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— by Pat Foran, Editor
On May 28, Union Pacific Railroad celebrated the grand opening of a $400 million intermodal terminal in Santa Teresa, N.M. The facility has been getting a fair amount of ink since it opened, including from the likes of us (see article), in part because it reflects the domestic rail intermodal boom and the industry’s growth prospects. It also affords a glimpse into the potential cross-border traffic growth to come. And the terminal could be replicated in other areas, as UP CEO Jack Koraleski told Managing Editor Jeff Stagl. The strategically situated terminal also turned out to be a perfect spot for UP to test a new strategic communications initiative.
In January, UP Corporate Communications launched “Listen UP,” a music video series showcasing UP milestones, events and facilities. Posted on the railroad’s YouTube channel and shared via social media channels, the videos are designed to acknowledge as well as engage employees, and reflect the diverse locations and communities in which UP operates.
“Putting a band out there in a work environment is a fun juxtaposition,” says UP Communications Manager for Video Django Greenblatt-Seay.
The first Listen UP video was shot in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where the Americana/folk-rock stylings of Brad Hoshaw & The Seven Deadlies served as a “music bed underneath employees working,” says Greenblatt-Seay. That video was posted Jan. 24. The plan for the second Listen UP session, which showcases the Santa Teresa terminal, was to find a “fun song” from a local band, Greenblatt-Seay says. He found one in “If You Don’t Know” by Albuquerque’s Le Chat Lunatique, which plays what the group terms “filthy, mangy jazz.”
Greenblatt-Seay and a videographer spent four hours at the terminal shooting the clip, which features a joyously frenetic Le Chat Lunatique performance, as well as Santa Teresa crews at work: Lynn Boetticher and Jose Vences, firemen and oilers; Adam East and Brandon Garcia, car inspectors; and Yardmaster Manny Rivera. Posted April 17, the video had been viewed 2,429 times as of June 2. The video resonates with UP employees, if the feedback Greenblatt-Seay’s received is any indication. “It’s a morale builder,” he says. “It gives employees something to be excited about.”
Upper management, too. CEO Koraleski thought the band was great.
“He wanted to know where to get the album,” Greenblatt-Seay says.
Pretty good coverage on the engagement front, then. Look for the next Listen UP music video, and the milestone, event or facility it showcases, sometime later this summer.