During these fast-paced and uncertain times, we are committed to serving as a steady resource to our partners and friends while we navigate this crisis together. As our team closely monitors COVID-19 developments, we will be sharing the top news, trends, and resources to help you #DoYourPartApart. Here are today’s headlines.
U.S. employers have cooled to the idea of testing workers for possible immunity to the coronavirus as they prepare to reopen factories and other workplaces. While blood tests that check for antibodies to the new coronavirus have been touted by some disease experts, many U.S. companies are not planning to use them, relying on face masks, temperature checks, social distancing, and diagnostic tests for those with symptoms, employers and healthcare experts told Reuters.
The CDC updated guidance on when it’s safe to leave quarantine, as well as some consumer-friendly guidance on using public transit and ride shares as states loosen restrictions on opening schools, businesses and leaving home. People who have been infected need to be sure they won’t spread the virus, even if they feel better, the CDC advised.
Global Marketing Trends in a New Normal (Wall Street Journal)
As CMOs and their C-suite counterparts work to find a new normal, global marketing trends can serve as a guidepost in the quest to meet customers’ and employees’ rapidly evolving needs.
Focusing on trust, purpose, agility, and other critical marketing principles can help brands guide through uncharted territory.
As nonessential businesses and services begin to reopen around the world and throughout the U.S., many are required to do so on a “by appointment only” basis, in order to maintain social distancing as much as possible. This new appointment only model is set to transform businesses like salons and retailers, which used to rely on walk-in traffic for the overwhelming majority of their sales.
Google’s giving more businesses access to its support links on Google My Business profiles, which enable businesses to call for donations, and promote gift card purchases, within their Google listings. Expanding on this, Google’s also adding a new search option to make it easier for customers to find support options for local businesses.
Changes to how and where we work don’t necessarily have to end with the coronavirus pandemic, especially if these new practices encourage connection, autonomy and better outcomes, writes Susan Fowler. “Transparency, vulnerability and a focus on safety, health and wellness — these are practices worth keeping because they deepen connection,” she writes.
May 27, 2020
Over the last few months, we have largely stayed at home to curb the spread of a new pathogen. While we all watch the race for a vaccine for this novel coronavirus, the world is also growing eager to return to a new normal. Read as health experts provide insight and ideas about what works and what’s changing as we navigate through a post-pandemic reopening.
The reproductive number of a virus, or R0, is the number of people, on average, that one infected person will subsequently infect. The naught in R0 refers to the “patient zero.” It is an indicator of how contagious a disease is, or how easily it spreads from person to person in a community. Government leaders are using R0 as a proxy for determining whether their respective COVID-19 outbreaks are growing, shrinking and or holding steady.
Only about half of Americans say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine if the scientists working furiously to create one succeed, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The poll found 31% simply weren’t sure if they’d get vaccinated. Another 1 in 5 said they’d refuse.
As each state plans to jump start various sectors of the economy, many companies are deciding when, how and if workers should come back. From procedural temperature checks to enforced use of masks, new cleaning procedures and social distancing in the office, here is a look at how some of the world’s largest companies are preparing their workforces to return.
5 Tips for Safely Reopening Your Office (Harvard Business Review)
As businesses begin to reopen, great attention is being given to the measures required to keep employees and customers safe. And many of those measures are simple behaviors: washing hands, wearing masks, etc. But those measures won’t succeed unless they become norms. Here are five tips for safely reopening your business.
5 skills for virtual leadership that inspires (SmartBrief)
Build trust and engagement with your virtual team by giving them credit for their accomplishments, using humor, treating them with respect and calling them out by name to contribute their insights. Grasping and developing these nuanced approaches to drawing out teamwork and collaboration from a distance is not a passing stopgap but a permanent, nonnegotiable characteristic of values-based leaders.
May 26, 2020
A U.S. biotechnology company began testing coronavirus vaccine candidate on 131 volunteers in Australia on Tuesday with hopes of releasing a proven vaccine this year. In this first phase of the trial, Novavax is testing the safety of the vaccine and looking for signs of its effectiveness, the company’s research. About a dozen experimental vaccines against the coronavirus are in early stages of testing or poised to start, mostly in China, the U.S. and Europe.
Gyms, beaches, and hotels across Broward County are each allowed to reopen Tuesday after being closed for months because of the coronavirus pandemic. Face coverings at gyms are not required when working out or cooling down, but temperature checks, social distancing, and limited capacity are among the requirements.
Rising Product Search Trends Amid COVID-19 Infographic (Social Media Today)
An infographic displays items being searched for by consumers during the third month of the pandemic under four key trends — comfort, creativity, productivity and practicality. Insights include searches for loungewear are up 845%, camera drones by 85%, videoconferencing by 130% and cargo shorts by 196%.
The average number of miles traveled daily per American continues to trend upward, approaching levels that preceded stay-at-home pandemic restrictions, according to the latest out-of-home media planning data from Geopath and Intermx. The average number of miles traveled daily was 13.4 for the week beginning May 11, up 38% since it bottomed out the week of April 6.
Now is the time to show employees your company’s values (Fast Company)
In a crisis, employees expect leaders to do more than recite their core beliefs; they have to act on them. The employee experience impacts your company’s broader ecosystem: it influences how your employees treat your customers, how they’ll represent your brand externally, and if they’ve left your organization, their willingness to one day return.
Consumers are all inundated with COVID-related communications, and data is showing consumers are having a negative reaction to it. Try to provide value without specifically using the C-words when you can. For example, instead of jumping on conversations like #covid19 #coronavirus, see if your brand can play in more uplifting spaces, such as thanking essential workers with hashtags like #dontcancelreschedule #inittogether and #alonetogether.
May 22, 2020
As many states start to relax their stay-at-home orders, individuals and families are navigating how best to reengage with what was once everyday life. Experts share their advice on new ground rules for resuming common activities including safety measures to take in public indoor spaces, restaurants, doctor’s appointments, and more.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has outlined a range of new remote collaboration tools for the company’s professional Workplace platform, including video chat Rooms and new ways to connect via Portal. Workplace Rooms will facilitate screen sharing, while users will also be able to lock their Rooms to prevent others from joining. It’s also expanding the new Live Producer tools to Workplace, which will enable users to live-stream from their desktop, and with professional video tools, if they so choose.
In April, Google took the significant step of making it free for businesses in the United States to list products on Google Shopping. It’s also testing new features that are designed to adapt to the ‘new normal’ of the coronavirus crisis on other platforms like products like Google Maps and Google. Read the recent updates introduced by Google in response and what they could mean for search marketing in the future.
May 21, 2020
On Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published new guidelines for operating swimming pools during the coronavirus pandemic. “There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas,” the CDC said on its website. “Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water.”
The Transportation Security Administration says it is making some changes to its security screening procedures, but did not include passenger temperature screening in its list. The changes include several ways to prevent officers from handling travelers’ belongings and travelers from handling shared X-ray bins. The agency says passengers should hang onto their boarding passes, rather than handing them to TSA officers, to prevent cross contamination. Instead, officers will visually review the boarding pass.
The safest thing anyone can do in the middle of the Covid-19 outbreak is still the same as it was a few months ago: Stay home as much as possible. However, for those who do need to leave their homes experts recommend staying outdoors rather than indoors. The same advice continues to apply. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, wear a mask, avoid shared surfaces and crowded settings, and keep physical distance — at least 6 feet — from people you don’t live with.
Facebook rolled out a Shops feature that enables brands to set up a customized store on Facebook and Instagram, which can be promoted via Stories and ads, and enables shoppers to buy directly via Instagram Checkout. Facebook says Shops includes its family of messaging apps, and is working to help brands incorporate loyalty programs within Shops. It also is testing interactive features such as a 3D view of products, augmented reality try-on tools and AI-based “snap-and-shop” recommendations.
Ad industry interest in consuming business-related content has not only normalized, but is surpassing pre-pandemic levels, according to an analysis of weekly increases content consumption. Interest levels which had decreased at the end of March following work-from-home restrictions have been trending upward ever since and have actually spiked beyond pre-pandemic levels.
