What We’re Reading – October 2022

What we're reading October 2022

What We’re Reading is a monthly roundup of current news, commentary, challenges and trends that impact our industry as well as those of our clients. From accusations of brands spreading misinformation to preparing to work in the metaverse, here’s a look at what stood out to our team in October.


Delete Paypal Searches Spike After $2,500 Misinformation Fine Controversy – Nicole Lyn Pesche and Emily Bary, MarketWatch

“It’s a mystery to me why companies think they can and should not only police thought – but also fine people for having the ‘wrong’ thoughts. Understandably, Paypal’s stock price took a hammering, and countless people have decided to close their accounts. While Paypal quickly reversed course, chalking the new policy up to an ‘error,’ the damage was done. Worse, people have pointed out that the company’s rules still say they can fine a user $2,500 if that user ‘promotes hate’ (as judged by Paypal in its sole discretion). Until that changes, Paypal will continue to suffer losses. A better policy for Paypal and any other financial services entity tempted to do so would be to avoid political entanglements and ‘taking sides’ whatsoever.” – Nick Kalm

2 Californians bought Barilla pasta thinking it was made in Italy. Now they’re suing – Vanessa Romo, NPR

“Is Barilla’s branding misleading, or are these consumers trying to take advantage of their ability to sue the company? There are rules about stating where products are made, but those rules don’t apply to the company’s branding – just that the package states where the product is made. To avoid potential suits, brands would benefit from doing thorough market research on their branding to try to avoid these kinds of issues in the future. It is possible some people may still feel misled, but at least a brand can say they did their research.” – Kellie Clock


Rising premiums, more restricted cyber insurance coverage poses big risk for companies – Bob Violino, CNBC

“Cybersecurity can be one of the most significant threats to an organization’s reputation and, as this article states, its bottom line. While higher insurance costs are never a positive development, hopefully this shift will make organizations more diligent about defending themselves against these kinds of threats. In the event of a cyberattack, an organization’s reputation will be more secure if it’s able to communicate that it had a record of taking cybersecurity seriously. Conversely, if it only invests in cybersecurity after an attack takes place, it will be much more difficult for the organization to earn (or earn back) the trust of its stakeholders.” – RJ Bruce

Everything to Know About the Try Guys Cheating Drama – Moises Mendez II, TIME

“The Try Guys is a popular YouTube channel featuring a quartet of young guys who try a variety of things (i.e., exotic food, auditioning for Broadway, and training guide dogs), which they film and then post online. On October 3rd, they announced that co-founder and on-screen talent, Ned Fulmer, would be removed from the company for having an affair with an immediate subordinate at the company. This prompted a social media storm which led to widespread media coverage, major uptick in YouTube views, and even a parody sketch on Saturday Night Live. Since then, the Try Guys have responded with a “what happened” video and asked for kindness and privacy for those involved in the situation. The video was open and honest, with the remaining three sharing they had hired PR and HR professionals to advise on the situation. The Try Guys will have to continue with their crisis management for months as they reimagine their brand and the future of their company.” – Annie Allred


The Five Elements of a Successful Community FlywheelGini Dietrich, spinsucks.com

“Published for communicators as well as marketers, my friend Gini Dietrich hits the nail on the head with this piece about how to light a spark and build a community. First, investment. Some executives say they want to build a community, but they don’t invest what’s needed to do it. So, of course, it doesn’t happen. Second, the hero product. Focus on one thing and do it really well. Don’t spread too thin. There are many more nuggets in this piece, including some fun product recommendations. Enjoy.” – Amy Littleton


This is how you can prepare to work in the metaverse – Jonathan Cohen, Fast Company

“This article shares how the meta-office will affect the office meeting format and how to best prepare for the future of work in this untraditional setting. The metaverse is predicted to become a key place for corporate work and team gatherings as the world of work becomes increasingly virtual. To best leverage this new work environment, I recommend reading the article to learn how you can prepare for the new office setting, which could include happy hours through gaming.” – Kate Grodsky


Generation Z in the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know Kyle Hoepner, Architectural Digest

“Today, we are working in the most multigenerational era of the workplace than ever before. Some of the top things Gen Z looks for when job hunting are professional development opportunities, diversity and inclusion/a sense of purpose, care for their overall wellbeing and flexibility/work-life balance – of course, among others. If not done so already, companies need to reexamine recruitment and retention strategies to align with this shift in the needs and motivations of the new generation.” – Haley Hartmann

Twitter plans to order remaining workers back to office after layoffs – Ina Fried, Sara Fischer, Dan Primack, Axios

“There is a lot to unpack here; the ongoing uncertainty around RTO/WFH, the ongoing uncertainty around Elon Musk as the new owner of the globe’s ‘town square’ of Twitter. What is not uncertain however is that this is an example of how NOT to keep your employees engaged and motivated. The article mentions that Musk has not yet communicated with employees directly and that several meetings have been scheduled and quickly cancelled. When communicating any significant moment of change – a reduction in force, a key leader transition, a sale, merger or acquisition – how an organization communicates with its employees is key to how successful that change occurs.” – Andrew Moyer