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

Huawei strikes back; the best-read brand stories; most-read crisis stories; Sally Susman In-house Pro of the Past 20 Years; Ronaldo gets rich on Instagram.

Huawei strikes back! In a long statement posted to Twitter Thursday, the Chinese tech giant blasted a Christmas Day Wall Street Journal report that found the company owes its success to billions in tax breaks, financing and other support from the Chinese government. The company threatened legal action and wrote, oddly, "The Wall Street Journal is a professional media outlet, so we have to question its motives and purpose for publishing this article." (New York Post)

Ah, the travails of America’s and the world’s most beloved brands. PRWeek’s list of the best-read brand stories of 2019 includes Peloton ad mockery (round one) and a Super Bowl brawl over beer. Check them all out here.

The first story on the list of PRWeek’s most-read crisis stories of 2019 was the Tesla Cybertruck demo, of course. You can mock, or take notes for your own crisis-response plans. Regardless, the list makes for good reading.

This year, the PRWeek U.S. Awards named Sally Susman, EVP, corporate affairs at Pfizer, as its In-house Pro of the Past 20 Years. And it’s no wonder. Susman, who directs Pfizer’s global communications and public affairs activities, has made the PRWeek’s Power List eight times in the last 10 years. You can read more about Susman’s career and why she was chosen, here.

Soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar da Silva are the sole sports stars listed in the top 10 highest-paid social media personalities across any field, reports Axios. This year, Ronaldo made $47.8 million for 49 sponsored Instagram posts making him the highest paid athlete on Instagram. All together, Ronaldo made $108.2 million and da Silva made $96.2 million in 2019 from sponsorships, contracts and all other revenue. Lionel Messi was the highest paid soccer player of 2019 if his $92 million contract with Barcelona is added to the $23.3 million he made from Instagram sponsorships.

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