Working virtually offers new challenges to communication. Leaders must project calm and aim for honest, transparent, and flexible communication. Daily changes, and at times, hourly decisions are made that likely will change the next day. When dealing with vulnerability, honesty will assist you to stay in your lane of truth and transparency and to let people know that you don’t have the answers. When you do have the answers, you will feed the information through the appropriate communication channels.
May 20, 2020
The City of Miami, Hialeah, Miami Beach and Miami Gardens are beginning partial phase one reopening today, including retail and grooming businesses as well as public parks. The cities are opening more slowly amid the coronavirus pandemic than Miami-Dade County, which partially reopened Monday with businesses and restaurants allowed a maximum of 50% indoor capacity.
Sameness, exploitation sets in for COVID-19 ads, study says (Marketing Dive)
Attention, watchability and desire scores for ads related to the pandemic are now equal to scores for non-coronavirus themed ads over the past year, illustrating that focusing on the health crisis alone is no longer enough to capture consumer interest.
Some 49% of Americans approve of brands running advertising as usual, 73% think brands should offer flexible payment options and 68% say brands should be offering lower-cost products or services, per GlobalWebIndex. Additionally, 75% of Americans think brands should help by producing essentials,
LinkedIn Publishes New Guide to Key Content Trends Amid COVID-19 (Social Media Today)
LinkedIn released a 22-page guide detailing content trends on its platform during the pandemic, including a surge in engagement with content related to coronavirus. The guide outlines three key principles marketers should use to steer their content efforts — “manage employees through change,” “lead with trust” and “adapt to drive business continuity” — and shares tips and examples of the type of content marketers can post to reflect each one.
Back To The Basics Of Business Performance (Chief Executive)
A time of crisis is the right time to double-down on the fundamentals of your business. Alignment, engagement and a forward-looking approach can help unify companies around a “newly refreshed mission and vision. Each week, leaders must revisit the business fundamentals with executives, asking each to project whether key metrics will be hit.
Telling the story of your organization during this pandemic requires careful positioning and relying on your subject-matter expertise. If a nonprofit is working on the front lines of the crisis, interviews might not be safe or even possible. Video diaries can be a smart alternative to distribute to media and post compelling social media content.
May 19, 2020
A new review of studies reveals delirium, confusion and agitation may be common in severe coronavirus infections while patients are hospitalized, though it’s unclear if these psychological symptoms extend further into recovery. In the UK, the loss of taste or smell has been added to the official list of coronavirus symptoms.
Stay-at-home orders have shifted consumer behavior in three essential ways that will endure even as anxieties subside. Increased e-commerce shopping, a desire for good value on products and a lift in local consumption are among the areas marketers should be looking into, the firm said.
When employees return to the office, they will need to be educated and retrained to understand the new normal protocols. Be prepared to evolve your culture, consistently collect feedback, and remember that how you act now will profoundly influence employees’ perception of your company.
How to keep your brand consistent—online and offline (Marketing Tech News)
During this strange period, it’s never been more important for businesses to look to the future and strengthen their brands. Companies have to think about how they can build consistency online, offline, and all the way through. Leveraging social listening tools, brands can identify their target demographic and begin to anticipate and respond to any challenges. Companies can also develop an understanding of what’s expected of you as a company by those you serve.
Leadership For The New Normal (Forbes)
The business environment is unlikely to return to the “normal” that we knew any time soon. To survive and flourish in a new normal, leaders must be willing to change. Conventional approaches and capabilities are unlikely to be effective in our post-Covid-19 environment. Read the top three steps to jumpstart your self-assessment.
May 18, 2020
All cities in Miami-Dade County will begin their Phase 1 reopening on Monday except for Hialeah, Miami, Miami Beach and Miami Gardens. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez released a 184-page guide “The New Normal” with guidelines for residents and businesses in dealing with the next phase of re-opening today. Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, theaters and beaches are not part of the Phase 1 reopening.
Moderna’s closely watched early-stage human trial for a coronavirus vaccine produced Covid-19 antibodies in all 45 participants. Each participant received a 25, 100 or 250 microgram dose, with 15 people in each dose group. At day 43, or two weeks following the second dose, levels of binding antibodies in the 25 microgram group were at the levels generally seen in blood samples from people who recovered from the disease.
Safety Advice for Reopening: How to Reduce Your Risks as Coronavirus Lockdowns Ease (Wall Street Journal)
The safest move for most people is still to stay home as much as possible. But if you do go out, there are ways to reduce the risks. Experts say walking, biking or driving in your own car are the safest options for commuting. For businesses opening, bringing back only a portion of workers to the office or are instituting shifts to allow for social distancing.
Many advertisers are planning media just three months out as opposed to the typical six months as they await the economy’s response to schools and businesses reopening.
Twenty-six percent of advertisers surveyed April 16-20 said they expect to increase ad spend by June 30, according to a new report from Advertiser Perceptions. Overall, 52% expect to spend more this summer — 18% in July, 15% in August and 19% in September.
As employees return, it’s going to be a different office space. Experts say pandemic-proofing offices could involve a combination of short-term fixes aimed at boosting worker confidence, reducing the number of staff in the office at any one time and longer-term design upgrades and modifications that put hygiene at the heart of workplace planning.
The pandemic has many organizations looking to craft messaging about health and safety, but it is important to distribute messages that are appropriate and relevant for audiences. In order to really understand how your product can help anxious, health-conscious consumers is to ask: “Now, more than ever, brand managers need to truly understand their consumers and all that they are going through and determine what role they have to play.”
May 15, 2020
History has shown that marketing is an essential part of the economy and it will be critical to recovery efforts after this crisis. Perhaps now more than ever, after a decade of vast change in the industry, marketers are prepared to deliver one of the most sophisticated turnaround efforts we’ve ever seen. When the last big economic downturn upended life in 2008, brands learned that when they cut back on advertising during a crisis, they risk losing market share when the economy returns. Smart companies retained their share-of-mind or even expanded their market share by plowing full-steam ahead with marketing while their competitors cut back.
While many companies are focusing on the power of digital, there’s an unprecedented opportunity to turn to video as a general means of customer engagement, communication and retention during the COVID-19 pandemic. You should incorporate purposeful video into your marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals, while giving information and support back to your customer in an authentic way.
Brands reap rewards from discounted social media pricing (AdExchanger)
Reports indicate social media consumption and e-commerce are on the rise, while CPMs have dropped double digits. Many brands are reaping rewards in terms of cost savings and broader reach. Meanwhile, other brands are running low-cost tests on TikTok and other new platforms.
May 14, 2020
With the U.S. having been first in line to fund Sanofi’s vaccine research, Americans will likely get Sanofi’s Covid-19 vaccine before the rest of the world if the French pharmaceutical giant can successfully deliver one. Sanofi is one of the biggest players among the dozens of companies seeking a vaccine, which is needed to reboot economies after a lockdown-induced plunge in output.
A new study, published in the medical journal The Lancet on Wednesday, found a 30-fold rise in the number of cases of the syndrome in the Bergamo province of Italy shortly after the coronavirus pandemic spread to the region. The findings of the Italian doctors are similar to the observations made in recent weeks by health officials in the United States. Doctors in the United States are investigating cases of the syndrome in at least 150 children, most of them in New York.
Nearly Half of Americans Talk About Coronavirus Most or Almost All of the Time, Study Finds (U.S. News and World Report)
A new Pew Research Center study found that 44% of people talk about the coronavirus most or almost all of the time, whether online, in person or over the phone.Nearly a third of Americans say they talk about the pandemic with other people most of the time and another 13% say they talk about it almost all of the time. Women, young people and Democrats are the most likely to talk frequently about the coronavirus pandemic.
Some more revealing data from the out-of-home industry shows Americans are slowly regaining their mobility after months of staying at home. This unique data visualization shows the percentage of Americans traveling one mile or more from their homes daily, which shows an increase of 29 % for the week of April 27.
If you’re not planning to invest in SEO efforts during this time of extreme reliance on web queries, you could be missing a great opportunity. A survey found 63% of respondents believe SEO’s importance will increase dramatically during the pandemic. Here are five steps to sharpen your SEO initiatives.
In these moments of uncertainty, leadership can embrace a new way of thinking and develop new standards and ideals for envisioning what the workplace of the future will look like. To reach these goals, leadership needs a toolkit that offers them the ability to articulate new concepts to first, create a system to optimize remote work, and create a steady foundation for forwarding momentum of the organization.
