Business leaders decry election fraud claims, consumers have more fear in 2021, and Albertson’s takes backlash from DoorDash partnership

Hello, communicators:

It’s election day for citizens in Georgia as the state conducts a run-off contest for two Senate seats, the outcome of which will determine party control of the Senate for the next legislative session.

The contest has attracted tons of money and celebrity appearances, as well as campaigning by President-Elect Joe Biden and President Trump for their respective candidates. However, the campaigner with the most lessons to offer PR pros might be someone who isn’t on the ticket, Stacey Abrams, who is credited with the massive turnout that made Georgia more electorally competitive than it has been in generations.

Here’s one example of her excellent messaging discipline and social media listening on Twitter:

Make sure you are engaging the many online personalities who can help deliver key messages to your target audience.

Here are today’s top stories:

Business leaders urge officials to accept election results

As some Republican lawmakers have promised to contest the electoral college results when they are delivered to Congress on Jan. 6, business leaders are calling for discussions about objecting to the election to be discarded.

In an open letter signed by more than 170 business leaders from companies like Mastercard, Pfizer, and ConEdison, execs are exhorting acceptance of the 2020 presidential election results.

The letter reads:

This presidential election has been decided and it is time for the country to move forward. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have won the Electoral College and the courts have rejected challenges to the electoral process. Congress should certify the electoral vote on Wednesday, January 6. Attempts to thwart or delay this process run counter to the essential tenets of our democracy.

The incoming Biden administration faces the urgent tasks of defeating COVID-19 and restoring the livelihoods of millions of Americans who have lost jobs and businesses during the pandemic. Our duly elected leaders deserve the respect and bipartisan support of all Americans at a moment when we are dealing with the worst health and economic crises in modern history. There should be no further delay in the orderly transfer of power.

Why it matters: The letter is an example of the ways in which business leaders are expected to speak out on issues of the day, and further evidence that the current political climate runs in the face of longstanding norms of bipartisanship and neutrality for the business community. Business leaders must grow comfortable learning to use their voice to advocate for the issues they believe in—and do the work of discovering what issues their organizations should champion.


MEASURED THOUGHTS

Consumers have more fear heading into 2021 than they did a year ago, according to data from Edelman. Perhaps that’s not so surprising considering the year we have had. Still, the numbers are striking:

(Image via Edelman)

See more insights on how consumers’ minds have changed after a year of crisis and disruption—and what that means for your messaging in the new year—by reading the full report.

Fiat and Peugeot tout merger

The two car companies say that by joining forces they will be better able to survive the rising tide of change coming to the auto industry (specifically electric vehicles). The new company will employ 400,000 people and produce cars under the brands Jeep, Ram Trucks, Alfa Romeo and Maserati, to name a few.

The merger makes the company the world’s fourth-largest carmaker after Toyota, Volkswagen and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.

The New York Times reported:

“We are living through a profound era of change in our industry,” John Elkann, the chairman of Fiat Chrysler, told shareholders by video, drawing comparisons to Fiat’s founding at the dawn of the automobile age. “We believe the coming decade will redefine mobility as we know it.”

What you should know: Many industries are facing profound changes in the coming years, and having a clear plan for how you can meet those needs and adapt will be crucial for building trust and belief among investors and other key stakeholders. If you have a big move to make, emphasize how it will benefit employees and communities as well as shareholders.


TACTICALLY SPEAKING

After calling delivery drivers “essential,” grocery chain Albertsons is now opting to use contractors through DoorDash to deliver groceries. The move comes after California passed Proposition 22, a law that cements ride-share drivers and gig workers as exempt from employment laws like the minimum wage and health benefits.

Business Insider reported:

“In early December, Albertsons Companies made the strategic decision to discontinue using our own home delivery fleet of trucks in select locations, including Southern California, beginning February 27, 2021,” Albertsons spokesperson Andrew Whelan told Business Insider.

“We will transition that portion of our eCommerce operations to third-party logistics providers who specialize in that service. Our HR teams are working to place impacted associates in stores, plants, and distribution centers,” Whelan said.

The move is getting plenty of blowback on social media:

Others say the move is misguided, as drivers are essential touchpoints for the brand with consumers:

It’s a departure from decisions in the COVID-19 era that have tried to show support for frontline employees and build trust with consumer groups.

Airports manage delays due to COVID-19 safety cleaning

COVID-19 has been a nightmare for the airline industry—and the disease is creating more headaches as safety cleaning and contact tracing have affected some of the most important employees in the aerospace industry: air-traffic controllers.

Air-traffic control at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and Tampa International Airport were both disrupted when an employee tested positive for COVID-19 and essential work areas had to be shut down and cleaned.

NBC News reported:

Earlier Monday, flights were delayed at some Florida airports after an FAA facility near Jacksonville needed to be cleaned after an employee tested positive for Covid, an agency spokesperson said.

The FAA’s Jacksonville Center was back in operation at 6 p.m., but it “implemented traffic management programs” starting at 4:20 p.m.

Airports in Tampa, Palm Beach and Jacksonville all tweeted warnings of delays or cancellations due to the temporary closure of the air traffic control center.

Twitter remains an important channel for offering real-time updates:

What you should know: What you can and can’t report publicly when an employee has a positive COVID-19 diagnosis is tricky because of HIPAA regulations, but the best practice is to offer as much transparency as you can. Work with your legal team to find a way to acknowledge what every knows is happening without violating employee privacy rules.


TAKE OUR SURVEY

We want to know how PR agencies are building lasting, sustainable relationships with clients, including what is working and what is rubbing both parties the wrong way. That’s why we’re partnering with The Institute for Public Relations on a new survey to learn more about the state of the agency/client relationship.

via GIPHY

Please take this 10-minute survey here.


IN YOUR WORDS

We asked for some of your New Year’s resolutions for 2021, and you delivered. Andre Riley shared one that surely must be a high on many communicators’ lists:

Tressa Robbins has a different take on the annual tradition of making resolutions:

At PR Daily, our resolution is to just have a better year—less stressful, more joyous. It feels like we should have a decent shot.


SOUNDING BOARD

How are you feeling about the new year, PR pros? Let us know in our poll below or in the comments.

 

Topics: Branding, Content Marketing, Crisis Communications, Daily Scoop, Executive Communication, Leadership Communications, Marketing, Media Relations, PR Industry, Social Media, Storytelling, The Workplace, Visual & Video Communications, Writing & Editing

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