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

FedEx says it didn’t fire drivers in viral video; Pepsi-sponsored poster promoting COVID-19 testing site removed.

FedEx responds to online furor. After two of the company’s drivers posted a video of an encounter with a customer who they allege threatened to “whoop their black asses,” they were told to take down the video and were fired, tweeted @Toniob38. #BoycottFedEx has since been trending on social. But the company tweeted early Thursday morning that it is “offering employment” to the drivers, “while investigating to ensure an appropriate outcome.”

A Pepsi-sponsored poster promoting a COVID-19 testing site at a Florida Walmart has been removed. The poster featured Pepsi branding and its motto, “That’s what I like.” Twitter users didn’t like it. A Pepsi spokeswoman told HuffPost the sign was taken down, adding that it “was an unfortunate mistake by one of our local sales associates that in trying to move with speed to get this important testing message up, did not follow proper approval protocols.” A Walmart spokeswoman told HuffPost, “We know how important access to testing is in our local communities, and there was nothing negative intended by the banner. The local teams were trying to raise awareness about the testing site in order to help more people in the community. As soon as we learned about them, it was taken down.” 

Twitter’s comms team just pranked the platform’s users in a big way. The @TwitterComms account tweeted, “Reply if you want to be verified!” The catch: No one could reply. The tweet used the new reply functionality that Twitter is testing to limit replies to anyone mentioned in the tweet itself (in this case, no one).

Martin Sorrell has advice for businesses as lockdown eases. Brands should be “aggressive” with their marketing messages as restrictions loosen, the S4 Capital leader told CNBC. “So, you have a little bit of time to plan," he said. "But I think when you come out of the traps … our view is that by the end of May and certainly by the end of June, a lot of these lockdowns will be eased to a significant degree.” Sorrell added that S4 Capital is letting leases go on some of its London and New York offices and he also expects to travel less and attend fewer conferences.

Marina Maher sees KPIs as “yesterday’s measurement system.” The CEO of Marina Maher Communications told PRWeek what clients really want is “to know how a program will deliver a return on sales.” In the firm’s PRWeek Agency Business Report profile, Maher shared why MMC registered both top- and bottom-line growth in 2019 and also named the initiative she is proudest of from the past decade.

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