May 13, 2020
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Tuesday Gov. Ron DeSantis supports the plan to reopen some non-essential businesses on Monday, but the guidelines to slow the coronavirus’ spread are still in the works. The list of businesses includes restaurants, hair and nail salons, retail stores, factories, and warehouses. Gimenez said the reopening of beaches is not included in this phase.
A handful of U.S. health care companies are banking on massive demand for coronavirus tests and an easing of federal rules as they prepare for a major production blitz that could bring at-home saliva test kits to millions of Americans in the coming months. One company, Vault Health, currently has the capacity to ship 30,000 tests-a-day to consumers at home, who are asked to submit their sample under the watch of a healthcare professional on a teleconference, before they are shipped to a lab for processing.
Contact tracing involves tracking the origin of an illness and making sure people take proper measures if they’ve been exposed. Experts say it is needed in order to lift coronavirus lockdowns. Tracers help people safely quarantine and access testing ― both of which are key in preventing further transmission of the disease, experts say.
To survive and thrive in a post-COVID economy, global marketing organizations need to be more resilient than ever. By setting the right tone, marketers can mitigate risk, better serve customers and come out stronger in the end. One approach is to increase brand credibility by highlighting positive online reviews. This provides prospects with the validation and social proof points they need, which can help increase your conversions.
Calls for public good are on the rise amid the pandemic, which has dispelled myths around cost and created higher expectations for ethical practices. A new survey shows ethical consumption is on the rise, with 45% of respondents reporting more sustainable choices that will likely continue into the future.
It’s likely that retailers will find a different type of mom shopper when the U.S. lockdown orders are lifted, according to a new survey from BSM Media. Moms are adapting to new behaviors mandated by the lockdown. Most plan to increase online shopping (46%), avoid unnecessary outings (51%) and visit retailers less frequently (50%).
May 12, 2020
Work is being accelerated on seven or eight “top” vaccine candidates to combat the coronavirus, selected from more than 100 vaccine projects. The World Health Organization’s director said an effort was underway to compress the timeline of 12 to 18 months that was forecast two months ago. The effort is being financed by $8 billion in funding pledged by leaders from 40 countries and organizations, although the U.S. is not among them.
The U.S. government is donating “up to 1,000” ventilators to South Africa to help the country respond to COVID-19 and says it soon will make similar donations to countries around the world. In recent days the Trump administration has been making plans to ship some 8,000 of the breathing machines to foreign countries by the end of July.
Meet the Robots Confronting COVID-19 (U.S. News and World Report)
Across the world, robotics companies are teaming with health care providers and government officials to develop technological solutions for dealing with the global health crisis. In the U.S., two of the principal ways in which robotic technology is being used to fight the pandemic are to disinfect hospital rooms and to act as a telemedicine portal, allowing doctors and health care workers to communicate via video conference directly with patients without unnecessarily exposing themselves to the highly contagious virus.
Facebook Outlines Full Graduation Week Schedule and Announces New Assistance Tools (Social Media Today)
Facebook has now unveiled the full program of events, along with the celebrity presenters that will be on hand to help toast the Class of 2020. The platform launched a new mini-site, which includes tips on how to prepare and participate in the celebration from home.In addition to this, Facebook’s also adding some new, themed augmented reality effects for Facebook and Instagram Stories.
These times are a test of a business’s resilience. If you do not meet your growth targets, investors might lose confidence in your growth story. When investing in growth efforts during these times, cost per impression. With CPM likely at a lower cost than before the pandemic, you can aim to get higher conversions at a much lower cost than before.
There are some simple guidelines to help you keep your company’s brand as stable as possible, despite this most unusual and difficult time. Brands can tastefully sell with tact and empathy, finding ways for your product to fill some of your customers’ most important needs right now.
May 11, 2020
The FDA announced emergency authorization for antigen tests developed by Quidel Corp. of San Diego. The test can rapidly detect fragments of virus proteins in samples collected from swabs swiped inside the nasal cavity. The antigen test is the third type of test to be authorized by the FDA.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that he would allow barbershop and salon businesses to reopen except in COVID-19 hotspots in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. However, DeSantis said he would like to move Miami-Dade and Broward into phase one, possibly starting May 18, as they’ve also had “good trends” in efforts to control the virus.The first phase allows retail outlets and restaurants to operate with indoor capacity at 25 percent. The first phase also lets medical facilities again provide elective surgeries.
Best Practices for Marketing During and After COVID-19 (Entrepreneur)
Long-term studies show that the right approach during economic uncertainty is to increase — not decrease — your marketing spend. A recent study from the American Association of Advertising Agencies found that 43% of consumers find it reassuring to hear from brands. In addition, 56% said they like learning how brands are helping their communities during the pandemic.
Workday mobile usage has climbed during pandemic, study says (Mobile Marketer)
Mobile users have tended to increase their usage of web browsers rather than apps as their media consumption habits change. The growth in internet usage is linked with consumption of information rather than entertainment. Consumers have tended to view more serious topics like finances, the economy and healthcare, while cutting back on lighter topics like celebrity entertainment news.
TikTok is preparing to launch an augmented reality “brand effect” ad format that will enable users to add branded interactive visuals to their videos. The format is expected to roll out globally in the third quarter with a price yet unknown.
First-time remote managers must lead with trust and understanding for its team. Keep the team on track by implementing trackables KPIs and maintain your weekly one-on-ones, open door policy and regular management through video conferencing.
May 8, 2020
Why User-Generated Content Should Be at the Heart of Marketers’ Post-COVID Playbooks (Social Media Today)
The trajectory of consumer buying behavior is changing, with 42% of consumers reporting they believe the way they shop will fundamentally change. Businesses should be considering how they can showcase the return of customer activity in order to foster consumer confidence, and user-generated content can offer weary shoppers the authentic social proof they need in this respect. In fact, 87% of people say that social media posts help them decide what to buy, and 56% say that they rely on reviews to make informed online purchase decisions faster.
Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban shares the strategies he’s following to position his companies for success amid the Covid-19 crisis. Cuban advises companies to not neglect advertising and marketing during these times. If a company is still selling its products or services, advertising can help you stand out while many other businesses aren’t. He adds companies that advertise now will look stronger than others who held back.
U.S. marketers can learn key lessons from brands that have weathered the pandemic in China. A possible increase in on-demand delivery services is expected, recommending that brands use live streaming and influencers to replicate in-store experiences. Another way to engage with a select group of customers is a private chat message.
May 7, 2020
Vaccines to prevent Covid-19 infections are racing through development at unprecedented speeds. But scientists won’t know if they can prevent infection until April or May next year. In the meantime, life will look different for the next 12 to 18 months, as the world waits for a vaccine, an expert warned. That means contact tracing, isolation, and quarantining people who could spread the virus.
White House wants CDC to revise guidelines to reopen U.S (Washington Post)
The White House is seeking revisions to a document drafted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that offers detailed advice to local leaders on how to reopen public places after determining that it was “overly specific,” according to a coronavirus task force official.
Consumers tire of COVID-19 related ads, survey finds (Marketing Dive)
A key takeaway from the research is that consumers have appreciated COVID-19 related marketing messages but now appear to be ready to move on. A survey of 7,000 consumers across seven countries in April found that 41% are now ready to hear from brands about topics unrelated to the pandemic.
Hard-earned culture gains can survive alongside your company’s newer, fresher initiatives resulting from the pandemic. Leaders should reflect on their company’s original purpose and align decisions during the pandemic with these values. As you recreate your work-from-home company culture, keep in mind the importance of establishing trust and showing employees that you care.
American businesses are spending more time researching direct-to-consumer advertising, native advertising, and search engine marketing. Expert says the dominant surge in interest researching direct-to-consumer advertising likely derives from marketers looking to establish more control over their sales processes in a time of great uncertainty.
Having so many employees suddenly working remotely was a major change, and now heading back to work on-site will require another round of change management. As with any major change, employees want to be kept in the loop. Start communicating about potential timetables and clearly convey how you plan to keep everyone safe.
