APCO Worldwide's Coronavirus Beat is a twice weekly publication on the impact of COVID-19 on businesses, economies, policy and culture, and how leaders are responding. The next edition will appear on Thursday, March 19.
For more resources from APCO, including our latest research, information on how we can help or to contact us, visit apcoworldwide.com/coronavirus.
2.Oil’s crash deepens in tug-of-war between virus and stimulus, Bloomberg 3.Fragile airline sector struggles to beat coronavirus, Deutsche Welle 4. Coronavirus social-distancing forces painful choices on small businesses, The Wall Street Journal 5. Americans rush to stock up on essentials, retailers scramble to keep up, Reuters 6. Halting China’s economy was hard. Restarting it is harder, The New York Times
1. WHO, UN Foundation and partners launch first-of-its-kind COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, World Health Organization 2. Fed slashes rates to near-zero and unveils sweeping program to aid economy, Financial Times
1. US extends travel ban to UK and Ireland over coronavirus, Financial Times 2. CDC recommends against gatherings of 50 or more, as states close bars and restaurants, NPR
3. European Union proposes ban on non-essential travel to Europe, Bloomberg
4. China tightens quarantine, airport checks as imported coronavirus cases tick up, Reuters
5. Coronavirus: Germany latest country to close borders,BBC News
Events & Happenings
1. Coronavirus tech conference cancellations list: Apple WWDC, Microsoft Build, E3, NAB, Gartner, Dell World and more, ZDNet
2. Hollywood braces for coronavirus slump: The movie releases pushed back so far, Forbes
3. Coronavirus: What sporting events are affected by the pandemic?, Al Jazeera
4. Urban Outfitters, Nike, and 14 other major retailers are temporarily closing stores in an unprecedented move to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Business Insider
5. U.S. health agency suffers cyber-attack during COVID-19 outbreak, Bloomberg
Policymakers and politicians around the world are attempting to shore up confidence in financial markets and prepare to weather the economic effects of the pandemic. In a surprise move Sunday, the U.S. Federal Reserve slashed rates to near zero to cushion the economic impact of COVID-19 as restaurants, stores, and schools are forced to close. Other central banks, including in Japan and Australia, also followed with aggressive moves to ease monetary policy and ensure liquidity in the financial system. Meanwhile, China's central bank injected another CNY 100 billion (approx. USD 14.2 billion) to the banking system on Monday, following an earlier move to supply CNY 550 billion (USD 79 billion) in stimulus to increase credit and ease financial burdens for small to medium businesses.
These moves aim to boost investor confidence and help maintain liquidity, two factors critical to keeping the global economy afloat as the pandemic spreads. However, as governments continue to introduce restrictive control measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, the risk of a global recession looms large. China's nearly two-month long shutdown, resulting in a dramatic collapse of production, retail sales and investment, is a warning to all businesses and governments of the potential economic impact to follow.
The WHO’s designation of COVID-19 as a global pandemic spurred immediate control measures to encourage more individuals to consider limiting their social activities. This has resulted in a massive blow to all areas of the cultural sector, including the mass closure of tourist attractions, museums and galleries, the cancellation of major sports fixtures, and the postponement of theatre productions and movie premieres. The trends of decline in China’s service and tourism industries have also spread across international markets.
As an industry reliant on high customer numbers and public sector funding, the cultural sector is set to be among the hardest hit during the pandemic. Arts institutions have cried out for financial support, while sports clubs have expressed worries they will not survive. New constraints are forcing the industry to act creatively by taking their offerings online. Sports events and concerts are being played in empty stadiums and concert halls to be live-streamed for new audiences, and museums and galleries are introducing virtual tours. Amid the ongoing pandemic, companies should leverage technology and digital offerings to not only deliver for existing customers, but also pursue new market possibilities.
Stay Ahead: Insights from APCO
The Critical Role of HR Communication in Times of Crisis
Agnieszka Yank, APCO Worldwide’s chief talent officer, outlines four key strategies to communicate with employees during the COVID-19 epidemic:
"During this time of uncertainty and concern regarding the outbreak, employees are seeking guidance from their business leaders on how to navigate the threat within and outside of the workplace.
While individuals in executive leadership roles may be an employee’s go-to for insights, there lies another very important point of coordination: the Human Resources department—we call them the Talent Team."
Webinar: Opinion Research Release on COVID-19
Last week, APCO and Oxford Analytica's COVID-19 crisis response teams hosted a free webinar and shared in the release of new opinion research that looks at the business impact of the coronavirus, and the actions that organizations can take to safeguard employees, operations, and reputation.
Missed the webinar? Don't worry, you can rewatch it here.
United States of Anxiety: APCO Survey of Public Attitudes
To recap: APCO found that 9 in 10 Americans view coronavirus as being serious, with a majority worried about contracting the virus.
Two-thirds of U.S. workers have seen precautionary actions taken in their workplace.
Most working Americans see COVID-19 as likely to disrupt their workplace in 2020, with 30% seeing a "big" disruption and 30% predicting "some" disruption.
National news media is the leading source of COVID-19 information, doubling the CDC and social media and eclipsing the White House or employers.
For APCO's latest research on American attitudes and behaviors related to COVID-19, click here.
More Tips from Around the Water Cooler
Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to "flatten the curve," The Washington Post
Remote everything: analysis into the uptick in telecommuting in the U.S., Axios
Learn LinkedIn strategies to building community, LinkedIn (webinar, 1 hour)
"We're concerned that in some countries the level of political commitment and the actions that demonstrate that commitment don't match the level of the threat we all face. This is NOT a drill, NOT the time to give up, NOT a time for excuses. This is a time for pulling out all the stops.”
- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General World Health Organization
“By bringing down rates to such a low level, the Fed is allowing lending to be extremely attractive, not just for consumers but small business owners. If consumers slow down you’re going to see some small business owners get into trouble...What the Fed can do is at the margin help with psychology and confidence in the market.”
Coronavirus Beat is a bulletin of updates and clippings from the most relevant media and government sources created to help APCO’s clients keep abreast of the impacts of COVID-19 from around the world. APCO is supporting clients in managing the issues they confront related the the outbreak. Contact our crisis team at Crisis360@apcoworldwide.com or +1.866.360.APCO (toll-free) or +1.866.483.2726 (outside the United States).
APCO Worldwide is an advisory and advocacy communications consultancy helping leading public and private sector organizations act with agility, and build organizational reputations, brands, relationships and solutions to succeed. APCO has offices in more than 30 major cities throughout the world. To find out how APCO’s integrated services can help your company, visit apcoworldwide.com.