10th July 2020

Defining Moments – 10.07.20

It’s been a big week for the UK as pubs, bars and restaurants threw open their doors for the first time in months. We saw an unlikely waiter cameo, time was ticking on damage control for TikTok and some fantastic entrepreneurial thinking has rescued a selection of young businesses from COVID ruin.

A Chancellor of many talents

Rishi Sunak – ex Goldman Sachs investment banker, owner of multiple multi-million pound properties and now our esteemed Chancellor – made a surprising cameo in the hospitality industry this week.

In a bid to encourage people back to pubs and restaurants and on the strength of a brief stint as a waiter in his earlier years, Sunak merrily dished out Wagamama food, just stopping short of donning a frilly apron.

The stunt carried a good message – that the government is finally recognising what long-term enforced closure has done to the hospitality industry and has granted tax breaks and even Eat Out to Help Out vouchers – and it was good to see Sunak so overtly supporting beleaguered pubs and restaurants. Let’s hope he puts the plates down before his next turn at the box.

 

GoDaddy to the rescue

GoDaddy has seen phenomenal demand for its domain registration and web hosting services in recent months as small firms seek out ways to move their shops and services online. Their plan is to keep this strategy going beyond lockdown with the launch of ‘Open We Stand’ – an ongoing initiative that has seen the brand offer support to small business owners navigating these challenging times via special offers on services and tools, expert advice, and a community for entrepreneurs to share insights and experiences with one another.

The movement has gained backing from 50 other brands including Salesforce, Uber, Adobe and Slack. All of these partners have made a corporate pledge to help small companies connect better with their customers throughout the pandemic and beyond.

“Yes it’s a marketing campaign, but it’s ultimately a rallying cry from us to say ‘you can stay open and we can help you’,” said CMO Fara Howard. The movement has been helping all variety of small businesses continue to serve customers in lockdown – from Cobe Surf Shop in Portland to London chocolatiers Knoops Chocolate.

It’s great to see businesses making such undeniable change for good and helping fellow founders stay afloat.

 

Detrimental dawdle on digital clean up

Video-focused social platform TikTok has captured plenty of headlines since it burst onto the scene in 2016, but this week the attention was for all the wrong reasons. The BBC revealed it was hosting a collection of videos using an anti-Semitic song that gained more than 6.5m views.

The first video to use the song showed a giant robot scorpion with a swastika attacking and killing people. Unfortunately, TikTok’s algorithm ensured that video alone got more than six million views.

While hardly appropriate for any demographic, TikTok’s userbase is largely impressionable children and young adults. Once alerted to the issue, it took TikTok eight hours to remove the offending videos.

Eight hours too long – a lesson in how being fast is key to mitigating a digital PR disaster.

 

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