Molson’s Ferg Devins Talks PodCamp

A few days ago we gave you a quick teaser of a Saturday night PodCamp Toronto event sponsored by Molson. Today I caught up with Ferg Devins, Molson’s VP of government and public affairs, to chat about PodCamp, the event and why social media is important to Molson.

What follows is a brief summary of our conversation.

Why did Molson decide sponsor PodCamp?

Sponsoring PodCamp was a pretty easy decision for Molson. It’s a social occasion based around community and conversation and, in Ferg’s words, “What is more social than beer ? Occasions for conversation and engagement equals a place for Molson to be.”

PodCamp is also an opportunity for the Molson folks to get involved in the social media community and to learn. Devins, who plans to be at PodCamp this weekend, reeled-off a long list of things they’re looking to learn about, from how to use their blog and Facebook presence more effectively to tidbits on text messaging, to digital marketing in general.

What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Ferg highlighted three sessions he’s particularly looking forward to:

  • Elena Yunusov and Jane Zhang’s presentation on social media for non-profits (Saturday at 2pm)
  • Mike Kujawski‘s Government 2.0 discussion (Saturday at 2:45pm)
  • Various sessions to help get more up-to-speed on podcasting (uh… throughout the weekend!)

How is Molson currently using social media?

Molson has a fairly broad social media presence. It’s multi-authored blog, Molson in the Community, is well established now and they have numerous people on Twitter (@molsonferg, @toniahammer, @molsonbryan). 

Molson has a broad presence on Facebook – Canadian, Coors Light and a whole host of other brands have Facebook pages although, as Ferg acknowledges, the pages have largely been used for pushing marketing messages in the past. Moving forward, he hopes to use them for more conversational purposes.

Thanks to years of contests, Molson also has a customer database. Ferg indicated that learning to use this effectively is another objective of his right now.

What’s happening on Saturday night?

Ah, the big event.

As mentioned earlier, Molson is sponsoring a social event for PodCamp Toronto attendees on Saturday night. While final details will be available on the day at PodCamp, here’s roughly how it will work:

  • The event will be held at “The Ram” at Ryerson, Ryerson Students’ Pub at 63 Gould Street, from 7:30pm onwards
  • The event will be an informal mix-and-mingle event, with no formal presentations
  • Eight different Molson brands will be represented, and Ian Douglas, a Molson brewer, will be in attendance to answer questions
  • Attendees will receive limited beer samples, after which there will be a cash bar
  • Molson is also providing snacks and door prizes

Details of this event and other meetups throughout the weekend are on the PodCamp Toronto wiki.

Thanks to Ferg for taking the time to talk today (and good luck getting back to Toronto from snowy Halifax!).

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