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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Brand Crisis Response Activity: Brands Doing Good in a Time of Crisis

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An informal group Zoom presentation activity for online students in a Public Relations Principles course. The activity asks students to explore and conduct a compare and contrast how brands are responding during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis.

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Brand Crisis Response Activity: Brands Doing Good in a Time of Crisis

  1. 1. MattKushin.com COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Brand Crisis Response Activity: Brands Doing Good in a Time of Crisis COMM 321: Public Relations Principles | Matthew J. Kushin, Ph.D. Summary Due Date April 1 Percent of total grade Notes: We will do this activity instead of our last2 Mindfirechallenges. Why? This activity will giveyou a chance to present on Zoom in an informal setting and to work remotely with your team as you prepare for your Zoom PR strategies presentation. What? Organizations can play a key role in communicatingwith their publics duringthis unprecedented crisis.Wehave seen brands offeringkind words, givingaway their products or services for free or at reduced prices,and otherwise try to ‘pitch in’ and help the global community. My ask is:Find 2 organizations thataredoinggood duringthese tryingtimes and sharethem with us. Identify 2 different organizations within thesame business category (e.g., 2 airlinecompanies;2 grocery companies;2 education companies; 2 universities). I encourage you to pick 2 organizations thatatleast1 person in your team knows well because you likely have seen their social posts or havereceived their emails. You will compareand contrastthese 2 different organizations in terms of their responseto the COVID-19 pandemic. Presentation Requirements  This is an informal presentation – it’s more of a conversation that you will lead.You will notbe graded on presentation delivery. I do not expect that you will havehad time to practiceas a group. Remember, this is a practicerun to get used to the technology. Do not stress yourself out about your delivery. Instead,focus on getting the material together. You can dividethe speakingtime up as you see fit.  Create a Google Slidedeck and have 1 person in your team have it loaded on their computer. Dr. K will pin that person’s slides to the screen so all your classmates can seeit.  Time: About 7 minutes. Resources Sources Here are some sources thatmay help you:  Chapter 12 of your classtextbook – it’s on crisiscommunication.  Toplinereport on how organizations arerespondingto COVID-19 from the Institutefor PR  Beware of Virtual Signalingin Brand Communications About COVID-19  Tips from Twitter on COVID-19 Brand Tweeting  COVID-19 and social media:Limitthe spread of fear by changingonlinebehavior Example of Actions a Brand is Taking During COVID-19
  2. 2. MattKushin.com  ChipotleTogether Hangouts - https://www.adweek.com/digital/chipotle-together-hangouts-on-zoom-are-a- way-to-cope-with-social-distancing/amp/?__twitter_impression=true Getting Started Look up the two organizations your team has settled on. Look over: The organizations’ communication 1. Their official social media 2. Video sites (YouTube, etc.) 3. News releases or other public statements (Search their website or try a few Google searches of the organization’s nameand “press releaseCOVID-19” or “organization’s nameand press release”or organization’s nameand “newsroom”) 4. Their website 5. Their official emailsto their publics –These may be hard to find if you have not already done business with them or arenot already subscribed to them. If you aren’t, try Googlingto see what you can find. News coverage & public responses to the organizations’ communication 1. Use https://news.google.com or Google search to 2. Search the organization and its hashtagson Twitter at https://search.twitter.com and on Instagramvia the search option at Instagram.comor the Instagramapp. What to Cover in Your Presentation 1. Briefly providean overview of who the two organizations are.A few sentences should suffice. 2. Providean overview of what actions each organization istakingin responseto COVID-19. 3. Providean overview of how each organization is communicatingto their publics in responseto COVID-19. 4. Providean overview of how the public (via social media) and/or the news media has responded to each organization’s actions. 5. Evaluation: a. How well do you feel that each organization has shown empathy and compassion for their publics? In your assessment,have they been genuine? b. What red flags do you see or concerns in how they have responded? c. What has each organization donewell? What could each organization do better? d. If you were in charge, what would you have done in this situation? 6. Conclusion: What are3 key lessons thatyou learned from this exercisethat organizations should be aware of in dealingwith crises likethis in the future? Issues? If Internet access is an issuein your group,you can divideup the workload as you see fit. Persons with Internet issues can beleft off the livepresentation if needed.

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