If you suffer from the fear of missing out, don’t follow Michael Hayes on Instagram. Hayes, 26, lives in Burlington, Vermont. During the week, he is the digital marketing manager for Ben & Jerry’s, the eclectic, hippie ice cream makers with such flavors as Chunky Monkey, Phish Food, and the latest Ron Burgandy-inspired Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch. On the weekends, Hayes is a skier, trekking to Stowe, Jay Peak, and Killington to get another kind of frozen treat.
Powder: Tell me about your job at Ben & Jerry’s.
Michael Hayes: I oversee social media, our website, and digital advertising. Like most things in marketing, it’s kind of changing. We don’t do TV advertising at Ben & Jerry’s. It’s more of how we interact and drive awareness about initiatives we’re doing throughout the year.
How does your job help you get out on the hill?
I wouldn’t say it necessarily helps me ski, but we’re very flexible here with work hours. I work a lot through the summer. That’s our busy season so it’s a little more lenient in the winter. Occasionally I can take a few hours off in the morning to take a few laps at Stowe and get back here at a reasonable time. As long as I get my work done, they’re pretty flexible and work with me to make sure I get up to the hill.
How bad does your case of FOMO get midweek?
One thing social media has amplified is that you sit here on a powder day and Jay Peak posts a picture every hour about how good it is. That stokes the fire to race to the hill as soon as I can. If I’m not at the mountain today, my friends are there posting and sharing pictures.
And that’s part of your job, to monitor social channels for Ben & Jerry’s, so you can’t really help but to see those photos.
I can’t help it. Jay Peak does like to post a lot. I think sometimes they are targeting or teasing me. They do a great job. It’s great to see those mountains as good community members. That’s something we try to do here at Ben & Jerry’s and it’s one of the reasons I work here. We’re not just about returning profits to our shareholders. It’s about making the best ice cream we can and being a good member of the community. We’re trying to do business in a better way and make an impact in the way we do business. To be honest, I wish ski resorts would learn a little more about the way we do it. It’s not just about making money. It’s about being good community members and being good members of the ski community.
Have you ever traded ice cream for lift tickets?
You know, Steve [Wright of Jay Peak’s marketing department], we trade every once in a while. We get three pints a day so there’s plenty of ice cream to go around.