Top CEOs building trust during COVID-19, Uber lays off another 3k, and EasyJet’s data breach

Also: Google Maps encourages virtual vacations, Instagram launches feature focused on wellness and mental health, South Korean soccer team apologizes for sex dolls, and more.

Hello, communicators:

 Google Maps is encouraging consumers to “take a virtual travel day” with its mascot, “Pegman from #StreetView”:

The company is highlighting spots around the world as it urges those staying at home to explore the “Street View” feature in its app:

The campaign is a clever way to offer boredom-busting content without creating something from scratch. It also puts a safe spin on summer vacations. Consider how you can offer virtual alternatives to travel activities, and share them with your community.

Here are today’s top stories:

Uber cuts 3,000 more jobs

The ride-hailing company announced another round of layoffs, bringing the total number of affected employees to 6,700—or roughly 25% of its workforce. The company will also close 45 offices, citing an 80% drop in rides, despite growth for its food delivery service, Uber Eats.

TechCrunch reported:

“I knew that I had to make a hard decision, not because we are a public company, or to protect or stock price, or to please our Board or investors,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote to employees today in a memo, viewed by TechCrunch. “I had to make this decision because our very future as an essential service for the cities of the world — our being there for millions of people and businesses who rely on us — demands it. We must establish ourselves as a self-sustaining enterprise that no longer relies on new capital or investors to keep growing, expanding, and innovating.”

Why it’s important: “Once a darling of investors, Uber now faces harsh scrutiny from Wall Street after a disappointing initial public offering last year,” San Francisco Chronicle reported. However, the company is facing scrutiny as well for its move to purchase Grubhub—and how it handles crisis communications along with employee layoffs during COVID-19 could greatly affect its reputation with consumers.

Make sure your crisis responses don’t only consider the health of your business. Instead, include a focus on employees’ wellness and security along with your moves within the market.


SOCIAL BUZZ

Instagram is launching a new partnership feature, called “Guides,” which offers collections of wellness information and takeaways.

In a blog post, the social media app wrote:

We know many people are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we are first focusing Guides on wellness content. We’ll enable creators to connect with expert organizations to share resources during this time, including tips on how to look after your well-being, maintaining connection with others or managing anxiety or grief. To view a Guide, visit the profile of participating creators or organizations like @afspnational@heads_together@vitaalere@klicksafe@headspace_aus@deepikapadukone@sudahdong and @eenfance. Then, tap the middle icon to view their Guides. In the coming days, you’ll also be able to access Guides within the Explore tab.

Image courtesy of Instagram.

Users can view both videos and images curated by the Instagram account, along with “helpful tips and advice.” Each of the images and videos can be clicked to view the original posts and can also be shared through the app.

The announcement not only highlights the importance of mental and physical wellness during COVID-19, but also of content curation. People can quickly become overwhelmed by the amount of content created during the crisis, and by positioning yourself as a guide, you stand to gain both trust and favor.


MEASURED THOUGHTS

Digital content and corporate communications firm SJR Group recently created a “CEO Leaderboard” that highlights the top 25 chief executives during COVID-19. The top 10 leaders hail from Nike, Dell, Target, Verizon, Microsoft, Lockheed Martini, Intel, Sysco, Caterpillar and TJX:

Image courtesy of SJR Group.

“The ones who truly consider where the message is landing, as well as the result they want to achieve—those are the CEOs who lead the pack,” SJR said in its report.

Executives that came out on top pivoted their business models to encourage online ordering and curbside pickup, as well as putting a focus on employees—whether through increasing pay for essential workers or helping their workforces to work from home. Top chiefs also have been visible throughout COVID-19, appearing in social media messages and commercials as well as publishing open letters and other messages that combine empathy with reassurance during this uncertain time.

You can read the entire report here.


CRISIS LEADERSHIP BOARD

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.

EasyJet data breach affects 9 million customers

The low-cost UK airline said a cyberattack exposed email addresses and travel information, including credit card details for 2,208 of the 9 million affected customers.

CNBC reported:

EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said in a statement that the company takes the cyber security of its systems seriously, “however, this is an evolving threat as cyber attackers get ever more sophisticated.”

Though EasyJet said it will contact affected customers by May 26, the announcement and information have not yet been published in the airline’s newsroom.

Why it matters: Bloomberg reported: “An influx of employees working from home has opened up new network vulnerabilities for many companies and phishing emails purporting to be from trusted health agencies prey on employees looking for information.”

As your organization continues to adjust to working from home, ensure your employees are following cybersecurity best practices. This can be accomplished through updated policies and procedures as well as virtual training sessions.


TACTICALLY SPEAKING

As organizations are tailoring reopening efforts to social distancing protocols, some are using unique methods, such as manequins and innertubes. However, South Korean soccer team FC Seoul apologized after its fans accused the team of using sex dolls to fill the stands.

CNN reported:

“Regarding the cheer mannequins that were installed during the game on the 17th, we sincerely apologize for causing deep concern to the fans,” the statement said.

FC Seoul explained that although the dolls were made to look like real people, rather than conventional mannequins, it had checked they were “not at all related to adult products” before agreeing to install them, and had been told they would be mannequins of the kind commonly used to model clothes.

“This is our fault without excuse,” said the club. “Regardless of the reason, we apologize again for causing great concern to the fans who love and cheer for FC Seoul.”

Though COVID-19 communications and responses can move quickly, it’s always a good idea to check—and double- or triple-check your work. That way, you can avoid an unintentional crisis requiring additional resources.


RESEARCH SNAPSHOT

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.


WHAT YOU SAID

We asked how you’re determining where to focus your efforts during the pandemic and beyond, and 42% of you said you’re turning to social listening to guide your strategies and messages, while 42% are using a combination of social listening, Google Analytics, and other resources. Only 5% of you say you’re leaning on a measurement partner to light the path forward.


SOUNDING BOARD

What do you think about Facebook’s acquisiting of Giphy? Will it affect how you use GIFs across social media platforms?

Weigh in through our Twitter Poll and with our hashtag #DailyScoop. We’ll share in tomorrow’s roundup.

COMMENT

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