EasyJet, CBS News and Delta announce layoffs, Las Vegas resort chief offers free flights, and Gucci cuts down on fashion shows

Also: Consumers support brands that include LGBTQ members in ads and commercials, Ben & Jerry’s issues ‘Black Lives Matter’ statement, Microsoft offers browser game, and more.

Hello, communicators:

Following a virtual and gender-neutral London Fashion Week, Gucci announced it’s reducing its annual shows from five to two—and has a goal to permanently blur the lines between men’s wear and women’s fashion.

The New York Times reported:

Gucci is not the first brand to announce a change in its runway plans thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought the industry to an effective standstill, closing stores and decimating balance sheets. Saint Laurent, also owned by Kering, the Gucci parent company, said it will drop out of the fashion show season and follow its own schedule for this year; Dries Van Noten said he will not have a show at all until 2021; and Giorgio Armani announced that his men’s and women’s shows will be combined in September, and his couture show will be held in January in Milan instead of Paris.

But Gucci is the first brand to commit to a permanent rethink.

The designer also joined Chime for Change and Kering Foundation to protest gender-based violence and support women’s rights:

The COVID-19 crisis has many preparing for the “new normal.” Many elements of the new status quo will be permanent, such as more employees working remotely or organizations cutting overhead costs. Consider the paths you want to pave for the future, and make them part of your current recovery plans.

Here are today’s top stories:

EasyJet, CBS News and Delta announce layoffs

Low-cost airline EasyJet announced that it will lay off up to 30% of its more than 15,000-employee workforce as it cuts costs.

CNN Business reported:

“We want to ensure that we emerge from the pandemic an even more competitive business than before,” CEO Johan Lundgren said in a statement, adding that the company “will continue to remove cost and non-critical expenditure at every level.”

On Wednesday, CBS News also laid off 75 of its staffers.

Page Six reported:

Susan Zirinsky, CBS News president, admitted that it was a “painful day” in a memo seen by Page Six.

We’re told the cuts also affect flagship show “60 Minutes” — and that Zirinsky personally phoned as many of the affected as she could, time permitting.

Delta is also preparing its layoff announcement, which includes offering retirement and buyout packages as voluntary measures before cutting additional positions.

CNBC reported:

“While we never dreamed just a few months ago that we would be talking about a smaller Delta – this was expected to be a year of growth, after all – this is the reality we’re facing,” said CEO Ed Bastian in a note to staff, which was seen by CNBC. “Every voluntary departure helps to protect the jobs of those who most need them.”

Why it’s important: Whether your organization is facing job cuts or is simply looking to boost productivity and support its workforce, it’s crucial that communicators consistently check in with employees in meaningful ways. This includes not overloading them with information, but also regularly and transparently relaying news and updates. Opening the lines of communication between employees and executives is also an important part of bolstering trust and providing employees much-sought reassurance during uncertain times.


SOCIAL BUZZ

Microsoft is hoping a new offline game will boost the appeal of its internet browser, Microsoft Edge:

The effort can serve as a reminder that content reigns supreme, especially if it’s interactive. Just as Google’s Doodles often surprise and delight consumers, Microsoft’s game aims to provide the same for moments of downtime (and to ease frustration while you get your Wi-Fi back up).


MEASURED THOUGHTS

GLAAD recently partnered with Proctor & Gamble to release a study titled, “LGBTQ Inclusion in Advertising & Media,” which shows the majority of non-LGBTQ consumers are comfortable seeing members and families of this community in shows, advertisements and commercials:

Image courtesy of GLAAD.

People are more than just comfortable seeing LGBTQ members represented in branded messaging, too.

GLADD and P&G revealed that non-LGBTQ consumers look favorabily toward organizations that have inclusive ads featuring members of the LGBTQ community, with 86% taking it as a sign that the organization supports LGBTQ rights, 85% considering it a sign that the organization is committed to offering its products and services to consumers across backgrounds, and 82% thinking the organization both values all kind of diversity as well as treats its employees with respect.

Image courtesy of GLAAD.

Though more than half of non-LGBTQ consumers surveyed (52%) said they’ve been exposed to ads featuring members of the LGBTQ community, there’s still plenty of room for additional inclusivity inside branded messaging and content.

Image courtesy of GLAAD.

You can read the entire study here.


CRISIS LEADERSHIP BOARD

Looking for more insight on how to address the current global crisis and lead your organization into a strong recovery?

Join Ragan’s Crisis Leadership Board to network and brainstorm with peers, get the latest intelligence and research, and start to strategize for the future of your organization.

Learn more about this exclusive membership here.

Las Vegas chief offers free flights

Derek Stevens, chief executive of the D Las Vegas and Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, recently announced a “Keep America Flying” campaign, in which he’s giving away 1,000 free one-way flights to Las Vegas on participating airlines (winners must pay for flights back home and hotel costs).

In a press release, Stevens said:

As we begin to reopen our doors across the city, we are proud to help reinvigorate travel to Las Vegas while supporting airlines in America impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. We can’t wait to safely bring visitors to the city and remind them why we’ve earned the title of ‘Entertainment Capital of the World.’ And while we’d love for visitors to stop by Downtown Las Vegas, we primarily want to get people back to Las Vegas to experience the attractions and amenities that make it one of the greatest places on Earth.

Why it matters: Organizations across industries have been offering virtual tours and digital or curbside options for its products and services throughout the COVID-19 crisis, with many turning to fundraisers, community partnerships and gift cards as a way to stay afloat and boost brand awareness as people shelter in place. As both organizations and cities reopen across the United States, communicators must balance promotions such as Stevens’ with messaging that relays steps taken to ensure consumers’ and employees’ safety.

RESEARCH SNAPSHOT

The COVID-19 crisis has drastically changed the landscape for communicators and PR pros. More than ever before, communicators must gain key skill sets and employ strategic communications and media relations strategies to boost their organizations’ coverage, reputation and overall brand.

Learn what the 315 communicators we surveyed say about what parts of the PR function are more important than ever, how to adjust for COVID-19, and more with our free report revealing insights that can help you perservere during this uncertain time.

Download your copy of the report here.


SOCIAL BUZZ

Ben & Jerry’s recently partnered with ColorOfChange to share the latter’s Change.org petition demanding that Minneapolis police officers be charged for their involvement in the recent death of George Floyd.

In its open letter, Ben & Jerry’s wrote:

We want to be clear: we believe that saying Black lives matter is not to say that the lives of those who serve in the law enforcement community don’t. We respect and value the commitment to our communities that those in law enforcement make, and we respect the value of every one of their lives.

… All lives do matter. But all lives will not matter until Black lives matter.

We ask people to be open to understanding these issues, and not to reflexively retreat to our current beliefs. Change happens when people are willing to listen and hear the struggles of their neighbor, putting aside preconceived notions and truly seeking to understand and grow. We’ll be working hard on that, and ask you to as well.

Though the bold position is not out of the ordinary for the ice cream brand, many organizations might shy away from declarations such as these. However, as more and more consumers expect brands to take a stand on social and political issues, consider ways you can support efforts that align with your organization’s vision and mission.


WHAT YOU SAID

We asked how often you’re reading news and content surrounding COVID-19, especially as information overload can easily overwhelm. More than half of you (51%) check for news and updates throughout the day, with 15% checking daily. Seventeen percent of you read up on crisis updates a few times each week—and 17% only check in when it’s necessary.

Tressa Robbins, vice president of client onboarding and implementation for Burrelles, said a recent digital detox helped her find more balance:


SOUNDING BOARD

What’s your favorite work-from-home wellness activity?

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