The COVID 19 emergency continues to dominate media coverage globally, as expected – and change our lives in ways we did not imagine just a few weeks ago. In NSW for example, the tight restrictions on social distancing will stay in place for another 90 days or so.

So, here are the insights we have collected over the past 24 hours to share with you.

International news

  • As companies around the world announce executive pay cuts to reduce costs, the Financial Times’ Lex column looks at ways boards can “avoid red top denunciations, Twitters storms and other forms of mob violence”. Read the article here. (Subscriber access)
  • Unfortunately, there is no investor playbook for the current scenario as coronavirus is without precedent in the modern era, reports the Financial Times. While there are strong parallels between the current environment and 2008, hedge fund manager Mark Spitznagel argues that the finance industry’s attempts to compare every downturn with the previous one is “retrospective determinism” and doomed to fail. “Good luck to anyone that just tries to copy an old playbook in this crisis,” he scoffs. “We think we had the last crisis all figured out, retrospectively, and so we think we’re so smart in the next one. It just doesn’t work this way . . . The industry just spins bull**** and then believes its own bull****.” Read the full FT article. (Subscriber access)
  • The New Yorker’s cartoon today reflects on new dilemmas in the era of home-schooling and childcare. We have all been there. See below.

Australian company news 

  • Complex stakeholder management
    • Transurban chief Scott Charlton discusses the complexity of managing various stakeholders, including “the broader economy, vulnerable customers and Transurban’s staff, future projects and its investors”. Instead of reducing tolls, “Transurban will focus on providing relief directly to the worst-hit small business and customers. This will include fee waivers, extended payment terms and expanded hardship programs,” he added. Read more here in today’s Chanticleer. (Subscriber access)
  • One message for all  – when internal communications becomes external
    • As companies seek to inform their teams about constantly changing processes or provide new information, the risk increases dramatically of rashly drafted internal communication becoming public. The Sydney Morning Herald reveals the contents of internal emails at a Sydney hospital where nurses reportedly have been urged to reuse supplies. Read the article here.
  • Pledge to support journalists as NewsCorp shut community papers
    • This morning, billionaire philanthropist Judith Neilson announced a package to help support journalists, earmarking funding through her private foundation for a free news services for community radio stations, increased pay for freelancers and casual contributors, and a social media campaign to tackle COVID-19 information. This comes as News Corp stopped the printing of 60 community newspapers across Australia, with calls from its CEO for  governments to step in and stop media companies from being  “eaten alive” by tech giants. Read more here in The Australian.

Australian and New Zealand markets 

  • Mirroring moves in Europe, New Zealand’s central bank has ordered banks to stop paying dividends or redeem capital notes, effective immediately. According to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, “the initiative further supports the stability of the financial system by maintaining higher levels of capital during the period of falling economic activity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic”. Read more in this Reuters article.

Our daily briefing is not meant to be a summary of media coverage but rather, insights that may be helpful in understanding how organisations are communicating with stakeholders in a time of crisis – and what comes next. Sign up via email