Tesla, LVMH medical production efforts make biggest COVID business news impact

Businesses are earning media by aiding the medical manufacturing effort, according to data from alva.

Tesla's decision to manufacture ventilators was the most impactful business news story of the COVID period. (Photo credit: Getty Images).
Tesla's decision to manufacture ventilators was the most impactful business news story of the COVID period. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

NEW YORK: During the first five weeks of COVID-19, companies communicating philanthropic medical production initiatives had the biggest business news impact, according to a report from alva, an AI-powered reputation intelligence and media monitoring firm. 

Moves to protect employee health and reduce executive pay were also impactful, according to the firm. 

The highest-ranking story in terms of impact was Tesla turning over its production facilities to manufacture ventilators. At number two was luxury goods company LVMH’s announcement that it would produce hand sanitizers. Other high-impact stories included Facebook’s $1,000 bonus for its 45,000 employees, the contact-tracing app launched jointly by Apple and Google and Lidl’s checkout protection screens.

Alva uses AI to analyze reception of news stories by the media and other key stakeholders. The scope of review includes 80,000 news sources including not only print and broadcast outlets, but also blogs and forums and more than 100 social media platforms. The main metrics for impact include volume and prominence of coverage, estimated influence of the news source and proportion of stakeholder-related content about corporate initiatives.

The report, Business and the Pandemic: What the Data Shows, covers the period between mid-March and mid-April, described by alva as “the shock phase” of COVID-19. Businesses have entered “the existential phase” and are focused primarily on survival.

“This ‘shock phase’ began in mid-March and saw us unite under a banner of ‘we are in this together.’ Solidarity, fairness, responsibility and compassion have provided the much-needed hope and resources to deal with the sudden shock caused by the pandemic,” said Alberto Lopez Valenzuela, founder and CEO of alva, in a statement. 

Valenzuela added that “the existential phase” has been “a more pragmatic and deeply questioning phase in which businesses have been more focused on their own survival.” 

“We are likely to see different types of initiative resonating than those we saw in the ‘shock phase,’” he said. 

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