Breakfast Briefing: 5 things for PR pros to know on Thursday morning

Brand Film Awards U.S. 2020 shortlist revealed; Hospitals rush to control narrative amid coronavirus pandemic.

The envelope, please. We can finally reveal the Brand Film Awards U.S. 2020 shortlist of top brand films to be feted by PRWeek and Campaign. Just a heads up that the awards ceremony, scheduled for May 7 in New York City, is now taking place as a virtual event.  

New York City hospitals are trying to control their image amid the pandemic. Private hospitals, including Mount Sinai Health System and NYU Langone Health, are warning workers against voicing their concerns about what’s playing out in emergency rooms across the city. And Northwell Health recently sent its medical staff an email informing them all interviews with news media must first be cleared through the PR department. (Politico)

Bernie Sanders dissed Amazon and Jay Carney responded. Sanders tweeted that the company’s decision to fire a worker who helped organize a protest due to people getting sick on the job was “immoral.” In response, Carney, Amazon’s SVP of global corporate affairs, tweeted, “I’m confused. Thought you wanted us to protect our workers?” He then explained that the worker was fired for purposely violating social distancing rules. Meanwhile, New York lawmakers, unions and Amazon employees wrote a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos urging him to close the company’s warehouses that have been hit by coronavirus.

Watch out, TikTok. YouTube is working on a new feature called Shorts, which will allow users to upload brief videos into a feed inside the mobile app and take advantage of licensed music that YouTube Music has in its catalog, according to The Information. The TikTok rival is set to be released by the end of 2020.

Serta Simmons Bedding has named ICF Next as its PR AOR. The appointment marks the first time the company has worked with a single PR agency across its entire brand portfolio, which is made up of Beautyrest, Serta, Simmons and Tuft & Needle. ICF Next has been supporting the company with its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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