American Express tailors perks during COVID-19, Burger King offers a Whopper to smart students, and Molson Coors delivers to delighted fan

Also: How COVID-19 is affecting e-commerce, how to pitch TV news, join our Twitter #RaganChat, and more.

Good morning, communicators:

Molson Coors made headlines after answering a 93-year-old fan’s stay-at-home request. Olive Veronesi was photographed holding a Coors Light and a sign that read, “I need more beer!”

The brewer answered her request:

USA Today reported:

“When we saw Olive’s message, we knew we had to jump at the chance to not only connect with someone who brought a smile to our faces during this pandemic, but also gave us a special opportunity to say thanks for being a Coors Light fan,” a Molson Coors spokesman said in an email.

How are you finding ways to connect and surprise your loyal consumers?

Here are today’s top stories:

American Express overhauls rewards

The company has changed its cardholder benefits and perks in answer to changing consumer behaviors because of COVID-19, including declining sales.

Business Insider reported:

Amex’s update targets e-commerce and delivery—two key spending areas during the pandemic—and also provides some travel relief. Amex is heavily emphasizing its pay with points offerings by giving customers 20% off in up to $50 total in savings through mid-April, and increasing the value of points by up to 30% in its proprietary shop.

It’s also offering double rewards for takeout and delivery orders placed on Grubhub and Seamless as spending in these sectors rises during the pandemic—a move that could particularly appeal to millennials, who have been a key demographic for the brand. Customers who signed up for cards between December 2019 and May 2020 will get three extra months to complete spending for their starting bonus. The brand is also working with cobrand partners and its own travel platform to extend credits, refunds and rebookings.

Why it’s important: Organizations across industries are adjusting campaigns, member benefits and messages in response to the pandemic. When doing so for your organization, consider current consumer trends along with current needs. What is your community requesting? Are they looking for certain solutions? The more you can answer questions and address concerns through your tailored efforts, the better chance you stand of retaining sales along with your brand reputation.


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.


FROM THE EXPERTS

How should you pitch TV news outlets right now?

TV journalists are still looking for content and any way you can make their jobs easier and safer during COVID-19 are appreciated. Here are some tips on how to make your story work when you can’t be available for in-person interviews.


MEASURED THOUGHTS

A recent Talkwalker report revealed how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting several in-demand industries, including e-commerce. As consumers stay at home, online conversations about the top 16 e-commerce players—such as Walmart, Rakuten, Shopify, Alibaba, Zalando, Ebay and Groupon—increased 1,600% over the past month (from 774,000 to 12.8 million).

Image courtesy of Talkwalker.

Image courtesy of Talkwalker.

Though only 1.4 million of the total 12.8 million mentioned the pandemic, positive conversations included donated medical supplies (a PR win for Alibaba), brick-and-mortar stores partnering with online platforms and hiring announcements. Negative conversations including hoarding practices and safe working conditions for warehouse workers also abound, underlining e-commerce’s struggle to meet consumer demand while providing employee support.

Image courtesy of Talkwalker.

Though the current uptick in conversations are sending communicators for companies such as Amazon scrambling to respond and protect their reputation, pay attention to overall sentiment and purchasing behaviors. E-commerce was a growing trend prior to the pandemic, and will continue to shape the future of marketing and sales after.

SOCIAL BUZZ

Join our Twitter #RaganChat today at 3 p.m. Eastern time for a discussion about maintaining your remote employees’ culture and morale:

You can catch up on last week’s chat about working-from-home tips and tools here.

Burger King offers Whoppers for trivia experts

Burger King is giving students a free Whopper—if they can correctly answer a question posted on the fast food chain’s Twitter account. The promotion runs April 13-20.

Yahoo Life reported:

To claim the free sandwich, you have to place your order through the Burger King app and uh, solve a question or equation of some sort to unlock the promo code. The questions will fall under all different school subjects including math, biology, chemistry, and literature.

… When you answer the question, your response will have to be entered into the Burger King app in order to get the Whopper for free with any purchase. Note that there is a limit of one free Whopper per student, so if you have multiple kids in your family they’ll each have to solve the question to claim one for themself.

Why it matters: Burger King combined an interactive activity with free food to remind consumers of its menu and encourage activity through its app. Take a page from the chain’s social marketing book: By offering a challenge, you’ll encourage more action and gain more favor than any glossy commercial or marketing message alone can give you.


TAKE OUR SURVEY

We want to know how COVID-19 is affecting your campaigns, messaging and internal operations.

Please take our quick survey, and we will share the results with you once the data is collected. The data will help us analyze and offer guidance on how to approach the next phase of this crisis and other crises to come.

Take the survey here.


THE CONSULTANT IS IN

Your social media strategy should focus on building community during this crisis.

Ragan Consulting’s Carlos Gil shares his tips on how to remake your social outreach in this difficult time.

See all of his takeaways here.


WHAT YOU SAID

We asked if your social media schedule has changed because of the pandemic, and nearly half of you (45%) said you post less, while 38% said you’re posting the same amount. Twelve percent only post COVID-19 updates and information:

The Carter Malone Group said maintaining an online presence during the crisis is crucial to brand awareness:


SOUNDING BOARD

Are you using new technologies or tools to connect remote employees?

Share your top platforms, technology and tool under the #DailyScoop hashtag, and we’ll share in tomorrow’s roundup.

COMMENT

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