CD April 15, 2021: Amazon CEO calls for better employee experience; 1 in 3 workers would seek new job if required to return to the office; CEOs speak out on voting rights; and more

NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP

  • The CDC reports that 5,800 vaccinated people were infected with COVID-19 anyway—and 396 required hospitalization. No patterns have yet emerged to explain these “breakthrough” cases, and such infections are to be expected since none of the vaccines in use are 100% effective (Moderna, for example, is 90% effective).
  • The “pause” for J&J’s vaccine and concerns about AstraZeneca’s vaccine have caused severe problems in global vaccine delivery and use. The perception that rich countries like the U.S. are dumping second-choice vaccines on poorer countries could drastically affect vaccine uptake in developing countries around the globe.
  • President Biden announced harsh sanctions on Russia over election meddling, hacking activity and human rights abuses connected with its invasion of Crimea. Biden also took action to end U.S. troop involvement in Afghanistan amid a flurry of foreign policy measures.
  • Jobless claims fell to 576,000 last week, the lowest figure since March 2020, in a hopeful sign for a rebounding economy.

RESEARCH & DATA                

One in three workers would look for a new job if required to return to the office. The findings from staffing firm Robert Half show the need for organizations to embrace hybrid and remote work—even as COVID-19 risks diminish.

(Image via Robert Half)

More research to watch:

  • Voting rights actions have a partisan impact on brand reputation. Major League Baseball’s decision to move the All-Star Game out of Georgia over the passage of a controversial voting law has decreased the league’s favorability among Republican audiences.
  • How can you hold leaders accountable for DE&I outcomes? Gartner offers a helpful framework for businesses to define leader responsibilities and goals when it comes to equity and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Nealy all business leaders (91%) anticipate an increase in social media budget in the next three years. Sixty-two percent of consumers say that businesses that do not have a strong social media presence will not succeed in the long-term.
  • Forty-six percent of companies plan to increase the comms headcount in the next 12 months. The report from Capstone Hill Search shows that many organizations are cautiously optimistic about the future of the industry and looking to bring in more workers.

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos targets employee experience in final CEO letter. The note comes after a tumultuous yet lopsided vote over unionizing a Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse—and amid increasing scrutiny of the retail giant’s employee relations track record.

CNBC wrote:

“Despite what we’ve accomplished, it’s clear to me that we need a better vision for our employees’ success,” Bezos said. “We have always wanted to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company. We won’t change that. It’s what got us here. But I am committing us to an addition. We are going to be Earth’s Best Employer and Earth’s Safest Place to Work.”

Are you doing enough to keep your best employees? Here are some engagement tactics you should consider implementing to keep emotionally drained workers from walking out the door.

Culture is more important than ever in a “distributed workforce.” Here’s how communicators can facilitate connection when workers no longer congregate in a central office.

Employers target caregiving support to improve work/life balance. Many organizations are increasing benefits to help employees struggling with caregiving burdens.

Harvard Business Review wrote:

In fact, 57% of senior leaders told us that their organizations are assigning higher priority to care benefits to better support their employees in both work and life. And 63% said they plan to increase their company’s already existing child care benefits. These may include paid access to online platforms to find care, subsidized backup care, new parent support, cash subsidies to parents, among others. As one survey respondent told us, “Employees cannot leave their home life at the door. They bring their worries to work, and it impacts their productivity.”

 Are your employee engagement numbers “genuine”? Here are some tips for how to ensure your workforce is engaging and providing honest feedback to guide your policies and efforts.


FROM THE CRISIS LEADERSHIP NETWORK

Should your brand try to pick a fight on Twitter? Here are some takeaways from the social media superstars behind Steak-umm’s successful campaigns—and what can be gleaned for communicators trying to reach online audiences.

Read our featured story of the week here.

Interested in becoming a Crisis Leadership Network member? You can learn more and sign up here.

