How MillerCoors Uses Video for Internal Communications With Employees and Distributors

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When German craftsman Johannes Gutenberg vastly improved the ability to print books and pamphlets in the mid 1400’s, his printing press was hailed as revolutionary.

It’s difficult to know what historians centuries from now will point to when they discuss the rise of video consumption that the digital revolution spawned. You’d think YouTube and Facebook will be mentioned, ditto the video capabilities of mobile phones. Perhaps those who write the history of business will mention last week’s story about CNN planning to invest $40 million into its video effort Great Big Story. Digging deeper, business historians may point to brands’ increasing use of video for a variety of purposes. Earlier this year we mentioned how Certified Angus Beef creates short videos each week for internal communications ( PRN, Feb. 20). The Shareablee data regularly presented in these pages show a consistent rise in consumer engagement with brand video content on social platforms ( PRN, June 19).

Pete Marino CCO MillerCoors
Pete Marino
CCO
MillerCoors

This week we hear from Pete Marino, CCO at MillerCoors, who discusses MCTV, an internal video platform at the brand. Marino also spoke about this and other topics, including the company’s blog, during the upcoming Arthur W. Page Society New CCO podcast, which will premiere later this week. PR News was provided with an advance copy. When ready, the podcast can be heard at: http://bit.ly/2rTn1rm

“We’d been paying attention to the way consumers were consuming content over the years,” Marino says. “Certainly more digestible, hard-hitting, visual pieces of content get more engagement. So we took that knowledge and ended up hiring a former CNBC producer who helped us create a platform where we use a lot of rich graphics and incorporate a lot of people’s faces and voices, so we can bring more people into our stories.”

Videos are 90-120-seconds long and 2-3 new videos are posted each week, he adds. The videos cover subjects such as “an ordering window for a new brand that’s coming out, a new product or a new campaign…we can do a video highlighting success within the organization and showing what good looks like [to us]…we just re-introduced Zima this past summer so we had a 90s-themed video.”

Video as the main internal platform

Living on MillerCoors’ intranet and other places in its system, the video platform is being used “more and more as the primary mechanism for communicating with our employees and to a greater frequency with our distributors,” he says.

An advantage of short videos is that MillerCoors employees can access them on mobile devices, meaning staffers can be in the field doing their jobs rather than sitting at their desks reading internal communications.

Video in the field

Another plus: When a MillerCoors salesperson is in the field, instead of merely telling a client about a new product, the salesperson can show the prospective buyer a video about it. “It’s a lot more impactful...to show you a 120-second video about a new Miller program than to have me tell you about it for 5 minutes…maybe I’m stumbling over some of the facts…[with the video] you can actually see [the new product], rather than just hear me talking about it.”

Regulation and Uncertainty

When we ask about what keeps Marino up at night, he turns to being a communicator for myriad brands in a regulated sector. “There are something like 30,000 laws concerning alcohol on the federal, state and local levels...alcohol is one of the most regulated industries in this country...so when you have a product that people use the way they [use ours], you’re constantly thinking, ‘Is our commitment to responsibility being driven down through every facet of the organization?’”

Marino continues, “I know that we have a very deep conviction around responsibility as a company. But are all the people out in the field who are executing programs...always living the values and doing the right thing? Because it takes just one misstep for us to have to deal with something that people can trounce upon rather rapidly on social media,” he says. Such a misstep “might be counter to your corporate values, but still you’re on your heels and playing defense rather quickly; that’s a situation that we always try to avoid.”

The other worry for Marino is one he shares with communicators in many industries, regulated and unregulated: Uncertainty, specifically from the federal government. “We have an administration inside the Beltway that is rather unpredictable. Selling products to consumers the way we do” we are concerned about anything “that will restrict the way we responsibly sell” MillerCoors brands.

NOTE: This content appeared originally in PR News, July, 10, 2017. For subscription information, please visit: http://www.prnewsonline.com/about/info

CONTACT: Theresa.Jaegle@millercoors.com