Pornhub donates 50k masks and offers free subscriptions, digital platforms and tech partner to share COVID-19 information, and Tony Awards postponed

Also: How CFOs are reacting to the pandemic, Vodafone Italy focuses on connectivity, NBC shelves outbreak episode, and more.

Good morning, communicators:

 Vodafone Italy’s new campaign promotes connectivity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Drum reported:

The collaborative project shows the importance of staying connected, and features the strapline “Even when we can’t be close, we can be together”.

The ad has gone live across Italy’s main TV stations as well as digital and social channels, encouraging donations in support of the Italian Red Cross (CRI) in the fight against coronavirus.

The company is also raising money for The Red Cross. It’s a good example of appropriate marketing during the crisis: Focus on your audience and their needs, and marry your marketing message with a CSR effort.

Here are today’s top stories:

Pornhub donates 50,000 masks and offers free premium subscriptions

The adult entertainment website recently announced it was donating a total of 50,000 surgical masks to medical workers and first responders at several organizations in New York, including Mount Sinai South Nassau.

The company is also donating 50,000 Euros to European organizations, so they can purchase masks and medical equipment, as well as $35,000 to the Sex Wokers Outreach Project, which provides support to sex workers affected by the pandemic.

Along with its donations, Pornhub is extemding its premium subscription globally “in an effort to encourage the importance of staying home and practicing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 In a press release, Pornhub said:

“With nearly one billion people in lockdown across the world because of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important that we lend a hand and provide them with an enjoyable way to pass the time. We hope by expanding our offer of free Pornhub Premium worldwide, people have an extra incentive to stay home and flatten the curve,” said Corey Price, Vice President, Pornhub.

To help models who have been financially impacted by COVID-19, Pornhub will offer them 100% of their video sales after processing fee — for a total payout of 85% of video sales earnings on both Pornhub and its clip site Modelhub — for the month of April.

“When a global human crisis happens, it is up to everyone to work together to help support the community. We have always been a global community, hosting over 130,000 models from every corner of the earth. We stand by our performers and models and we will continue working on other projects to assist the community during this challenging time,” Price added.

Why it’s important: You might have raised your eyebrows and cracked a joke at this headline, but Pornhub checked all the boxes for an effective crisis response. It’s donating both to its local community as well as organizations globally. The company is offering its workers monetary assistance. It’s highlighting its offering in a subtle (and tongue-in-cheek way) by extending a free service that people can use while staying indoors. If Pornhub can excel at a COVID-19 crisis response, so can you.


AARP’s Reshma Mehta spoke at Ragan’s Speechwriting and Public Affairs Virtual Conference on March 25 about how the organization’s rapid response team has helped in its approach to COVID-19.

See some of her top tips for how to make your organization more agile on social media and prepared for any crisis with this break down written by our VP of editorial, Roula Amire.


 The 74th Annual Tony Awards has been postponed, to be “rescheduled at a later date.” The news was announced in a tweet:

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony has also been postponed to Nov. 7.

If you are hoping your even scheduled for early summer will be able to go on as planned, it might be time to start thinking of an alternative. Fall dates and venues are going to be jam-packed.


 PwC published a pulse survey of chief financial officers’ response to the COVID-19 outbreak, in which half (54%) said they expect “significant impact” to their organizations:

Image courtesy of PwC.

 Potential global recession is chief financial officers’ biggest concern (80%), with nearly half (48%) worrying about consumers’ decreased confidence as well as the financial impact on operations. Forty-two percent are worried about the pandemic’s effect on organizations’ workforces.

The majority of respondents said their organizations could bounce back within a few months, if the pandemic ended today:

Image courtesy of PwC.

The results highlight the necessity for communicators to relay their efforts, ideas and expertise in business terms, to both assure and assist executives.

Tech companies and digital platforms partner to share COVID-19 information

Amazon, Facebook, Reddit, SiriusXM, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, Apple, Google, Pandora, Twitter and Verizon Media are several of the organizations joining forces with the Ad Council, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to “extend the reach and impact of critical COVID-19 response messaging.”

The offerings include ad space for COVID-19 information and health messages, a custom Twitter emoji for the #AloneTogether hashtag and public service announcements from influencers on the shows “Love is Blind” and “The Circle.”

Here’s a quote from the press release:

“We are always at our best when we respond to challenges as a community,” said Tara Walpert Levy, Vice President, Agency and Brand Solutions, Google and YouTube. “Right now, helping people get the right information to stay healthy is more important than ever. We are proud to continue to support the work of the Ad Council and the industry and will keep doing everything we can to help people take care of themselves and their communities during this unprecedented time.”

Why it matters: Getting the correct information in front of people is crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can do your part by sharing information from verified and official sources as well as helping your online communities recognize (and ignore) misinformation.


Ragan Communications has launched a new daily newsletter to bring readers the latest headlines, tools and insights to help them manage their communications during the COVID-19 crisis and tough moments that may come long after the pandemic is over.

The newsletter will contain tips on:

  • Remote work and culture issues
  • Health care communications
  • Internal communications
  • Crisis response tips
  • Human resources best practices
  • Technology updates
  • External communication
  • And more

Sign up to get the daily eNewsletter directly in your inbox.

NBC postpones ‘New Amsterdam’ outbreak episode

The network has shelved an episode of its medical drama, “New Amsterdam,” because its storyline focuses on a flu pandemic. Before delaying it, NBC renamed the episode “Our Doors Are Always Open” (it was previously titled, “Pandemic.”) One of the show’s actors, three crew members and one of its writers have tested positive for COVID-19.

Deadline reported:

New Amsterdam creator, executive producer and showrunner Schulner supports the decision. “The world needs a lot less fiction right now, and a lot more facts,” he says in an emotional essay written for Deadline. In it, he talks about the origin of the pandemic episode, written in 2019, and describes some of the scenes in it that do not look like fiction at all.

“We showed what happens when our hospital has to erect tents in the parking lot because every bed is taken,” Schulner says of the medical drama, which was inspired by New York’s Bellevue public hospital and films at Bellevue.

Why you should care: If you haven’t revisted your messaging amid the pandemic, now is the time. Without adjusting your campaigns and promotions, you could come off as insensitive and face criticism all the way to severe backlash. Though some organizations have paused campaigns, others must continue doing business in alternative ways in order to remain financially afloat.

Adjust your campaigns’ tones, focus on the people you’re seeking to serve, and if possible, include how you’re helping the community (or how you’re assisting your audiences with free versions of your products and services).


 We asked how misinformation surrounding the pandemic is affecting both your crisis responses and communications efforts, and half of you said it’s moderately challenging and pushes you to focus on your organization’s messages. More than 22% said they’re only minorly affected by false information, and sidestep those obstacles when necessary. In contrast, almost 17% of you said you’re greatly affected by fake COVID-19 news and updates and must actively fight against it.


 Are you putting in more or less time as you shift to a work-from-home environment? Harris Diamond, chief executive at McCann Worldgroup, told AdAge the agency is reminded its employees to maintain a work/life balance. Are you struggling to do the same?

Weigh in via our Twitter poll and share your thoughts with us under the #DailyScoop hashtag.

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