May 6, 2020
U.S. May Require Masks at Airports in Changes to Limit Coronavirus (U.S. News and World Report)
The lead U.S. airport security agency is weighing the possibility of requiring masks or face coverings for passengers who pass through checkpoints, according to a U.S. official and two people familiar with the deliberations. Travelers passing through U.S. TSA checkpoints will see other changes, including additional barriers to protect security officers, more extensive cleaning regimes and upgraded screening equipment to speed travelers through lines faster.
While every virus has its own profile, there are some features that, though seemingly new to the general public, are facets not necessarily unique to COVID-19 like methods of transmission and low oxygen levels.
Gen Z wants fun, exciting ads amid pandemic boredom, survey says (Marketing Dive)
Generation Z consumers want to see fun and exciting advertising to help fill the hours spent in social isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. Almost half (42%) of Gen Zers are seeking content described as fun, making the characteristic more popular than romantic (29%), exciting (27%) and scary (24%). Humor was ranked No. 6 by Gen Z among the qualities of ads that are “good to see,” but was ranked last among ads they saw as “most common.”
Brands are moving away from somber commercials of empty streets and sad music to more humor and lightheartedness as brands look to life after the coronavirus crisis while remaining sensitive to consumers’ moods.
While studies show remote working leads to a 13% performance increase, improved work satisfaction, and fewer breaks and sick days, another study from the University of North Carolina found that mindless workers had statistically higher burnout rates, were more and had less self-insight than mindful workers. Here are 10 ways to mindfully WFH and maximize your productivity.
This might be a tough moment in time for media relations experts, but the rules remain the same for maintaining good relationships with reporters. In pitching media during these times, keep your messaging brief and only share relevant information with reporters.
May 5, 2020
A lot of people could use a little extra help right now, which is why Giving Tuesday is making a comeback today, May 5. On a day where people can give back to non-profits and grassroots organizations, Giving Tuesday Now will provide everyone a chance to help at-need communities suffering most from the pandemic.
A mutation in the novel coronavirus mirrors a change that occurred in the genetically similar SARS virus in 2003 — indicating that the bug might be weakening, researchers announced in a newly published study. Out of the 382 nasal swab samples the researchers examined from coronavirus patients in Arizona, a single sample was missing a significant chunk of its genome with 81 of the letters being permanently deleted.
With top White House officials indicating a coronavirus vaccine may be available by January 2021, scientists and vaccine experts outside the Trump administration are cautious but optimistic that a vaccine could be delivered on such an accelerated timeline.
With the ability to engage with customers directly on social media, brands can more easily leverage their feedback and advice. However, equally important is the connection that brands make with other brands. Strategically tapping into other brands’ customer base can open up the chance for marketing techniques that appeal to the shared consumers in each audience.
Surveyed shoppers said they preferred to spend on name brand products across many categories as opposed to private labels. For instance, 61% said they choose name brand cleaning products, 58% prefer name brand packaged foods, 57% favor name brand frozen foods and 54% say the same for name brand soda and coffee.
YouTube is developing a tool for news publishers to sell subscriptions to their owned-and-operated digital properties through their YouTube channels. YouTube has told publishers as recently as April that it plans to begin testing the subscription sales tool by the end of this year.
May 4, 2020
About 100 research groups are pursuing vaccines with nearly a dozen in early stages of human trials or poised to start. It’s a crowded field, but researchers say that only increases the odds that a few might overcome the many obstacles that remain.
Italy is turning “a new page,” the country’s prime minister said ahead of some 4 million Italians returning to work Monday as Europe’s longest coronavirus lockdown eased. The easing of the lockdown offers a much-needed boost for Italy’s economy, with big-name, export-oriented brands like Ferrari reopening for business.
Parks, marinas and golf courses in Miami-Dade and Broward are allowing the public to return, but only during certain times and under specific health guidelines. On Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced state parks would reopen on Monday.He emphasized social distancing guidelines would be required and said people shouldn’t gather in groups of more than 10.
Ads around COVID-19 work better within news media, study finds (Marketing Dive)
Ads related to COVID-19 often perform better when part of news programming, according to MediaScience’s in-home audience survey of viewers exposed to ads from Ford, Amazon and Domino’s.The research also found that advertisements with COVID-19 messaging may have more impact than traditional ads, with Amazon’s COVID-19 ad delivering a 90% lift compared to its traditional ads.
How to boost SEO amid COVID-19 (Ragan)
More than a third (34%) of marketers plan to invest more in low-cost channels like SEO, a new survey reveals. About two-thirds believe marketing will become more important during the outbreak. Here are six ways to improve search rankings.
Homebound Viewers Adding Multiple Video Providers (Broadcast & Cable)
Hub Entertainment Research found that the number of homes with a streaming service increased to 78% from 72% last year. And the average household now has nearly 5 different services including both traditional pay-TV and streaming services, up from 3.7% a year ago and 3 in 2018.
May 1, 2020
According to a new study, TV viewing is going to rise for the first time since 2011. The report finds that traditional TV will jump by a considerable 8.3 million U.S. viewers this year, bringing the total to 287.3 million. The biggest jump is among adults 65 and older, which is the group most at risk during the pandemic, and therefore, most likely to be staying home. Viewership in the demographic will grow by 4.9%.
Consumers Respond to Positive COVID-19 Advertising: Study (Broadcast & Cable)
Advertisers sending positive messages and helping communities during the coronavirus crisis get a favorable response from consumers, according to a new VAB study. More than half the respondents said that companies with specific COVID-19-related advertising messages positively impacted their perception of the brand. The benefits may include increased sales, with 55% of those surveyed saying they were more likely to purchase a product or service from companies that are providing resources or helping out local communities.
Viewers flocked to MSNBC and Fox News in record numbers in April, and CNN recorded the best month it’s had in over 10 years, Nielsen reported. Other networks, including Lifetime, Comedy Central and TLC, also posted stronger year-to-year ratings in the first 15 days of April.
April 30, 2020
The president said the existing coronavirus social distancing guidelines that are set to expire with the end of April on Thursday will not be extended further, as more governors begin steps to lift restrictions and reopen their economies. The administration said the existing social distancing recommendations are being incorporated by governors into their new future plans.
Florida Reopening Plan to Begin, Excludes Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach (U.S. News and World Report)
Restrictions will remain in place for Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties, Florida will allow stores and restaurants in most of the state to reopen Monday in a limited capacity, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday during a press conference. In the counties with openings, retail stores will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity, and restaurants will be permitted to serve dine-in customers at the same threshold. Bars, gyms, salons and other close-contact businesses will remain closed.
Gilead Sciences said Wednesday preliminary results of a coronavirus drug trial showed at least 50% of patients treated with a five-day dosage of remdesivir improved and more than half were discharged from the hospital within two weeks.
Pandemic caused businesses to speed up transformation (Marketing Land)
The onset of the pandemic led many organizations to shorten digital transformation timelines that had previously been defined as multiyear processes. This rapid change demands organizations to focus on realizing the potential of their people.
Eventually, the workplace will return to normal, but that doesn’t mean tremendous work won’t be required of leaders. Getting through it will require focused attention in the following areas: Demonstrating gratitude, continuing to focus on health and safety, managing expectations, and creating new appropriately distanced environments.
April 29, 2020
A large COVID-19 study hints at the potential benefit of an experimental drug called remdesivir, which appears to work the same in patients whether they receive five or 10 days of treatment. However, Gilead has not yet released enough information from the trial to show what that “improvement” means for patients.
Cities and towns across Miami-Dade and Broward counties have announced which of their parks will reopen after Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Broward Mayor Dale Holness signed executive orders to allow them to operate under certain restrictions. Here is a list of parks reopening today.
Instagram offers business tips, live fundraising feature (Social Media Today)
Instagram has released a guide to help brands better use platform tools to boost engagement and performance. Instagram also launched a Live Donations feature, which enables creators to run a “virtual telethon experience” to raise money for any of more than 1 million nonprofit organizations.
Within every crisis lies an opportunity to shape what your organization will become and how it will be perceived as it emerges from such a challenging time. It opens an opportunity in the form of a new platform for leaders to declare what an organization cares about—and because people’s attention has become laser-focused, they only need to say it once.
