NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP
- The CDC warns that the more virulent strain of COVID-19, first identified in the U.K., is now spreading in the U.S. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky urges caution and curtailing large gatherings in the race to defeat the pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci warns that the U.S. is primed for another surge in cases.
- President Joe Biden announced executive actions on Thursday to target gun violence in the U.S. in the wake of more mass shootings. The orders will focus on “ghost guns” and “red flag laws,” and while limited in scope, are expected to see legal challenges.
- IMF says “debt overhang” poses a threat to economic recovery. The global financial institution says that stimulus measures should be moderated to avoid overheating economies.
- Forecasters warn of another highly active hurricane season, with projections of 17 named storms. The typical average is for 12 named storms. It’s a reminder for crisis response plan to include measures for natural disasters and extreme weather events.
RESEARCH & DATA
Digital proof of COVID-19 vaccinations has broad support—but only if it’s not mandatory. Morning Consult reports that 3 in 5 adults support something like a digital vaccine passport, but 53% of respondents oppose allowing businesses to ban unvaccinated customers from entering their stores.
More research to watch:
- A growing share of Americans say they use YouTube, topping out at 81% for 2021. The video platform is followed by Facebook, which is used by 69% of U.S. adults, per Pew Research.
- VW’s ‘Voltswagen’ name prank leaves consumers unmoved. After the stunt, and subsequent online fallout, a Harris Poll survey found that 20% of consumers have a better opinion of the brand, and 21% have a worse opinion.
- One in four employers is facilitating COVID-19 vaccine access. According to a survey from Willis Towers Watson, 23% of employers are “helping employees get vaccinated by obtaining vaccines to administer to their employees or facilitating access to vaccines through a third party,” and 55% are considering doing so.
- Sixty-five percent of employers report ramped up DE&I efforts. In a survey from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, DE&I and mental health remain top priorities for business leaders heading into the rest of 2021.
Your job posting might be sending the wrong message about your company culture. Check out these phrases that could signal a toxic work environment to potential hires.
Should you mandate a COVID-19 vaccine for employees? One expert says offering incentives, but not mandating requirements, is the right way to go for employers.
“There’s a lot of challenges with mandating employees to do anything,” [Wharton professor Nancy Rothbard] said Thursday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “Any boss will tell you, it’s a lot more about persuasion than telling.”
“Sesame Street” offers internal comms key takeaways. The children’s show was built on science about communicating and educating viewers. Here’s how communicators can mimic the program’s enduring success in their own work and storytelling.
Credit Suisse leader faces tough questions internally after Archegos disaster. The bank, which was overexposed in the recent collapse of Archegos Capital, stands to lose as much as $4.7 billion. In a townhall, employees voiced frustration over the disaster to CEO Thomas Gottstein.
According to people with knowledge of the call, Gottstein was grilled on the exposure and risk profile of the bank — and why it lost so much more than rivals in the debacle. Gottstein could not yet give detailed answers, and instead pointed to the arrival of new chairman Antonio Horta-Osorio later this month as an opportunity to reassess its strategy, the people said.
What steps should organizations take to prevent an exodus of burned-out employees? Your best workers might be pushed to the brink. Here are some steps you can take to help them recover in a post-pandemic workplace.
FROM THE CRISIS LEADERSHIP NETWORK
Are you taking precautions to defend against social media impersonators? Here’s how industry experts break down the risk posed by these online fraudsters and how you can work to protect your reputation and customers.
Interested in becoming a Crisis Leadership Network member? You can learn more and sign up here.
How are you using internal data to tell better stories? Here are some excellent tips on how to coordinate with your business insights team to shape pitches that will entice media outlets and build brand reputation.
United Airlines responds to criticism of diversity hiring pledge. After some voiced concern that the airlines’ plans to hire more women and people of color to be pilots would lead to lower safety standards, the airlines pushed back hard.
United shared the following on Twitter to clarify the hiring policy:
“All the highly qualified candidates we accept into the academy, regardless of race or sex, will have met or exceeded the standards we set for admittance.”
Make your media pitch unassailable with the 5 W’s. 5WPR’s Ron Torossian shares his agency’s manifesto for media success and how he sees the future of the PR industry in the months ahead.
Facebook doesn’t plan to notify 530 million users affected in data breach. The breach occurred in 2019 and resurfaced in recent weeks when the data was once again surfaced on the web. So far the company has offered little in response to the leak and ongoing headlines about the crisis.
COVID vaccine site shuts down after 11 become sick. The mass vaccination site operating in Commerce City, Colorado, suspended operations when multiple people experienced adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“We know it can be alarming to hear about people getting transported to the hospital, and we want to reassure Coloradans that the CDC and public health are closely monitoring all the authorized vaccines continually,” said Scott Bookman, COVID-19 incident commander at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “From what we know, today’s side effects were consistent with what can be expected.”
Find ways to help journalists cover complex stories quickly. Here are some media relations tips from veteran journalist-turned-PR-pro Jeremy Horowitz.
JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon sees downsides in remote work in annual letter. The CEO says he sees “serious weaknesses” in virtual work.
The 65-year-old CEO added that most people learn how to do a job “through an apprenticeship model,” which can’t be replicated over a Zoom (ZM) call.
“Over time, this drawback could dramatically undermine the character and culture you want to promote in your company,” Dimon added.
How are you thinking about the return to the office? This download from Ragan Consulting Group offers thoughtful tips and strategies on how to recapture workplace culture in the “new normal.”
Google accelerates office reopening and puts limits on future remote work. The company has a current deadline of Sept. 1 for returning to the office.
“It’s now been a year since many of us have been working from home, and the thought of returning to the office might inspire different emotions,” wrote Fiona Cicconi, Google’s new head of people operations, in a companywide email on Wednesday. Cicconi advised employees to get the Covid-19 vaccine but said it’s not mandatory.
Remote work isn’t the same as “work-from-anywhere.” Here are some of the key considerations when looking at remote employee arrangements.
Has the remote work experiment succeeded? Proponents on both sides of the debate are claiming that the data supports their views, either that remote work can work—or that it seriously hinders the worker and the organization.
User-generated content offers engagement opportunities. Here’s how Unilever worked with the NCAA’s basketball tournament to engage fans looking for remote connection.
Old Navy shows the value of two-way communication. The clothing brand responded to a 7-year-old girl’s letter requesting real pockets in the front of jeans for girls, part of an assignment for her first-grade class. Here’s how the brand team responded.
TOOLS & TACTICS
Working with influencers? Make sure to support creators of color. Here are some important ways you can engage POC influencers with your campaigns.
Creativity comes from structure. Increase your productivity and find new ways to communicate with these tips from the minds behind the “Bluey” cartoon series.
Find a better comms framework with the “Four Tendencies.” NYT bestselling author Gretchen Rubin offers a set of personality types that can help explain workplace dynamics in her 2017 book “The Four Tendencies.” Here’s how she shared the takeaways with our recent CLC retreat.
Looking to find audiences with social media video? Make sure to grab these essential tips from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and industry vet Jenn Thai.
Get more content like this from Ragan Training.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
April 14 – The Future of Work Virtual Workshop
Sept. 8-10 – Ragan’s Social Media Conference at Disney World