Hi everyone. I’ve met some of you, have yet to meet many of you, but here I am: David Steinman, 3rd generation BMI. It’s been 4 mos and change since I started working full time, and, well, time flies. Christopher Shepard (Eric’s son), and I are what my dad often refers to as “the youth movement.” Admittedly, it will take some time before I can contribute my end of “the youth movement” the way that I want to be able to, but you may be surprised at how much of my writing you’ve seen thus far, albeit with a good chunk of editing. Throughout my youth I’ve worked for the family business, whether it be labelling and stuffing envelopes with those vintage orange newsletters, or “interning” during the summers to better learn the beer biz. I also had a 3 yr stint working for local Vermont breweries, Long Trail and Otter Creek, where I started as a sales & mktg intern and eventually hired on full time as the co’s Marketing Coordinator. There my job included anything from tracking and managing POS, to creating sales reports for the sales team company wide, to repping the co at local events and promotions. Now I’m learning on the fly at BMI, and trying to apply whatever random knowledge I’ve picked up along the way to the biz.
A few things I’ve been able to learn and/or contribute since I started:
• Everything’s off the record until it’s on the record: a lesson learned that is preached here at BMI. It’s still early and I’ve yet to form relationships with many of my own “sources,” if you will, but I know that once I do, I need to approach every working relationship with this motto. Building work relationships is perhaps the most important skill/asset I’ve yet to acquire, and is key to my growth within the company, as I’ve witnessed through my dad’s ample allotment of hours spent on the phone any given day.
• The numbas are the numbas: A point my father and grandfather have always instilled in the company, as far as I can tell. And I’ll flat out tell ya: I like writing about numbers. You can’t argue the numbers. They’re something tangible that I can understand right away, and are so essential to understanding what’s happening out there in the mkt for all of us. I may not have 30+ yrs of experience to help cultivate my beer insights, but at least I have the numbas.
• Throw me to the “lions”: Since starting, I’ve attended my first BMI Conferences, NBWA Convention, state distrib mtgs, and brewer annual sales mtgs as a BMI employee. From what I can tell, these kinds of events are crucial to the industry from a networking standpoint as well as an educational standpoint, and are also crucial for my development as an employee here at BMI. Not to mention, these meetings are almost always held in great spots, and always a great time. Sure Dad, I’ll go if I have to.
• Facebook and Twitter and more social hoopla: BMI isn’t exactly the most tech-savvy company in the world, but despite being fairly behind on the tech-front, we’ve started to increase our play in social media, just like the rest of ya. As the youngest member of the BMI team, you’d think I would be at the forefront of our social media movement, but so far that ain’t the case. Jim has taken on that role, especially on Twitter, where basically every news source needs to be these days, no matter how small a niche. And Christopher has been, for the most part, our voice on Facebook. But I’ve played my part too, with Facebook posts, CBN tweets, and so-on.
In 2014 we’ll look to add plenty more tweets and posts, a BMI/Express Facebook page (not just our CBN page), numerous graphs and charts depicting trends old and new from our ocean of data, and we’ve even started a Throwback Thursday social media initiative to celebrate our co’s 40+ yrs of history. So it’s a start! Onwards and upwards for BMI in social media.
• Basic knowledge of Excel has come in handy (Data Filters and Freeze Panes): I’m no computer whiz, but as a millennial there are certain computer “tricks” that I’ve picked up inherently that most boomers and beyond would never learn. For instance, the moment I looked at an IRI report, I knew that my dad and Eric had never used the “freeze panes” function in Excel to view this data, and never once sorted data via data “filters.” A couple of simple little trick that makes viewing big data clumps a helluva lot easier – right Dad?
Recently we’ve started to focus on creating more graphics, charts, images and what-have-yous with the plethora of data we have access to from 40+ yrs of following the beer biz. I’ll look to create plenty more of those going forward.
• 21 Express articles, 36 CBN articles, 1 BBI article, 2 Blog Posts and counting: That’s how many articles I’ve written that have been published thus far. Not too many considering how many articles per issue and how frequently we churn out issue after issue, but a solid start that I feel pretty good about. Writing anything ranging from IRI data to conference coverage, to what’s hot in the news wires, and more. Many more articles to come – see if you can guess which ones are me.
As I continue to find my voice as a writer, and we discover more ways for me to help BMI, I look forward to learning more about this industry that we’re all so lucky to be a part of. Until next time.