Five B2B brands engaging via documentary-style video (Content Standard)
Business-to-business brands are creating documentary-style videos to inform and engage prospects, including Slack, Google Small Business, Uber Eats, Norton and InVision. Video content marketing is an effective way to drive B2B lead conversions, attract a wider audience, and develop industry authority, especially when videos highlight your customers or take an unbranded, cinematic approach.
The keys to successfully managing a staff that is working from home and keeping its social distance include exhibiting empathy, resisting micro-managing work-from-home employees, and paying close attention to your newest team members.
April 28, 2020
As some governors across the United States begin to ease restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus, hopes are soaring that life as Americans knew it might be returning. But plans emerging in many states indicate that “normal” is still a long way off. White House adviser Dr. Deborah Birx says social distancing will be with Americans through the summer.
For COVID-19 patients in severe respiratory distress, our partners at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine now offer access to mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) treatments that may help fight the characteristic inflammation that accompanies the viral infection. On April 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved MSC treatments for seriously ill COVID-19 patients as an “expanded access compassionate use.” Since then, UHealth has provided clinicians in Miami and Maryland with MSCs taken from bone marrow and cultured at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute (ISCI) manufacturing lab.
Working from home means more time for entertainment: in the last two weeks of March, 60% of people are engaging with more entertainment according to MRC Data and Nielsen Music. About a quarter of those surveyed added at least one new subscription service, and 38% of that group added a new music subscription service.
Actions that businesses take now in relation to their organic footing could be one of the deciding factors in how quickly businesses bounce back following the pandemic. With searches for ‘SEO’ in both the UK and the US on the rise, it’s time to get in on the action – here are some key areas to consider to drive big returns from your organic activity. Releasing interesting or useful content now that targets upper funnel consumers will breed brand affinity and trust.
TikTok Launches Donation Stickers, Matches Donations up to $10 Million (Social Media Today)
TikTok has added another way to assist people impacted by COVID-19 with a new set of donation stickers, which will enable users to raise both awareness and funds for charitable causes via their TikTok clips.
April 27, 2020
DeSantis promises details on reopening ‘pretty soon’ (Sun Sentinel)
Gov. Ron DeSantis said Sunday the state is working on a “safe and methodical” plan for moving toward reopening Florida, which he termed “a next chapter,” but declined to offer details about how it would look or a timetable. Polling shows that an overwhelming majority of Florida voters don’t want the state’s economy opened until public health officials deem it safe.
The CDC has now added six more conditions that may come with the disease: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. The expanded symptoms list could prove important because with a limited number of test kits available, typically those seeking a test must first show symptoms.
The NBA plans to reopen team practice facilities Friday in areas where local governments have relaxed stay-at-home restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to an ESPN report. However, county officials added that they have until Friday to gather more information and work with the Miami Heat on any possible reopening plans.
Facebook is launching a feature called Messenger Rooms, which allows users to start video chats that can be joined by as many as 50 people at a time, regardless of whether they have Facebook accounts. WhatsApp is also doubling its group call limit, which was previously four people, and both Instagram and Facebook will get enhanced live-streaming features.
TikTok Tests eCommerce Potential with ‘Small Gestures’ Virtual Gift-Giving Process (Social Media Today)
TikTok is launching a “Small Gestures” tool that enables users to send free virtual gifts to friends and family such as a one-month DoorDash subscription or 90-day Pandora trial. Social Media Today’s Andrew Hutchinson says the effort could be just the first step for TikTok’s e-commerce effort: “If TikTok can start to establish transactional processes on the platform, that could help to lead users into new habitual behaviors, which will then connect into its e-commerce push.”
How to use videos in your email marketing (PR Daily)
Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools out there. People usually check their emails every single day which makes it the best channel to engage potential customers. Using the word video in your subject lines and employing embedded clips in your email marketing campaigns can increase open rates and click-through rates.
April 24, 2020
Consumer trends have changed dramatically as people stay home during coronavirus. One of the first products to see a rise in demand was toilet paper. Later, at-home hairdressing tools like hair clippers and hair dye jumped compared to last year’s sales as people tried a DIY approach to maintaining their hairstyles. At-home exercise systems have reported more interest from customers looking to stay fit during quarantine, along with massive increases in viewers subscribing to streaming services—with Netflix alone reporting net subscriber additions of 15.8 million just between January and March.
A ‘people-first’ mentality is the secret ingredient for engaging your team during times of crisis. The key is to establish a set of guiding principles and patterns for communications and projects that are shared and reiterated with your employees. On top of communication, it is vital to acknowledge emotions, while driving decisions from data.
PR and marketing tips for companies in the COVID-19 era (The Next Web)
The way brands conduct their public relations both externally and internally as a company during this time is vitally important for its reputation. When executing PR and marketing efforts during a time of crisis, companies should adapt their messaging, focus on thought leadership, help the community, and plan for the post-COVID-19 future.
April 23, 2020
Starting next week, the American Red Cross will offer antibody tests for people who suspect they were previously infected with the novel coronavirus and are interested in donating their blood plasma — a potential game-changer in the treatment for seriously ill COVID-19 patients.
Mnuchin Expects Most of the Economy to Open by Late Summer (U.S. News and World Report)
The Treasury secretary said that the federal government is “operating under the environment that we are going to open up parts of the economy and we’re looking forward to – by the time we get later in the summer – having most of the economy, if not all of the economy, open.” The House on Thursday is set to pass another $484 billion in relief funding, adding to the $2.2 trillion coronavirus package signed into law several weeks ago.
In its latest reading of consumer sentiment, Morning Consult finds consumers are showing increasing optimism about the future, as the number of people who say they expect to be worse off in a year has consistently declined.
The Curious Case of the Coronavirus Commercial (Vanity Fair)
The brands getting the most attention as the pandemic drags on are doing something different: they’re selling nothing. In these ads, soaring music accompanies pictures and videos—much of them generated remotely—of empty cities, hands touching hands through plates of glass, and/or essential workers wearing masks before the spots end with words of support.
Four major themes surfaced in a study released today of 250 brand leaders, but one dominated: don’t stop but do adjust. Some 73% of marketers suggested doing more marketing. About 28% said they would double down on advertising. Some mentioned that ads are less expensive now. The majority said it’s OK to advertise, but to remain respectful.
Millions of managers are discovering that virtual leadership from home has some unique challenges. There are many ways to be an effective and respectful boss to your team right now, including checking in with how your team is doing, setting realistic expectations, and managing the team’s time well.
April 22, 2020
There are encouraging signs that the most intensive phase of our battle against the novel coronavirus is succeeding. The number of new COVID-19 cases nationally is tapering downward and some initial studies have shown that far more people were infected but had mild or no symptoms at all. However, we’re still far from being able to return to “normal.”
While the federal government’s largest statistical agency scrambles to salvage the constitutionally mandated 2020 census, it’s also rolling out a $1.2 million experiment called the “Household Pulse Survey” to try to measure how the coronavirus pandemic is upending life for households in the U.S.
Google is making a significant change to its Google Shopping platform by letting any business owner that sells products online list their inventory for free. Usually, an e-commerce operation would need to pay for ad placement on Google Shopping. But the company says it will now let anyone who operates a website or manages a store on a marketplace platform list without paying.
Employees are eager for clear and consistent information regarding the pandemic’s effect on the business. Leaders should prioritize “actionable” communication that’s personal, transparent and rich in context to keep a team uplifted, informed and engaged.
According to April 2020 research, 84% of US adults said they would be willing to share their health data to deter the spread of the virus, and more than half (58%) of respondents said they would be open to disclosing their location—both important factors that can help public officials flag hot spots.
April 21, 2020
Three months ago today, the U.S. confirmed the nation’s first case of what was then called the “novel” coronavirus. In just a few months, we’ve genetically sequenced the virus, identified risk factors and initiated drug tests. We’ve learned that social distancing can help bend the curve, that we can work and educate from a distance, that telehealth can help decrease costs and increase access, and that doctors and nurses can effectively work across state borders.
Monday marked the lowest number of coronavirus-related fatalities in the U.S. in two weeks, just days after the number of deaths had spiked. After several sharp spikes last week, the number seems to be slowing, with the data reflecting an average of 600 less deaths than previous days.
The pharmaceutical giant will have 600 million to 800 million vaccines available in early 2021, when it expects the US government to approve the drug it plans to start testing in humans this September, chief financial officer Joe Wolk said Tuesday.
