Levi’s COVID-19 response, metrics to watch during the crisis, and why it’s time to consider TikTok

Here’s a roundup of the week’s crisis communication news for communicators.

Here are the top 10 tips and takeaways from the week ending April 24 taken from our Crisis Communications Daily newsletter. Be sure to subscribe here to get this daily roundup directly in your inbox.


Levi Strauss & Co.’s recommendation for change communication. Levi’s largest store is in Wuhan, China, so it has been dealing with COVID-19 fallout since the outbreak began. Learn the five imperatives of change communication from Levi’s head global head of employee communication.

Combat Zoom fatigue by taking breaks and setting limits on video calls. A video call can create added pressure for workers and lead to exhaustion, warn experts. They suggest limiting video calls to when such interactions are necessary and creating a separate space for these kinds of meetings.

Look for metrics to guide your crisis response. To find the right cadence for engaging employees, you have to solicit feedback and be humble enough to make changes when things aren’t working. Here are a handful of suggestions from NRG Energy’s crisis response.

Is this crisis the right time to consider TikTok? Consumers are trapped in their homes and looking for digital entertainment and the brands that survive will find creative ways to engage new audiences. Here’s how some see the future of the short video platform.

COVID-19 specific responses are crucial to build trust. Here’s how Porter Novelli’s COVID-19 Tracker Report breaks down the way crisis-specific messages from brands can impact sentiment and move consumers to action.

Image courtesy of Porter Novelli.

JPMorgan stresses employee safety and timing in memo on return to work. The bank says it doesn’t have a firm timeline but will follow guidance from local governments and authorities.

The New York Times reported:

“Two considerations are paramount as we plan for this across the firm: We want to do it at the right time — which may differ by region, country and state — and in a manner that prioritizes your health and safety,” the bank’s Operating Committee said in the memo.

Explain where previous profits went when announcing layoffs. Employees can feel a sense of whiplash when furloughs and layoffs are announced when mere months ago your organization was enjoying strong financial growth. Here’s how Kickstarter CEO Aziz Hasan explained the challenges his organization faces:

Hasan writes that the company brought in $1.27 million in after-tax profit last year, and that money has already been reinvested back into the business. He’s now looking for more “significant cost-cutting,” including reducing senior leaders’ salaries, including his own, not automatically back hiring open roles, and cutting the budget “wherever we can.” Still, layoffs are likely imminent.

Keep your organization part of the conversation with careful message positioning. Syracuse University professor Beth Egan shares examples of brands that have done well and tips for matching your brand’s tone to the moment.

Starbucks’ CEO receives plaudits for open letter. Kevin Johnson laid out the plan for opening stores across the country last week, but emphasizes that decisions will be driven by local employees with connections to their community.

Inc. wrote:

Unlike many companies, Starbucks is showing that it’s a company willing to empower its people to make important decisions–like when and how to open up a store, while considering local circumstances. But Starbucks doesn’t leave these local leaders without guidance–the company’s corporate headquarters provides guiding principles, a rich data set, and an ongoing dialogue with those leaders to support their decision making.

APCO Worldwide’s founder: “Don’t overstate your value.” You want to be seen to make a difference in your community, but the truth for many organizations is that your options are limited. Here’s why this PR exec says you shouldn’t overplay your hand on CSR.

You can get more insights for managing a crisis by joining our exclusive Crisis Leadership Board.

The post Levi’s COVID-19 response, metrics to watch during the crisis, and why it’s time to consider TikTok appeared first on Ragan Communications.

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Solve the right problem

“A great solution to the wrong problem will always fail,” says Nielsen Norman Group’s Sarah Gibbons in her three-minute video on “User Need Statements in Design Thinking.” Nielsen Norman Group consults on website usability. However, much of what Gibbons discusses applies to other written materials, too.

User need statement

Gibbons defines a user need statement as “An actionable problem statement used to summarize who a particular user is, the user’s need, and why the need is important to that user.” Understanding this information will help you write better communications of all kinds. That includes blog posts, articles, white papers, and even emails.

It interested me that she spoke about the need to empathize with the user.

More resources

If you prefer to learn from written materials instead of video, check out Gibbons’ article on “User Need Statements: The ‘Define’ Stage in Design Thinking.”

To learn about my approach to understanding your audience, read my blog post on identifying “What problem does this blog post solve for them?” and my book, Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients.


The image in the upper left is courtesy of Free photobank torange.biz [CC BY-SA 4.0].

The post Solve the right problem appeared first on Susan Weiner's Blog on Investment Writing.

BEANSTALKER and OTHER HILARIOUS SCARY TALES by Kiersten White / Book Review #BeanStalker

By: Kiersten White
Published by: Scholastic
Released on: July 25th, 2017
Ages: 8 & up
Purchase Links
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Rating: 5 Owlets
An arc of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

What about, once upon a time, a bunch of fairy tales got twisted around to be completely hilarious, a tiny bit icky, and delightfully spooky scarytales; in other words, exactly what fairy tales were meant to be. Grab some flaming torches, maybe don’t accept that bowl of pease porridge, and get ready for a wickedly fun ride with acclaimed author Kiersten White and fairy tales like you’ve never heard them before.

Snow White is a vampire, Little Red Riding Hood is a zombie, and Cinderella is an arsonist — and that is only some of the mayhem the reader will find in this collection of fractured fairy tales.

A laugh out loud debut middle grade book from one of my favorite YA authors. Kiersten White has created my favorite mix of fractured fairytales and nursery rhymes to date! I loved the way she intertwined, and interconnected so many classics, and the spin she gave each one. If having vampires, zombies and stepmothers isn’t enough to entice you, the illustrations, and the narration will be. 

This is the perfect blend of fairytales and nursery rhymes. Who knew you could combine stories like Snow White, The Princess and the Pea, Jack & Jill, The Dish and The Spoon, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack Be Nimble, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, and the Stepmother. White’s intertwining of these stories was awesome! Numerous times while reading this book I wondered how White was able to pull this off so well. 

The narration in this story is my favorite part of the entire book. Talk about sassy! The narrator definitely stole the show in this book. It’s what made this story so much fun to read. It’s not just their self awareness that makes the narrator so appealing either. The narrator would make a great language arts teacher. Numerous times in this story the narrator points out the homonym and homophone words that characters miss. Like The Princess and The Pea. Let’s just say it’s not, well, you wouldn’t want to sleep on that mattress. This narration definitely makes for the perfect, hilarious, read aloud. 

This book is a must read! It’s equal parts hilarious, and spooky, though it is way more hilarious than spooky. It’s spooky in the best way possible, because some of these characters are not the sweet, innocent characters we all grew up reading about. The spooky twists come from some of them being vampires and zombies. This may be written for middle grade readers, but it will definitely be appealing to all readers ages 8 and up. Including adults. It was part of my Halloween read up earlier this week, but this is one book that can be read all year long.