Padilla’s Insights + Strategy and Digital/Social teams scanned the news media and social media conversations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic to bring you the week’s noteworthy developments:

Unhappiness, New Vocabulary, Flying…again

According to the COVID-19 Response Tracking Study, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, Americans are more unhappy today than they’ve been in nearly 50 years.

The world is being flooded with new terms in coverage of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Here’s a glossary from NPR in case you’re not up on the latest medical and testing jargon. 

Following the trend of caution fatigue, American and United Airlines are booking flights at full capacity again.

Topic Mapping

Local news drove conversations as some states struggle with closing as cases rise across the country. And MLB saw an uptick as they begin their “spring training” this week – with some teams seeing players and staff testing positive for COVID.

Negative sentiment was attached to the growing numbers surrounding the pandemic. Especially driven by news from the World Health Organization (WHO) that reported global cases topped 10 million and more than 500k deaths – with daily cases increasing.

Trending searches on coronavirus this past week include: Beijing’s second wave, WHO reporting on the largest single day increase of COVID cases, people wondering about how vaccine progress and the “welcome back to work meme” being the breakout search.

Social Buzz

The majority of conversation has moved to the spikes in cases in Texas and Florida. As spikes increase, viral tweets shifted to emphasizing masks and personal stories of COVID-19 experiences. And an ongoing trend since the beginning of the pandemic has been the word “thank” at the center of the emotion cloud with people thanking health care workers, politicians and companies for their response to the virus.

Brand Responses Are Shifting

Brands are slowly shifting the anthemic messaging of unity (and piano ballads) to more of a focus on what’s “next.” Some notable highlights:

  • Lonely Planet and Culture Trip—two popular digital travel guides—are teaming up to redefine travel for the post-Coronavirus age, with their ‘Travel Reborn’ initiative that centers around safety.
  • IKEA asks what you’ll do first when you’re able and found that most people simply want to be with loved ones and encourages people to get ready for those reunions when that time comes.

For more insights on this week’s coronavirus communications analysis:

For questions, guidance or support with your brand’s communication efforts, Padilla’s COVID-19 Response Team is here to help.