 


MEDIA RELATIONS

Looking to build long-lasting relationships with reporters? Here are some simple tips to help you see things from their perspective.

More than 100 CEOs speak out on voting rights legislation. The effort comes after increased corporate activism on issues like racial justice, climate change and more.

The letter, printed in The New York Times, read in part:

“We all should feel a responsibility to defend the right to vote and oppose any discriminatory legislation or measures that restrict or prevent any eligible voter from having an equal and fair opportunity to cast a ballot.”

Facebook says it has reached target of powering global operations with 100% renewable energy. The next step, the company says, is to achieve “net-zero emissions” across its entire value chain, including suppliers and activities such as employee travel.

Does the PR industry have an image problem? Industry insiders Mark Weiner and Tina McCorkindale talk through the pernicious problem of proving the worth of PR and earning that coveted seat at the table.

What do journalists really want from PR people? Here are data-backed suggestions on how to offer the goods to reporters in a timely, effective manner.


REMOTE WORK

Need help bringing those endless virtual meetings to a close? Try signing off with one of these helpful phrases.

The end of remote work sets showdown between managers and workers. Experts warn that leaders and their employees differ on the success of remote work, which could fuel workplace conflict moving forward.

Newsweek wrote:

“This is going to be a major flash point,” says Melissa Swift of the management consulting firm Korn Ferry. “There is a belief in our culture that we’ve proven that most jobs can be done virtually. But that’s not the belief within the leadership of organizations, so we’re headed for a real clash.”

CIOs say the new hybrid workplace is a top concern. Tech leaders are looking to find solutions to make the office more collaborative while also increasing secure connectivity among remote employees.

Becker Hospital Review reports:

Technologies that promote collaboration and feelings of inclusiveness among employees, regardless of their location, are becoming even more vital for organizations, said Archana Rao, CIO at Australian business-productivity software maker Atlassian. One fix Atlassian has implemented is a recent companywide mandate requiring employees in shared spaces to tune in to video meetings from separate computers, even if they are in the physical office, so that remote workers don’t feel left out.

WFH shows the need for ergonomic home office equipment. Are your remote employees developing back, wrist and neck problems? If so, it could be disastrous for your organization. Here’s how to think about encouraging employees to take care of their bodies during our era of remote work.

Check out these tips to refresh your remote work experience. The excitement over WFH has worn off, and workplace leaders should consider tips to refresh what has become a daily grind. Here are three tips for shaking things up.


CASE STUDIES

How can you promote vaccine adoption among skeptical communities? Trinity Health’s Julie Spencer Washington shares tips on how her organization is reaching out to different groups with its “It Starts Here” campaign.

Delta frames Q1 loss with rebounding revenue. CEO Ed Bastion is spinning tough losses for the airline by showing how the numbers reveal a turning point for air travel as the threat of COVID-19 (hopefully) diminishes. Airlines provide an early test case on messaging a return to normal after more than a year of pandemic hardship and fear.


TOOLS & TACTICS

Are your editing skills catching embarrassing errors? Check out these resources to brush up your abilities and ensure your messages are sent out without mortifying mistakes.

Consider these tips to measure your organization’s authenticity. “Authenticity” sounds like a nebulous thing to quantify, but measurement expert Katie Paine is here to walk you through the steps.


SLIDESHOW

Which statements can measure trust? Using a Likert scale, ask your audience to respond to these statements about your organization—and learn more measurement tips from Katie Paine and Johna Burke in this session for Ragan Training.

Get more content like this from Ragan Training.


