With over 50,000 employees and nearly 60 years in the retail business, Rite Aid is no stranger to innovation. So in 2020, in light of social distancing restrictions and COVID precautions, the drug store giant took to video to build a new solution for a decades-long problem.  “Demand is high across departments for internal communication,” says Peter Strella, Director of Communications & Creative Media Services at Rite Aid. “Associates want information, and they want to see leaders in person. But like a lot of retail companies, we have bandwidth challenges.”  In response, the team at Rite Aid worked to stand up their first-ever virtual town hall. The result was a live event that engaged more associates than they had in over a decade of in-person events, and they did it all with Vimeo. Here’s how.

Rewriting the corporate playbook 

“Before 2020, we were focused on annual, in-person meetings,” says Peter, referring to large-scale town hall or all-hands meetings. The Rite Aid team needed a way to connect their associates at a larger scale, all the while aligning these innovative goals with their internal resources. Of course, when the pandemic hit, the team at Rite Aid had to move quickly. “COVID-19 accelerated our transition to using video,” says Peter. “We knew that if we wanted to connect our team in a meaningful way, we needed a virtual live event platform to do it.

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A record-breaking town hall 

The solve? Re-imagine the workplace, and run professional, engaging virtual town halls with Vimeo. Late last year, Rite Aid turned to Vimeo to produce their very first virtual town hall for their store locations. It was a smashing success, with more engagement than Rite Aid leadership had seen in a decade of in-person events. “Vimeo allows you to have professional production quality,” says Peter. “It’s very different from video conferencing tools. Our streams on Vimeo are professional, branded company events.” What’s more, the top-notch viewing experience has boosted how its associates view the company as a whole. “It does wonders for building credibility and your brand,” he adds.
We won’t return to how it was. Video isn’t a COVID-19 solution, it’s a modern solution for the new workplace.”
Peter Strella, Director, Communications & Creative Media Services at Rite Aid

Building stronger community through better engagement  

“Our first town hall on Vimeo was a pivotal moment that allowed us to reach more associates than we ever could through live, in-person events,” says Peter. To keep that engagement high, Rite Aid utilizes Vimeo’s built-in live chat and Q&A tools to foster communication between viewers and leadership. “People were excited to engage in a modern, easy, fun, way,” he adds. After Rite Aid’s historic town hall, the team is working to iterate on their live internal comms, creating more and better opportunities for knowledge sharing and professional growth. “Now people want to do this every day! Employee feedback has been amazing, and viewership percentages have been high,” says Peter. And because the Rite Aid team chose Vimeo for live streaming, leadership was able to easily stream from closets, childhood bedrooms, and boardrooms across the globe. “That allowed us to be more informal and authentic, and allows employees to see leadership in a different way.” While the town halls are built as live, interactive events, Rite Aid is also utilizing their events as content sources of their own, isolating areas of streams to re-use, re-broadcast, and re-purpose as serial content for their employees. “Vimeo has helped us host and distribute in ways that we couldn’t before,” says Peter. “There is strong demand for video and live broadcasts across every department at Rite Aid, and Vimeo will allow us to help meet this demand in a re-imagined workplace that relies more on virtual communications.”

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