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

Brands show support for black community; YouTuber Jake Paul denies looting.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

For six straight days, protests over the death of George Floyd have spread throughout the U.S. PRWeek’s Frank Washkuch captured some footage of Sunday’s Brooklyn protests. Here’s what else PR pros need to know this morning:

Facebook has pledged $10 million to fight racial injustice. In a Facebook post early Monday, the platform’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that the company “has more work to do to keep people safe and ensure our systems don’t amplify bias.” Zuckerberg made no mention of President Donald Trump's incendiary posts about the Minneapolis protests against police brutality. Over the weekend, several senior Facebook employees publicly criticized Zuckerberg’s inaction over Trump’s posts.

Apple is also donating to human rights groups, following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In addition to donating to a number of groups, including the Equal Justice Initiative, Apple will also offer a two-for-one match for employee donations in the month of June. The company’s CEO Tim Cook wrote in a memo to employees on Sunday that protections for people are “still not universally applied” as he discussed discrimination and inequality in the U.S. “We have to reexamine our own views and actions in light of a pain that is deeply felt but too often ignored,” Cook said. “George Floyd’s death is shocking and tragic proof that we must aim far higher than a ‘normal’ future, and build one that lives up to the highest ideals of equality and justice.”

A number of other brands are also showing support for the black community. The NFL, Netflix, Amazon, Airbnb, YouTube and Uber issued statements over the weekend. Meanwhile, EA Sports paused its scheduled preview of Madden NFL 2021, instead keeping its focus on how it can help to drive change “against the unjust treatment and systemic bias that is plaguing the nation and our world,” a statement said. But some brands are getting backlash for entering the conversation, such as Nike, which tweeted a video on Friday telling people not to turn their back on racism with the message, “For once, don’t do it.” Nike’s post, which was even retweeted by competitor Adidas, received mixed reviews.

YouTuber Jake Paul wants people to know he wasn’t looting. The social media star received backlash after videos surfaced of him in the middle of looting in Arizona on Saturday night. But Paul said in a lengthy statement on social media Sunday that he was documenting the situation, not partaking in the looting.

In today’s Agency Business Report spotlight: Zeno Group. The firm’s U.S. revenue increased 13.1% and globally it was up 8%. But that is not to say there weren’t some client departures. Zeno CEO Barby Siegel told PRWeek about one of the agency’s “toughest” losses from 2019, as well as an exciting new client win. Go here for the full Agency Business Report 2020.

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