CALENDAR OF EVENTS

April 21 – Ragan’s Workplace Wellness Virtual Conference

April 27 – New Strategies to Keep Your Remote Workforce Engaged Virtual Workshop

May 13 – Writing and Content Creation for Communicators Virtual Workshop

Sept. 8-10 – Ragan’s Social Media Conference at Disney World


CONTACT US

Ted Kitterman, Editor, tedk@ragan.com
Shallon Blackburn, Subscriptions, shallonb@ragan.com
Customer Service, cservice@ragan.com

NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP

  • The CDC reports that 5,800 vaccinated people were infected with COVID-19 anyway—and 396 required hospitalization. No patterns have yet emerged to explain these “breakthrough” cases, and such infections are to be expected since none of the vaccines in use are 100% effective (Moderna, for example, is 90% effective).
  • The “pause” for J&J’s vaccine and concerns about AstraZeneca’s vaccine have caused severe problems in global vaccine delivery and use. The perception that rich countries like the U.S. are dumping second-choice vaccines on poorer countries could drastically affect vaccine uptake in developing countries around the globe.
  • President Biden announced harsh sanctions on Russia over election meddling, hacking activity and human rights abuses connected with its invasion of Crimea. Biden also took action to end U.S. troop involvement in Afghanistan amid a flurry of foreign policy measures.
  • Jobless claims fell to 576,000 last week, the lowest figure since March 2020, in a hopeful sign for a rebounding economy.

RESEARCH & DATA                

One in three workers would look for a new job if required to return to the office. The findings from staffing firm Robert Half show the need for organizations to embrace hybrid and remote work—even as COVID-19 risks diminish.

(Image via Robert Half)

More research to watch:

  • Voting rights actions have a partisan impact on brand reputation. Major League Baseball’s decision to move the All-Star Game out of Georgia over the passage of a controversial voting law has decreased the league’s favorability among Republican audiences.
  • How can you hold leaders accountable for DE&I outcomes? Gartner offers a helpful framework for businesses to define leader responsibilities and goals when it comes to equity and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Nealy all business leaders (91%) anticipate an increase in social media budget in the next three years. Sixty-two percent of consumers say that businesses that do not have a strong social media presence will not succeed in the long-term.
  • Forty-six percent of companies plan to increase the comms headcount in the next 12 months. The report from Capstone Hill Search shows that many organizations are cautiously optimistic about the future of the industry and looking to bring in more workers.

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos targets employee experience in final CEO letter. The note comes after a tumultuous yet lopsided vote over unionizing a Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse—and amid increasing scrutiny of the retail giant’s employee relations track record.

CNBC wrote:

“Despite what we’ve accomplished, it’s clear to me that we need a better vision for our employees’ success,” Bezos said. “We have always wanted to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company. We won’t change that. It’s what got us here. But I am committing us to an addition. We are going to be Earth’s Best Employer and Earth’s Safest Place to Work.”

Are you doing enough to keep your best employees? Here are some engagement tactics you should consider implementing to keep emotionally drained workers from walking out the door.

Culture is more important than ever in a “distributed workforce.” Here’s how communicators can facilitate connection when workers no longer congregate in a central office.

Employers target caregiving support to improve work/life balance. Many organizations are increasing benefits to help employees struggling with caregiving burdens.

Harvard Business Review wrote:

In fact, 57% of senior leaders told us that their organizations are assigning higher priority to care benefits to better support their employees in both work and life. And 63% said they plan to increase their company’s already existing child care benefits. These may include paid access to online platforms to find care, subsidized backup care, new parent support, cash subsidies to parents, among others. As one survey respondent told us, “Employees cannot leave their home life at the door. They bring their worries to work, and it impacts their productivity.”

 Are your employee engagement numbers “genuine”? Here are some tips for how to ensure your workforce is engaging and providing honest feedback to guide your policies and efforts.


FROM THE CRISIS LEADERSHIP NETWORK

Should your brand try to pick a fight on Twitter? Here are some takeaways from the social media superstars behind Steak-umm’s successful campaigns—and what can be gleaned for communicators trying to reach online audiences.

Read our featured story of the week here.

Interested in becoming a Crisis Leadership Network member? You can learn more and sign up here.

 


MEDIA RELATIONS

Looking to build long-lasting relationships with reporters? Here are some simple tips to help you see things from their perspective.

