Breakfast Briefing: 5 things for PR pros to know Friday morning

Zuckerberg defends fact check policy; Lids named Berk Communications PR AOR; ICCO, says no to Chinese comms group; Purpose-driven businesses should support neighborhoods; Purpose helps brands reinvent.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended Facebook’s policy of not fact checking the statements of politicians, in a speech at Georgetown University Thursday. "I don't think most people want to live in a world where you can only post things that tech companies judge to be 100% true," Zuckerberg said. (CNET)

National hat and fashion retailer Lids named Berk Communications as its North America PR AOR. The firm began talking to the retailer in July and working for Lids at the start of this month, said Ron Berkowitz, founder and CEO of Berk, who added that there was no formal RFP process. Berkowitz said Lids was not working with an incumbent agency when his firm won the year-long, six-figure contract.

ICCO, the global umbrella organization for PR trade bodies, refused to allow a Chinese comms professional association join on ethical grounds. ICCO's chief executive Francis Ingham revealed the news during a panel session at Communications Week London. The ICCO counts associations from 66 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas and Australasia as members. Meanwhile, the NBA is facing financial fallout from the pro-Hong Kong democracy tweet made (then deleted) by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. At a conference in New York Thursday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said losses from the crisis were "substantial. Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak, and we’ll see what happens next." (Deadline) "I don’t know where we go from here," Silver added. "The financial consequences have been and may continue to be fairly dramatic." Silver also revealed that after the tweet, the Chinese government asked him to fire Morey.

Public investment is a start, but purpose-driven businesses need to invest in disadvantaged neighborhoods like those found in Chicago, said business, community and civic leaders at PRDecoded. The panel included Samir Mayekar, head of economic development and deputy mayor for the city of Chicago; Pastor Corey Brooks, founder of community group Project Hood, and Latanya Bluitt-Wells, a volunteer counselor at Project Hood. It was moderated by Richard Edelman.

Purpose is more than a guide for decision making. It can also help brands attempting to reinvent themselves, said panelists during the Leading with Purpose in an Age Defined by It session at PRDecoded Thursday. "We’ve always been a mission-driven company," said Dominic Carr, GM of global public affairs at Microsoft. "But the last five years, we’ve been purpose-driven."

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