A vast array of contact-tracing apps will launch in multiple countries around the world in the coming weeks, fast-tracked by Google and Apple promising to build the underlying framework into their operating systems. As politicians continue to fight the pandemic medically and economically, the idea that this new tech can help resolve the crisis has taken hold.
How Brands Can Communicate with Millennials Effectively During COVID-19 (Advertising Week)
A new survey shows 67% of Millennials said that brands should continue their communication on social media during this stressful time—especially when it comes to communicating if and how products are available to order online. Brands should think about how they’re communicating with customers now and translate it into more open, honest communication in the future.
Pandemic Impacting Brand Access and Loyalty (MediaPost)
Nearly two-thirds of American consumers say they miss one or more of the brands they haven’t been able to buy during the pandemic, and they are buying new ones instead, according to a national survey conducted by Mindshare last week. The survey also found most consumers are likely to continue buying new brands (62%) or try new services (59%) even after the pandemic is over.
April 20, 2020
The deal is expected to include $310 billion more for the federal government’s new Paycheck Protection Program, which was created in the last major relief package to help small businesses survive amid the coronavirus outbreak and ran out of funding last week. The interim measure is also expected to provide $75 billion more for hospitals and possibly $25 billion for testing.
The report says that ending the quarantine safely will require testing, tracing, and supported isolation. Test producers will need to deliver 5 million tests per day by early June to safely open parts of the economy by late July, according to the report. To “fully re-mobilize the economy,” the country will need to see testing grow to 20 million a day, the report suggests.
Two weeks after beginning to survey users about disease symptoms in an effort to track the spread of COVID-19, Facebook said Monday that early results showed promise — and that the effort will roll out internationally beginning Wednesday. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that initial findings correlate with public data about confirmed cases of COVID-19, an important signal that symptom surveys will soon be able to forecast the disease’s spread. Facebook will use aggregated data from the university to produce interactive maps based on symptom surveys and will update them daily.
How coronavirus could usher in a new era of brand purpose (Marketing Dive)
The coronavirus has sped up several key consumer trends, leading more people to stream media and rely on e-commerce than ever before. Even after signs of normalcy return, the lasting effects on marketing will also be significant, and could enshrine brand purpose — which was already gaining traction pre-pandemic — as the new industry standard.
While you may not be able to “read the room” as easily as if you were there, there are many ways to hold the attention of your audience, even if you can’t see each other. Here are some tips for improving your virtual presentations during the coronavirus pandemic.
How Different Generations of Consumers Use Social Media (Social Media Today)
A study of 1,000 consumers and 500 businesses found that YouTube is the only common social platform where Generation Z, millennials, Generation X and baby boomers spend most of their time. The survey also found that 60% of Gen Xers like video best for learning about a new product or brand, 70% of millennials trust brands more that use product videos compared to those that do not, and Gen Z favors Instagram for following brands while Facebook is favored by millennials and Gen Xers.
April 17, 2020
With less choice on the shelves, American consumers are opting to try new brands of the same product rather than look elsewhere. A new study shows during the coronavirus pandemic, 69% of consumers are purchasing different brands if their preferred one is not available, according to a survey by shopping rewards app Shopkick. Only 14% said they will not make a purchase if their preferred brand is unavailable.
If businesses want to be effectively communicating, they need to start with an integrated data strategy – one that can look at the big picture and be adjusted according to what’s working. However, this kind of fast-paced, reactive data strategy relies on strong customer journey orchestration and customer management systems – part of a long-term holistic approach to data.
Put your best face—and footage—forward during video conferences, Zoom meetings, and more. When recording video and live streaming from home, remember to position the camera slightly above eye level, keep your background setting minimal, and always do a test-run before recording.
April 16, 2020
Trump: U.S. Has Passed Coronavirus Peak (U.S. News and World Report)
President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the U.S., which has the most cases of coronavirus of any nation in the world, has possibly passed its peak for infection numbers. He said he would release guidance for state and local governments on how to reopen non-essential businesses and schools.
In the coming weeks, Facebook users who liked, reacted to or commented on potentially harmful debunked content will see a message in their news feeds directing them to the World Health Organization’s Myth busters page. There, the WHO dispels some of the most common falsehoods about the pandemic.
In light of the recent coronavirus crisis, many brands are looking for ways to give back and help their community. Some brands have even pledged to donate all of their proceeds to COVID-19 relief efforts. Here are the brands below that are giving back with each purchase.
The study by Twitter shows 64% said brands should continue advertising products as normal
These results align with a recent study by Kantar, for example, found that 92% of people think that businesses should continue to advertise during the COVID-19 outbreak.
For Media Sellers, Flexibility Is The New Norm (Media Post)
A couple of months into the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic, consumers, advertisers and media outlets are adjusting to new norms, and as far as the advertising marketplace is concerned, it means increasingly flexible terms and ways of doing business.
A March 2020 survey by GlobalWebIndex asked internet users in 13 markets whether brands should continue advertising as normal. Nearly four in 10 US respondents ages 16 to 64 agreed, and a similar share (35%) were neutral, compared with 28% who disagreed. In another March 2020 survey from Kantar, just 8% of consumers in 30 countries thought that stopping advertising should be a priority for brands.
April 15, 2020
Staffing agencies, which have deployed thousands of healthcare workers in recent weeks to jobs at hospitals in New York City and other areas hit hard by the coronavirus, say some of those temporary workers are no longer needed. The trend, coupled with a flattening in the number of New Yorkers hospitalized with coronavirus infection, reinforces the sense that New York may have reached the peak of the health crisis.
80 Million Americans Will Get Relief Checks This Week (U.S. News and World Report)
Americans will see coronavirus relief checks from the federal government hit their bank accounts as early as today. The checks are part of a $2.2 trillion stimulus package that President Donald Trump signed into law in March. It stipulates that single adults with a taxable income under $75,000 will receive a $1,200 check, with an additional $500 for each child. Those with an income above $99,000 are not eligible for payments, and payments scale down for those between $75,000 and $99,000.
Speaking in Tallahassee, the governor said the state is receiving 1 million N95 respirator masks for medical workers. Florida’s Division of Emergency Management will send those masks to front-line hospital and health care workers across the state, the governor said.
The current business environment calls for scaling, not pausing marketing and PR efforts. While there may be a drop in B2B sales during the next quarter, there could be an opportunity to keep a percentage of these and to capture new prospects who haven’t started their buying journey yet.
Of the 2.8 million online pages containing COVID-19 related keywords, 62% were considered brand-safe, according to a study by an artificial intelligence company and its content classification and brand safety platform, Verity.
More than ever there’s a need to make sure our written communication has a warm, genuine tone. Be positive, grateful and sincere, while sensitive to the reality we face. Here are six ways to make sure your business correspondence hits the right mark.
April 14, 2020
Wall Street opened on a high note Tuesday morning on optimistic news about coronavirus testing and stabilization of the outbreak in some states.
Doctors at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta are prescribing remdesivir to COVID-19 patients. The drug was originally approved for Ebola patients, but early results suggest it could be more effective in treating COVID-19.
More than 80 percent of the benefits of a tax change tucked into the coronavirus relief package Congress passed last month will go to those who earn more than $1 million annually, according to a report by a nonpartisan congressional body expected to be released Tuesday.
There are plenty of video chat services to switch to, each with their own advantages and disadvantages making them better suited to different uses. The best Zoom alternatives include Microsoft Teams, Jitsi, BigBlueButton, Skype, and more.
Social media users want to form genuine connections with others, especially since they’re not getting that as much in person right now. Brands must adapt to the current environment, which often means building relationships—and ideally whole communities—that will pay off once life gets back to normal, rather than trying to go for the sale now.
Due to stay-at-home orders, many companies were quickly switched to remote work rather than being given the opportunity for a gradual, thoughtful transition to remote work. Researchers found that remote teams across the world are struggling more with organizational issues. Solutions start with empathy and purpose. Once companies get those things right, they can leverage the advantage to think through three key components necessary for engaged, productive telework teams.