More than 100 CEOs speak out on voting rights legislation. The effort comes after increased corporate activism on issues like racial justice, climate change and more.

The letter, printed in The New York Times, read in part:

“We all should feel a responsibility to defend the right to vote and oppose any discriminatory legislation or measures that restrict or prevent any eligible voter from having an equal and fair opportunity to cast a ballot.”

Facebook says it has reached target of powering global operations with 100% renewable energy. The next step, the company says, is to achieve “net-zero emissions” across its entire value chain, including suppliers and activities such as employee travel.

Does the PR industry have an image problem? Industry insiders Mark Weiner and Tina McCorkindale talk through the pernicious problem of proving the worth of PR and earning that coveted seat at the table.

What do journalists really want from PR people? Here are data-backed suggestions on how to offer the goods to reporters in a timely, effective manner.


REMOTE WORK

Need help bringing those endless virtual meetings to a close? Try signing off with one of these helpful phrases.

The end of remote work sets showdown between managers and workers. Experts warn that leaders and their employees differ on the success of remote work, which could fuel workplace conflict moving forward.

Newsweek wrote:

“This is going to be a major flash point,” says Melissa Swift of the management consulting firm Korn Ferry. “There is a belief in our culture that we’ve proven that most jobs can be done virtually. But that’s not the belief within the leadership of organizations, so we’re headed for a real clash.”

CIOs say the new hybrid workplace is a top concern. Tech leaders are looking to find solutions to make the office more collaborative while also increasing secure connectivity among remote employees.

Becker Hospital Review reports:

Technologies that promote collaboration and feelings of inclusiveness among employees, regardless of their location, are becoming even more vital for organizations, said Archana Rao, CIO at Australian business-productivity software maker Atlassian. One fix Atlassian has implemented is a recent companywide mandate requiring employees in shared spaces to tune in to video meetings from separate computers, even if they are in the physical office, so that remote workers don’t feel left out.

WFH shows the need for ergonomic home office equipment. Are your remote employees developing back, wrist and neck problems? If so, it could be disastrous for your organization. Here’s how to think about encouraging employees to take care of their bodies during our era of remote work.

Check out these tips to refresh your remote work experience. The excitement over WFH has worn off, and workplace leaders should consider tips to refresh what has become a daily grind. Here are three tips for shaking things up.


CASE STUDIES

How can you promote vaccine adoption among skeptical communities? Trinity Health’s Julie Spencer Washington shares tips on how her organization is reaching out to different groups with its “It Starts Here” campaign.

Delta frames Q1 loss with rebounding revenue. CEO Ed Bastion is spinning tough losses for the airline by showing how the numbers reveal a turning point for air travel as the threat of COVID-19 (hopefully) diminishes. Airlines provide an early test case on messaging a return to normal after more than a year of pandemic hardship and fear.


TOOLS & TACTICS

Are your editing skills catching embarrassing errors? Check out these resources to brush up your abilities and ensure your messages are sent out without mortifying mistakes.

Consider these tips to measure your organization’s authenticity. “Authenticity” sounds like a nebulous thing to quantify, but measurement expert Katie Paine is here to walk you through the steps.


SLIDESHOW

Which statements can measure trust? Using a Likert scale, ask your audience to respond to these statements about your organization—and learn more measurement tips from Katie Paine and Johna Burke in this session for Ragan Training.

Get more content like this from Ragan Training.


CALENDAR OF EVENTS

April 21 – Ragan’s Workplace Wellness Virtual Conference

April 27 – New Strategies to Keep Your Remote Workforce Engaged Virtual Workshop

May 13 – Writing and Content Creation for Communicators Virtual Workshop

Sept. 8-10 – Ragan’s Social Media Conference at Disney World


CONTACT US

Ted Kitterman, Editor, tedk@ragan.com
Shallon Blackburn, Subscriptions, shallonb@ragan.com
Customer Service, cservice@ragan.com

COMMENT

Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.