StateWays - November/December 2016

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays | | November/December 2016 31 WINNER: BEST TRADE OR LICENSEE EDUCATION PROGRAM — IOWA ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES DIVISION I n today's world, people are inundated with written, visual and verbal stimuli. In fact, they're often drawn to visual messaging as part of their daily existence—they consume dozens of clips, videos and commercials each day. As such, visual stimulation is proving to be a solid means of getting your message across. HONORABLE MENTION: VABC CREATES LICENSEE NEWSLETTER The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Bever- age Control launched a new, digital newslet- ter in January, which maintained the former name (Licensee), but adopted a new mission to direct readers to the agency's website. The newsletter includes information on training opportunities, contact info for agents and the department's price list. Because the agency uses a double opt-in service that prohibits importing existing contacts, the subscriber list started at zero. After three issues, the newsletter has already grown to nearly 1,500 subscribers and boasts a 72% open rate, with a 26% click-thru rate. EDUCATING & ENGAGING WITH VIDEO by MAURA KELLER Just ask the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, our winner for Best Trade or Licensee Education Program. The IABD created a YouTube channel to instruct retailers and industry members, as well as the general public, on various topics, including the three-tier system of alcohol control, new beer growler rules and regu- lations for trade practices such as tasting, sampling and spending. This video effort has proven to be an effi cient and effec- tive way to inform and educate industry members, while allowing them to watch and share the information more freely. Why videos? As Robert Bailey, public information offi cer for IABD, explains, the agency had just completed a revision and update of several trade practices and wanted to educate as many stakeholders as possible. "Our experience was that circulating emails and documents wasn't necessarily the most effi cient delivery system," Bai- ley says. "Plus, we fi gured that there were many other areas of the industry needing further education and guidance. Since YouTube is free and available to anyone with an Internet connection, creating our own channel made the most sense." The videos, which were primarily in- tended for industry members including bars, restaurants, brokers and reps, were also for public consumption. As Bailey explained, the videos are all relatively short and three of them (soon to be four) feature an on-camera host. The topics of this fi rst wave of videos include: tasting, growlers, the three-tier system, sampling and trade spending. "With the exception of the three-tier video, these were about the recently amended trade practices and clearly stated what's allowable, what's banned and how to contact the division for more information," Bailey says. "The video on the three-tier was very basic and simple, as that system of alcohol regulation is central to every state's policies." The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Divi- sion plans on adding more videos and information to the channel, with the next installation focusing on the Out- door Service Areas and what's allowed and disallowed. "I think that video can be the most ef- fi cient and effective way to deliver a mes- sage, provided it's produced properly," Bailey says. "The fact that instantaneous global distribution is available through YouTube makes it more attractive and it's certainly easy to link to the videos from our website—or forward the link via email to anyone needing more information on the topics." MAURA KELLER is a Minne- apolis-based writer and editor. She writes for dozens of pub- lications on a variety of business-re- lated topics. When not writing, Maura serves as executive director of the liter- acy nonprofi t, Read Indeed.

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