Arsht Center Launches Arts @ Home (Miami Community Newspapers)
Our partner, the Arsht Center, launched a new at-home online program that celebrates the arts with free educational and entertaining content to inspire creativity while keeping the community connected and active. Arts lovers from South Florida and beyond can access Arsht@Home content directly on the Center’s website at arshtcenter.org/arshtathome and via its social media channels (@arshtcenter).
April 13, 2020
The United States’ top infectious disease expert said Sunday that the economy in parts of the country could have a “rolling reentry” as early as next month, provided health authorities can quickly identify and isolate people who will inevitably be infected with the coronavirus.
How to Exit the Coronavirus Shutdown (U.S. News and World Report)
A sizable investment in public health will be needed to reopen the U.S. economy, experts say. There’s broad agreement that core public health work — the ability to find people with the virus and prevent them from passing it to others — will be essential to reopening schools and businesses.
Most of the people around you are doing the best they can under the current circumstances. If you see a lapse in judgment from another coworker, give the person the benefit of the doubt to keep tension from escalating. For example, if something goes unanswered, ask again. Companies are trying to do more with less, making it more important than ever to how to maintain and improve relationships with your coworkers.
Research estimates that corporations have accounted for nearly all (81%) of the grant money that has been pledged to help amid the coronavirus pandemic. Here are three best practices for business leaders who would like to implement successful corporate-nonprofit partnerships.
While millions of Americans are working remotely, email marketers have seen a 5% increase in newsletters opened. Health and fitness newsletters are seeing a 34% increase in engagement and a 46% increase in ad click-through rates.
Influencers’ currency has increased during Covid-19 crisis (Vogue Business)
Brands, finding themselves at risk of tone deafness in marketing, are turning to influencer partnerships to talk to customers. Some retailers are looking to influencers to boost engagement with audiences by spotlighting what influencers are doing while they stay at home on brand-owned channels or through contests on the influencers’ platforms.
Miami Marlins and Heat Jerseys Become Masks for Healthcare Workers (Miami New Times)
Our outstanding partner, Miami Marlins, has come together with the Miami Heat to turn some of their apparel into masks for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis. The Miami Marlins’ 1,000 apparel donation will be made into more than 7,500 masks that will be distributed to essential employees with the Miami Police Department and the University of Miami Health System.
April 10, 2020
With consumers trapped at home, this is a great time to get creative and rework your current strategies to be social media focused. There are a lot of great social platforms to take advantage of at the moment, such as the Houseparty app, which allows you to set up games or quizzes and can offer a fun way for brands to connect with their customer base and host a game night. Aside from these platforms, hosting an IG Live is a fantastic method for brands to engage in real-time with their community.
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way companies operate, forcing business owners to manage teams remotely and accommodate schedules dismantled by crisis preparations. Here are some of the key things that managers should do to ensure their workers stay safe and focused on the company mission, as well as advice for handling tricky situations.
As Nielsen data shows, when people are forced to stay inside, they watch about 60% more content than usual — and brands are taking note. They’re ditching their usual ad campaigns to make room for coronavirus-centered content. Ikea is urging us to embrace our abodes, Hershey’s chocolate is asking us to spread love from a distance, and Hotels.com’s Captain Obvious is stating the obvious: Just stay home.
April 9, 2020
The city of Miami issued a measure Wednesday ordering all people at grocery stores, construction sites and more to wear face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
New research reveals insights into consumer content consumption, spending habits, and advertising preferences shaped by coronavirus pandemic. The research additionally found that just over half of consumers prefer brands to communicate through television advertisements and within the 18- to 24-year-old age range, 42 percent prefer brands to communicate through online video.
During the current crisis, messages that build relationships with consumers will go the farthest. Here are some tips on how to prioritize service and empathy on social media.
The consumer after COVID-19 (Marketing Dive)
Social distancing seems to be accelerating the structural changes we’ve been seeing across retail and society for the last decade — toward online interaction. While e-commerce has had its own struggles with fulfillment, shopping has definitely shifted online: From March 23 to March 30, e-commerce marketplaces saw a 14% increase in volume, according to data from the Forter Global Merchant Network.
To channel Maya Angelou’s advice: “At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did. They will remember how you made them feel.” That means cultivating the right tone and doing what you can to encourage and support consumers.
What do you do when you’re a sports marketer with no sports to do marketing for? As head of football content and strategy for Budweiser, Amar Singh was getting ready for some exciting end-of-season activations around its partnerships with the Premier League and La Liga. Instead, resources have been diverted into initiatives where the beer brand can make a difference, like a commendable campaign to save pubs from permanent closure. In this candid diary, Singh reveals what’s happening now best-laid plans have gone out the window.
April 8, 2020
Social Distancing Is Working (National Review)
As the numbers come in this week, the evidence grows that social distancing is working, and the U.S. has avoided the worst-case scenarios of the pandemic. An MIT economist concluded that the curve is indeed flattening in New York City, which bodes well for other cities.
In the wake of changing behaviors due to the pandemic, sporting event organizers will need to shift focus to planning how they can make fans “feel safe and secure” enough to come back to live events. It will also be important for sports organizers to strike the right tone rather than try to turn the health crisis into a business opportunity.
Even as you focus on helping others, you should put aside time to plan for the better times ahead. Experts suggest that you ask and answer a series of questions that help you to think through what will need to be done and the order in which you’ll do it.
We’re living in a time when many marketers will have to consider a brand reset to help reengage with consumers and continue to build relationships as this crisis is contained. This may be the ideal moment to do the strategic work that not only leads to your next great success, but a success that’s sustainable no matter how the world changes.
Brands don’t want to be completely absent from consumers’ minds during this time. There is still room to be executing upper-funnel brand awareness advertising with empathy, without taking advantage of the current situation.
Brands recalibrate to community-building during quarantine (Marketing Dive)
Results for early adopters of virtual community-building strategies are promising, with Chipotle totaling 500 million impressions on daily video sessions for its recent efforts with Zoom. There’s even the possibility of an unexpected benefit — easier targeting — though marketers will need to nail down concrete measurement methods as the need for longer-term lockdowns becomes increasingly apparent.
April 7, 2020
US health officials recommend that Americans avoid frequent trips to the grocery store and pharmacies in an effort to reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19 as the pandemic is predicted to worsen in parts of the country this week.
The research to develop vaccines and treatments has accelerated at incredible speed, with ten different therapeutic agents conducting active trials and some appearing “incredibly successful,” according to President Trump.
As the crisis continues, many brands are accelerating their good deed initiatives—but experts say consumers will also expect such actions to continue long after coronavirus. As marketers plan for the future, brands should consider trends expected to outlive COVID-19 including digital offerings, DIY, and flexible work arrangements.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Search Trends and SEO (Social Media Today)
Insights on some of the key search trends during the COVID-19 crisis can help marketers in their strategic planning and process. Data shows essential e-commerce, health and wellness, new publishers, food and recipe websites all trend upward.
To Build an Agile Team, Commit to Organizational Stability (Harvard Business Review)
A foundation of organizational stability is what provides employees with a sense of confidence, security, and optimism during times of disruptive change in the workplace, which, in turn, allows the team to keep calm, act rationally, and adapt effectively as the situation evolves.
The best crisis managers factor in all the information available and make quick calculations to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. From delivering transparent communication and setting realistic goals to being prepared to pivot, here are five tips for managing crisis.
April 6, 2020
Many Americans may have to start making their own face masks if they want to wear one, and research shows these homemade masks actually work. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams demonstrates how to make a simple face mask out of a T-shirt.
The Florida Department of Health has updated its interactive map to now show coronavirus cases in each zip code in Florida. Once a viewer reaches the DOH website, there is a tab at the bottom allowing you to click on cases by zip code.
How marketers can shift messaging during pandemic ( SmartBrief)
Almost 36% of consumers are paying more attention to marketing messages from brands and their priority purchases are food, health and wellness and cleaning products. Marketers must adapt to shifting consumer needs by building a brand community, letting customers know about their brand’s response efforts and creating content that’s comforting, helpful and entertaining — with a particular focus on live social channels.
In order to be creative in designing and implementing our new digital networking strategy, consider a mix of the following tactics that collectively will keep networking strong, meaningful, and productive during this time.
