How Big Business Brands are addressing Coronavirus

UPDATED: Monday, March 16, 2020

As COVID-19 has been upgraded to a Pandemic, states have shut down public schools and non-essential retail while placing a ban on gatherings of people over 50.

It’s a disaster that has hit almost every part of the world, rocking financial markets and just about any business of every shape and size. D+P is working very closely with many of our clients to assist them with their communications needs.

So far, brands are taking the seriousness of Coronavirus to heart, putting public health before profit, even in the face of potentially billions of dollars lost due to the outbreak.

Major Publishers Drop Paywalls on Coronavirus Coverage

Major media companies are dropping the paywall to perform what The Philadelphia Inquirer’s executive editor calls a “critical mission” in keeping the public up to date on safety information, urgent health news and COVID-19’s impact.

The Inquirer along with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News and other major publishers has launched Live Coverage landing pages specifically for coronavirus coverage.

Airline Alliances Call for Governments to Help

Three airline alliances joined forces Monday to call for governments across the globe to “assist the airline industry during this unprecedented period.”

In a press release, OneWorld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance, who together represent nearly 60 international airlines including United, Delta and American, and about half of the world’s flying capacity, jointly called on governments and stakeholders to “take action to alleviate the unprecedented challenges faced by the global airline industry amid the COVVID-19 pandemic”

To alleviate the immense pressures faced by airlines in the current operating environment, and in support of IATA’s statement on 12 March, the three alliances urge governments worldwide to prepare for the broad economic effects from actions taken by states to contain the spread of COVID-19, and to evaluate all possible means to assist the airline industry during this unprecedented period.

Olympic Flame Handover Will Be Scaled Down

The flame handover ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics set in Athens this Thursday will be a scaled-down event, according to the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) who said Monday only a few Tokyo Games officials and torch bearers would be present in order to protect everyone from coronavirus.

Organizers added the ceremony will include a dance with no more than 10 people, and a torch relay with four people, two from Greece and two from Japan.

CNN writes:

The handover ceremony between the Hellenic Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 Organizers will take place inside the ancient Panathenaic Stadium in Athens – the site of the first modern Olympics in 1896.

The ceremony and stadium will be closed to the public in an effort to help stop the virus.

‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune’ scrap live audiences

‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune’ confirmed Monday that the shows had suspended filming in front of live audiences to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

TMZ reports one concern from ‘Jeopardy!’ producers was the health of show host Alex Trebek, who is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Trebek has a compromised immune system from chemotherapy and other treatments and, according to TMZ, executives felt it was too risky to expose Trebek to a large audience.

Pro Sports Brands Suspend Seasons, Training

The NBA has suspended the league’s 2019-2020 season after Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Gobert, who now wishes he took the virus more seriously, has been criticized for touching reporters’ microphones after a press conference. The Utah Jazz star is now in a bit of a PR crisis and has apologized via Twitter video shared by the NBA.

Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell had also tested positive for COVID-19.

The NHL and MLB also followed suite this week, with the NHL suspending its season while the MLB suspended all Spring Training.

Coca-Cola Company tests preparedness

As concerns about new coronavirus cases continue to grow, the Coca-Cola Company is testing its preparedness by asking employees at the Atlanta headquarters to work remotely Tuesday.

“This is simply a drill to evaluate our business continuity plans and ensure that we would be able to operate effectively if we should ever need to close our offices at any time in the future,” Coca-Cola Company spokesperson Ann Moore told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.