Jennifer Morris | The Innovator 25 North America 2021

Jennifer Morris

VP Communications


New York, NY

New Orleans, LA

“We can’t just prioritize communications when we’re in a crisis. A great communications strategy is built on an always-on approach."

Jennifer Morris was the communications driver behind "We Are In This Together: Anheuser-Busch Responds To COVID-19."  The multifaceted campaign was an excellent example of how corporations could use their influence to make a difference during an unprecedented crisis. From championing blood drives, to producing and distributing hand sanitizer and helping revitalize the restaurant industry, Innovation SABRE Award judges were wowed by the impact Anheuser-Busch was able to make and made the campaign 2021's Best in Show winner. One judge said: “Anheuser-Busch could have written a check, they could have done one thing. Instead, they thought through all aspects of how they could contribute and flawlessly executed against each.”

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of? 
I’m most proud of Anheuser-Busch’s response to both the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery. We mobilized quickly to support the communities we call home. In the wake of the pandemic, we were united in our commitment to our communities as well as our partners and our employees, working together to create milestone moments such as hosting socially distant blood drives in partnership with the American Red Cross and major sports leagues, producing hand sanitizer for frontline workers and to ensure voter safety during the national elections, and establishing a partnership with the National Restaurant Association to bolster recovery efforts for local businesses. We continue to offer our support today, playing an active role in reigniting the nation’s economy and partnering with others for a strong and safe recovery through our “Let’s Grab a Beer” initiative.

We're at a pivotal moment on the future of the office and how we work. How would like to see 'office/work culture' evolve?
Over the last 18 months, we’ve seen a lot of blurring lines between home and work as many people in our industry began working remotely. Going forward, it will be important to create a space for people to rest and recharge. We’re all better contributors – both personally and professionally – when we make time to do the things we love. From a creative standpoint, I don’t think you can really recreate the magic that happens when people are together. The little moments we share at the office are important to fostering collaboration. Ultimately, I hope we continue to see hybrid models become more normal as they provide needed flexibility, while encouraging connections.

How can the PR industry make real progress in diversity, inclusion and equity?
As the nation’s leading brewer, Anheuser-Busch is in a unique position to bring attention to DE&I issues in a way that brings consumers along on the journey to drive positive change and create a more equitable world. As an organization and a family of brands, we can leverage our scale and resources to further conversations around DE&I and help consumers understand the difference they can make as individuals.

What makes you most excited or proud to be part of the PR industry?
Now more than ever there is an overlap of innovation and technology within our industry. With new tools and opportunities on our side – like virtual events and experiential moments – we can take PR to the next level and do more than we ever have before.

What are your fears/concerns for our industry?
From a business perspective, PR tends to go through cycles where different aspects are valued depending on the external environment. For example, throughout the past year, we’ve seen the value of internal communications increase dramatically, which is both good and necessary as communicating with our employees should be a top priority. However, we can’t just prioritize communications when we’re in a crisis. A great communications strategy is built on an always-on approach, where communications – both internally and externally – is a top organizational priority. We need to have a holistic strategy and find ways to avoid leaning into one area of PR more than others to continue proving our value to the bottom line.

What inspires you? This could be a person, place, activity, etc.
The next generation of PR professionals inspires me the most. I feel invigorated when I’m able to grow in my own work while learning from others in the space who have a fresh perspective.

What are you thinking about most these days?
It’s an exciting time to be at Anheuser-Busch as we just went through a CEO transition at the end of June 2021. As one of the most beloved brands in the U.S., we are exploring what the next chapter in our journey looks like with a new perspective to the business at the helm.

What is your idea of happiness?
Over the past 18 months, I’ve had a renewed sense of what happiness means both personally and professionally. I’ve been extremely lucky over the past two years to be in a job that I love going to every single day. And even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I truly enjoy spending time with my husband and having a night in at home.