The most read about crisis stories of 2021

The January 6 insurrection and of course the coronavirus pandemic left their marks on brands this year, as did other major news events.

(Photo credit: Getty Images).
(Photo credit: Getty Images).

Hyatt faces backlash for ‘harboring domestic terrorists’ following Capitol riots
January 7 

The January 6 Capitol HIll insurrection ensnared one hospitality brand that was accused of not acting quickly enough to expel rioters. Bloomberg’s William Turton posted a video of Trump supporters sitting at tables in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt Washington in a video that quickly racked up millions of views. They were also not adhering to local mask rules.

A Hyatt spokesperson called the riot “violent and destructive” and “shocking, horrifying and indefensible” and said its teams in Washington, DC, were aware of the situation and primarily focused on ensuring the safety of customers and colleagues.

Do you still have to wear a mask while shopping? What 25 companies are telling customers
May 17

Once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed guidelines for wearing a mask in public for vaccinated individuals, it created some confusion – a bit of a theme this year, you could say – as to how it applied to individual places, companies and situations. 

Retailers and other heavily trafficked businesses created their own guidelines for customers and employees. Here’s a quick guide to how they navigated the tricky question of indoor masking. 

Wells Fargo turns email snafu into company-wide birthday celebration
January 27

We’ve all been there. And by there, we mean the receiving end of a a birthday message email sent to an entire office – or a whole company – just by the mistaken stroke of “reply all.” While most of us just grumble audibly, Wells Fargo had a better idea: turn the widespread birthday message into a party for the entire company.

The bank’s communications leader, Barri Rafferty, quickly had Wells Fargo's social media accounts acknowledge and make light of the situation, garnering thousands of comments, likes and impressions, giving one employee a nice birthday surprise.

Owner of Miami condo that collapsed hires Levick
June 30

Champlain Towers South Condominium Association, which owned the condo that collapsed in Surfside, Florida, in June, retained Levick. 

Only days after the collapse of Champlain Towers South on June 24, the condo association hired the Washington, DC-based crisis PR firm, according to media reports.

Maxwell Marcucci, a VP at Levick working as a spokesperson for the condo association, confirmed to McClatchy that the condo board had retained his firm.

Victoria’s Secret calls viral video of in-store altercation ‘unsetting’
July 13 

Victoria's Secret touted its commitment to safety, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion following an altercation at a store in Millburn, New Jersey.

In videos, which went viral, taken by a store patron who identified herself as Ijeoma Ukenta, a fellow customer who is white can be seen charging at Ukenta. The alleged attacker, who was labeled the "Victoria's Secret Karen," broke down into tears and pretended to pass out. Throughout the videos, Ukenta, who is Black, claims the woman tried to hit her.

Victoria’s Secret tweeted a statement shortly after noon on Tuesday, explaining that safety is its “top priority” for customers and staffers. The chain called the videos “unsettling” and said it initiated a full investigation.

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