Steak-umm earns praise for Twitter rant, Twitter’s CEO pledges $1B to fight COVID-19, and Lowe’s closes for Easter Sunday

Also: Google Maps highlights takeout and delivery options, Wendy’s connects with social media fans virtually, Foursquare shows changing consumer behavior, and more.

Good morning, communicators:

 Wendy’s continues to lead on social media brand engagement as its team interacts with followers through a series of virtual activities, including a crossword puzzle, an Animal Crossing session and a Twitch livestream in which a team member painted Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas:

Some of the activities (such as the painting session) have loose ties to the brand, but the overall effort is designed to entertain and connect with people as they look for uplifting content. Let this serve as inspiration as you seek to strengthen relationships with consumers and employees throughout the crisis.

Here are today’s top stories:

Steak-umm’s misinformation rant earns kudos

 The frozen meat product’s social media manager turned heads with a recent Twitter thread urging followers to be smarter information consumers as COVID-19 misinformation abounds:

In an article titled, “How Steak-Umm—yes, that Steak-umm—became a voice of reason in the pandemic,“ Fast Company reported:

“It was more just a cumulative effect of me having a job to spend every moment on social, seeing a constant flow of information, and a lot of it wasn’t good information,” says Nathan Allebach of the agency Allebach Communications, who has been the human behind Steak-Umm’s social media since 2015. Despite the thread being posted at 10 p.m., Allebach says it wasn’t prompted by a specific moment or piece of news. “I know we’re in this state of panic, and heightened cultural anxiety, so people aren’t at their best all the time, thinking about where they’re getting their information.”

The move racked up praise and social media enagement, along with a slew of headlines.

“Steak-umm is tweeting some pretty brilliant things—for a frozen meat purveyor,” Newsweek’s headline reads. The Wall Street’s Journal’s article is titled: “Steak-umm emerges as unlikely coronavirus misinformation watchdog.” AdAge declared: “Steak-umm emerges as a surprising voice of reason during COVID-19.”

At least one social media team seems ready to agree with Allebach’s point of view. Coca-Cola announced it’s donating its social feeds to partners making a difference during the crisis:


Why it’s important: Consumers are scared, confused and frustrated as the world grapples with the pandemic. The rules of social media have changed in this new reality. Talking about data and misinformation might not directly fit with your brand voice, but now is the time to take risks—provided you don’t treat the crisis lightly (that will earn you criticism instead of kudos).


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.


Google Maps has added “takeout” and “delivery” features to its search function to help consumers find restaurants and cafes, but also mainly stay indoors:

Though efforts such as Google’s require programming, you can curate lists and share information through your organization’s newsroom, blog and social media profiles to help both employees and consumers stay safe and fight the spread of COVID-19.


How are you triaging the media requests that are coming in around the current crisis?

Just because your organization is facing difficult circumstances doesn’t mean reporters will give you a break—and the people you need to reach and convince aren’t the ones who are consuming the outlet that is friendly to your brand.

Ragan Consulting’s Nick Lanyi shares insights on how to priorities your media relations strategy during a crisis. Read his tips here.


Foursquare has been sharing foot-traffic and location data to show how the COVID-19 outbreak is influencing consumer behaviors, which include declining visits to malls, retail stores, gyms, theaters, offices and more as stocking up on supplies continues to trend.

Image courtesy of Foursquare.

Foursquare reported that of the respondents that visited a grocery store on March 20-24, 76% said they were only picking up a few items they were out of (in comparison to the 24% “stocking up for the next few weeks”).

Image courtesy of Foursquare.

 Foursquare reported drug stores such as Walgreens and CVS receiving the largest surges in visits (up 28% nationally the week ending March 27 comparied with the week ending Feb. 19):

Image courtesy of Foursquare.

 Though visits to grocery and drug stores were slightly increased as consumers stocked up and supplemented their supplies, visits to bars, as well as casual dining restaurants and fast-food chains declined. Visits to liquor stores rose, peaking around March 20.

Image courtesy of Foursquare.

Image courtesy of Foursquare.

Consider these trends and changing behaviors as you offer both content and solutions to your audiences. Those staying at home are still seeking connection and reassurance, and will also seek additional supplies in the future. This can help you time your messages and efforts.

Twitter chief exec commits $1B to funding COVID-19 relief

The social media platform’s co-founder and chief executive pledged $1 billion of his Square equity (roughly 28% of his net worth) to assist in pandemic relief efforts. Remaining funds after the current crisis will “shift to girls’ health and education”:

The New York Times reported:

Mr. Dorsey, 43, joins a growing list of celebrities, world leaders and technologists who are earmarking some portion of their wealth to fighting the spread of the coronavirus and its effects.

Oprah Winfrey has donated more than $10 million of her personal wealth to Covid-19 relief efforts, while other Hollywood personalities — including Justin Timberlake, Dolly Parton and Rihanna — have also made contributions. Last week, the Amazon chief executive, Jeff Bezos, said he would donate $100 million to American food banks through a nonprofit, Feeding America. And Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, has also organized relief campaigns through Facebook and his own philanthropic organization, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Dorsey’s commitment has been lauded not just for its amount (much more than other pledges so far), but also for his transparency in reporting the donations and reasoning behind them.

Why it matters: Your executives and leaders can have a huge impact on your organization’s reputation and brand image during this crisis. Put them front and center with informative updates to stakeholders, personal messages and commitments to provide support, as well as reassuring statements to both investors and employees.


Joining a growing list of retail and grocery chains, Lowe’s announced it was closing on Easter Sunday:

In a press release, Lowe’s said:

“Our ability to support communities with essential goods and services during this pandemic is thanks to our outstanding, dedicated associates,” said Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s president and CEO. “We want to provide our teams with a much-deserved day off to spend Easter Sunday with their families and loved ones and recharge. We will take steps to ensure that no hourly associate loses scheduled hours or has a reduction in pay as a result of closing on Sunday. I want to personally thank our 300,000 associates who have helped families stay safely at home. Their actions are nothing short of heroic.”

Consider how you can thank your employees, especially as many are putting in longer hours for decreased pay and who are working in less ideal conditions to help your organization as well as your customers.


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.


We asked how your schedule has changed if you’re working from home, and more than 39% of you said you’re working longer hours. Nearly 25% of you said you’re sticking to the same schedule, and the same amount are taking breaks throughout the day, which can help ease longer schedules. Almost 12% of you aren’t working a set schedule:

On Tuesday, our Twitter #RaganChat returned with a discussion about working from home. We encourage you to check out the chat for tips and tools.


How often are you sharing COVID-19 messages with your stakeholders? Once a day? Once a week?

Weigh in below and under the #DailyScoop hashtag.


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