Wunderkinds 2013: Adam Feigen, 29
Manager of External Communications, Heineken USA
As manager of External Communications at Heineken USA, headquartered in White Plains, Adam Feigen, 29, is responsible for communicating the company’s message (which, he says, “is to be the leading upscale beer company in the US”) to the people who drink its many brands—including Heineken Light, Newcastle, Tecate, and Strongbow—and to the distributors who place these brands in shops and bars around the world.
Feigen, who lives in Norwalk, Connecticut, arrived at Heineken from PMK-BNC, a public relations agency, just over two years ago after networking through a friend at Heineken. “I really wanted to go in-house and work for a company that I admire,” says Feigen. “My friend put me in touch with the HR folks and the rest is history.” Since joining Heineken, he’s made significant changes to how the company communicates with these two groups of stakeholders.
In terms of PR, Feigen’s emphasis is quality over quantity: One strong story is better than several weak ones. For example, he placed stories about Heineken USA in the Wall Street Journal and lobbied for the company’s CEO, Dolf van den Brink, to be included in Fortune’s exclusive “40 under 40” list, the first ever executive from the alcohol industry to be included.
To better communicate with its distributors, Feigen introduced “The Haystack,” a monthly newsletter to distributors, which lets them know what Heineken will be up to in the ensuing weeks. He also produces a media dashboard, which highlights the company’s media success on an ongoing basis. “Feedback from our key distributors has been extremely positive, with much of that recognition being credited to Adam,” says Feigen’s boss, Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations Stacey Tank.
Internally, Feigen ensures that his team works closely with members of the branding, marketing, and sales teams, because, he says, “it is important for us to make sure we are all aligned towards Heineken USA’s larger vision.”
It’s obvious that Feigen loves working on behalf of Heineken. “It’s an incredible company,” he says. “Whenever I mention that I work for Heineken, it puts a smile on people’s faces.” He says he also sees great room for growth. “I have an affinity for communications and corporate relations, but I want to keep my options open, learn as I go, and see where this company can take me!”