Marketing in the midst of a global pandemic is always a delicate proposition. Here are five things all advertisers should consider when navigating the tricky waters of the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 3, 2020
New evidence shows print advertising is currently generating 21% more attention than the norm for the medium. Some 88% of press ads run during the week of 18 to 25 March were viewed compared with an average view rate of 75%. Two-thirds (66%) of viewable digital ads were noticed compared with an average of 55% for desktop digital tests conducted in the past six months.
When a cultural moment occurs and dramatically affects the world, as it has during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s crucial that brands address this issue with a sense of tact, mindful marketing, and empathy. Marketers should adjust scheduled content timelines and marketing campaigns to be beneficial to your consumer during the Crisis right now.
Why digital marketing is more important than ever (Smart Brief)
Digital experiences are a critical engagement tool during the coronavirus pandemic, and business-to-business marketers especially should be embracing tools such as Zoom, LinkedIn Live and Google Hangouts to live stream events or conduct webinars.
April 2, 2020
Starting Friday, small business owners across the country with fewer than 500 employees can apply for up to $10 million in federal assistance through banks or lending institutions. The $350 billion in small business loans do not have to be paid back if the owner uses the money to keep employees on payroll—but the idea is untested.
New research emerging into the effectiveness of mitigation measures aimed at the spreading novel coronavirus that demonstrates communities that acted more quickly and aggressively had better results than those that implemented partial, or gradual measures.
In this new environment, connecting with consumers digitally can be challenging. Yet, it is especially important for both brands experiencing hard times as well as those experiencing booms to communicate effectively.
A new study reveals Millennials may be pessimistic about the current situation, but they express an interest in brands helping them to navigate a better way forward. More than four in 10 Millennials (43%) believe brands play an “important” role at this time and indicate a desire for them to step up their support. In fact, one in four think they have power to be as impactful as the government.
To maximize your productivity while working from home, try using tools like an accountability app and an energy and attention audit. Click the link to see the full list of resources.
April 1, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that he would sign an executive order limiting all activity in Florida to essential services only for the next 30 days to try to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. The order would go into effect Thursday night at midnight
The White House is reconsidering its previous guidance against widespread usage of face masks as the country’s coronavirus death toll continues to rise. The conversations indicate America may soon follow in the footsteps of countries like China and Italy, where mask usage was mandated as they fought the virus.
From Feb. 26 to March 26, over a quarter of 95 different COVID-themed creatives have aired — with 26.5% from government agencies, 25.5% from automotive brands, 22% from restaurants, 19% from electronics/communications and 4% from life/entertainment marketers.
The influx of branded coronavirus emails don’t look like “marketing” at first pass. However, they’re part of a larger email marketing and branding strategy to provide practical information while branding their company’s as reliable, sanitary and ethical.
While it’s good to remember that remote work is a privilege, it can still be a challenging transition, especially if you are contending with tight spaces and additional distractions. Recommended tips include focusing on habits, maintain consistent communication with coworkers, and even dressing professionally at home.
March 31, 2020
The census impacts all facets of our lives, from congressional representation to billions in federal funding, and much more. Even amid these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to be counted and make sure our demographic information accurate.
Although county leaders have set no curfews, various cities and municipalities like Key Biscayne, Coral Gables, Hialeah, and Homestead have taken stricter measures to protect citizens from the coronavirus. Click the link to see the full list.
In addition to recently installing plexiglass at cash registers and customer service counters in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, Publix announced today that it is now allowing employees the option to wear gloves and masks through the duration of the pandemic.
In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s better to address business challenges head-on than to try to gloss over any shortcomings. Media strategy should shift to acknowledge the challenges, be empathetic and position company spokespeople when relevant and in a sensitive manner.
WOW MKTG’s talented clients at the Young Arts Foundation have alumni starring in a list of shows you can watch while practicing #DoYourPartApart. You can see Young Arts Foundation alumni in shows like Euphoria, Supernatural, Gossip Girl and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.
March 30, 2020
Social distancing guidelines that have shut down cites across the US have been extended to April 30 as an effort to potentially save millions of lives from the coronavirus.
The president explained that by June 1, America will be at the low end of the curve.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a limited emergency-use authorization for two antimalarial drugs to treat those infected with the novel coronavirus. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, which are oral prescription drugs used primarily to prevent and treat malaria, are both being investigated as potential therapeutics for COVID-19.
Apple launched a website and a new app dedicated to COVID-19 screening. The resources offer an online screening tool, information about the disease, and some guidance on when to seek testing or emergency care.
Facebook has pledged to invest $100 million in the news industry at a time when the ongoing coronavirus pandemic means that accurate reporting is more important than ever. $25 million will be provided in grant funding for local news through the Facebook Journalism Project, while the remaining $75 million will come in the form of “additional marketing spend” to worldwide news organizations.
NBCUniversal has launched its PSA coronavirus campaign in partnership with the Ad Council and the federal government featuring a series of videos, celebrities like Kelly Clarkson, Terry Crews, Ted Danson, Nick Jonas and Hoda Kotb educate viewers on what to do during the pandemic and how to limit its spread.
March 27, 2020
TV Viewership Climbing With People Stuck at Home by Virus (Associated Press)
With millions of people stuck at home due to the coronavirus outbreak, television viewership is on the rise. Television usage last week was up 8% over what it was in February, according to the Nielsen company.
The coronavirus is impacting consumer mobility, shifts in media consumption habits, supply chains, such as shortages of goods manufactured in China and economic volatility. With this dynamic situation, companies need to plan their next marketing moves wisely to either mitigate downside risk or capture all the upside that’s possible.
Brands have dramatically changed the imagery in their social media ads in the past week amid the growing coronavirus pandemic. Images and videos of people washing their hands and faces surged 600 percent since last week and the use of “cleanliness” imagery tripled. On the contrary, ads showed a 30 percent drop in the use of “human connection” imagery since March 12, and an eight percent slide in travel-related imagery from two weeks earlier.
March 26, 2020
The Coronavirus stimulus check will be a one-time, direct payment to individuals — in amounts that vary based on age and income — from the government in order to help stimulate the economy in times of crisis. According to the original proposal, individuals who make $75,000 or less per year are eligible for a one-time $1,200 check and are set to be distributed in two rounds of payments on April 6 and May 18.
Miami Officials Approve Citywide Curfew (NBC Miami)
Miami city commissioners unanimously approved a citywide 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew to supplement the shelter-in-place order for its residents amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s better to address business challenges head-on than to try to gloss over any shortcomings. By acknowledging the current times, being empathetic and shifting media strategy in this new normal, communication pros advise brands to connect with their customers and the community in the face of this impact.
In addition to building virtual bridges with company-wide online meetings, leaders are boosting morale and creativity. Read about three easy virtual team building activities for companies of all sizes.
As we practice #DoYourPartApart, we face the new challenges of working from home with kids, spouses, and families as our new coworkers. Read how to be productive and remain connected with your team while practicing social distancing.
Researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine are leading the way in developing a rapid-test to detect COVID-19. Based on a template they had already created years ago, the new test would only require a simple throat swab and delivers on-the-spot results in under 30 minutes.
March 25, 2020
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has announced that the county will begin cracking down on people and businesses who are violating current pandemic guidelines.
The Senate plans to vote this afternoon on a $2 trillion stimulus package that is designed to flood the U.S. economy with money in an effort to stabilize households and businesses that have been floored by the coronavirus outbreak.
Social distancing, a consequence of the coronavirus crisis, will push media consumption habits 60 percent higher, according to an analysis by Nielsen. Media consumption in the US is already at a historical high with Americans already spending just under 12 hours each day with media platforms.
Live sports might be postponed, but sports audiences are still consuming more media than ever. New data shows reveal which programs sports fans are tuning into and how it will affect the reallocation of advertising dollars.
Here’s a List of All the Drive-Thru COVID-19 Test Sites in South Florida (Miami New Times)
Drive-thru COVID-19 testing centers are opening across Miami-Dade and Broward as test supplies become available. However, to be eligible people must show certain symptoms, have a travel history to countries affected by the coronavirus, or have had recent contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Scammers of the world are using the situation to take advantage of people, many of whom may be more vulnerable to their vile efforts than usual during these uncertain times. Scammers are offering to sell products they claim to prevent or cure the novel coronavirus through email, text, and phone.