design choices, Snapchat is getting a navigation bar. You’ll be able to see where you are within the app at a glance, and move directly from screen to screen with a single tap instead of swiping. It’s both a totally obvious thing to do and, for Snap, a radical departure.
“We’re exploring ways to streamline navigation across Snapchat, soliciting feedback from our community to inform future versions of our app,” a Snap spokeswoman told me. “This test’s UI offers more space to innovate and increases the opportunity to engage with and discover even more of what Snapchat has to offer.”
Will the new rededisgn juice user growth or send ardent fans running to slam the company on Twitter? Will the new features make the app a better fit for brand campaigns?
Share your thoughts by tweeting us @PRDaily with the hashtag #MorningScoop.
Here are today’s top stories:
Mobile World Congress canceled
The world’s largest mobile technology conference has been canceled following the COVID-19 outbreak. The news comes 11 days prior to the start of the conference and follows cancelations by companies including Ericsson, Sony, Cisco, Amazon, Facebook and LG.
The show’s organizer, GSM Association, wrote in a press release:
With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event.
… Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world.
Why you should care: Expect additional crisis responses from organizations that have locations in China or are handling large amounts of travelers. The outbreak has left organizations in the travel, hospitality, airline and cruise industries reeling. If you have to make a statement, focus on the people involved, and don’t forget to express sympathy or concern for those affected.
Also, if you’re writing about the outbreak, AP Stylebook has revised its guidance to “COVID-19,” instead of “coronavirus”:
Now that the World Health Organization has named it, we have revised our style: COVID-19 is acceptable on first reference for the coronavirus disease that first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. Explain later in the story.The disease is caused by a virus called 2019-nCoV.
— AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) February 11, 2020
Everything is a partisan issue in the U.S. these days, and which side of the political aisle you fall on can have profound effects on how you view the health of the economy.
According to data from Pew Research Center, Republicans are much more likely to be positive about the economy and their financial future than Democrats are.
However, those who believe the economy is good might not feel secure about their place within that economy. According to Edelman’s 2020 Trust Barometer, more than 80% of employees are worried about losing their jobs.
This uncertainty about the economy is what Richard Edelman says is driving a “Trust Paradox,” in which despite record-breaking economic expansion, trust in institutions remains low.
Scandinavian Airlines pulls ad after backlash
SAS pulled a commercial called, “What is truly Scandinavian?” in light of backlash from politicians and citizens connected with the Danish People’s Party and Swedish Democrats.
The ad challenges traditions and foods thought to be Scandinavian, such as meatballs, parental leave and Danish pastries:
Why it matters: SAS told Reuters: “We stand by the core message in the commercial, that travel enriches us.” However, in a time of political divide and high emotions around the world, PR and marketing pros should anticipate criticism and prepare to address it, whenever they share potentially controversial messages.
KFC and Crocs have partnered to “make your dreams of wearing a bucket of chicken ﬁnally come true.” That’s right: Fried-chicken-print Crocs, complete with charms that look and smell like drumsticks, will soon be available for $59.99.
— KFC (@kfc) February 12, 2020
— Crocs Shoes (@Crocs) February 12, 2020
The footwear will officially launch in Spring 2020, but consumers can sign up to be notified of the collaboration through Crocs’ website and share their excitement under the #KFCCrocs hashtag. The shoes gained buzz at New York Fashion Week, as artist Me Love Me a Lot wore a “sky-high, platform avant-garde version” while attending shows.
Does that mean KFC now stands for Kentucky Fashioned Crocs?
Unilever changes youth-focused marketing policies
The company announced that by the end of 2020, it will no longer target children under 12 years old with ads for products that don’t meet high nutritional standards.
That means Unilever brands such as Klondike and Ben & Jerry’s will no longer produce print, TV, or radio ads that appeal to children under 12, partner with influencers or create social media messages that target kids under 13, or feature children under 12 in their marketing content.
In a press release, the company said the new policies are in response to childhood obesity, which The World Health Organization designatied as “one of the most serious public health issues of the 21st century.”
Why it’s important: Consumers’ calls for greater transparency, along with the rise of organizations’ stands on social and political issues, increase the pressure on PR and marketing pros to produce ethical campaigns that align with the organization’s mission and values. Unilever’s move to implement these measures will probably garner it positive PR, as well as prepare the company in case marketing regulations are put in place.
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— PR Daily (@PRDaily) February 12, 2020
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— PR Daily (@PRDaily) February 13, 2020