Little Brown Lies: Craft Whiskey’s Dirty Little Secret

Distiller Dave Cuttino leaned back in his stool and pushed a short pour of bourbon in my direction. Yet, the way his words punctured my perception of reality, he could have been Morpheus, extending a handful of red pills.


Dave Cuttino of Reservoir. Basking in artisanal opulence.

Cuttino and his partner Jay Carpenter are the owners, distillers, managers, and pretty much the everything else-ers behind Reservoir distillery in Richmond, Virginia. A tiny operation that has found big success by defying a dirty little secret at work throughout much of the whiskey world.

The craft whiskey renaissance that we appear to be living through, is in many ways one big hand-crafted lie. Or at least, an act of artful artisanal misdirection.

Most of the whiskey brands on the market today don’t actually distill their own stuff. Odds are your favorite “small batch” whiskey actually originates from a company like MPG in Indiana, where oceans of bourbon, rye, vodka and gin, are distilled for dozens, if not hundreds of brands. If that doesn’t take the wind out of your flannel, know that, at the same location, they’re producing “food grade industrial…

Higher Education

Tech Doubts?

edtechInside Higher Ed released the 2016 Survey of Faculty Attitudes Toward Technology yesterday. Some don’t think tech’s helping much.

“Faculty members are still worried that online education can’t deliver outcomes equivalent to face-to-face instruction,” writes Carl Straumsheim. “They are split on whether investments in ed-tech have improved student outcomes.”

Some of the key findings from the survey include:

  • Fewer faculty members and administrators this year said technology in the classroom has resulted in significantly improved student outcomes, and more of them are finding it difficult to justify investments in ed-tech.
  • Both administrators and faculty members believe institutions are taking appropriate measures to protect personal information and intellectual property from cyber-attacks. Few believe those security steps infringe on their privacy.
  • Most faculty members aren’t taking to social media to talk politics. In fact, most faculty members don’t even talk about their scholarship on social media.

I’m happy to see any report about less politics in social newsfeeds, and glad to see professors questioning technology in the classroom more intensely. Tech provides increasingly valuable teaching tools to professors, but it can’t replace the value of great teaching to students.

PR Industry Trends

AT&T’s Time Warner Acquisition Foreshadows Future


One of the largest internet and mobile providers is buying a premier content creator. With the seismic shift to mobile video, it positions them to ensure both remain relevant. As consumers cut the cable cord and shun traditional channel bundles, AT&T will be able to deliver what the people want, options.

We counsel clients on the growing importance of a video content and mobile delivery strategy. Mobile video views increased 400% from 2012 to 2014. In 2016 it is estimated that video will account for 69% of all internet traffic and 50% of mobile. Those numbers are only expected to grow, up to 79% of all internet traffic in 2017.


What may be most exciting for the future is having a seamless strategy for creation and delivery. Established brands can have trouble adapting to change (looking at you Blockbuster), but this move embraces the future. How will Time Warner’s approach to content creation change and how will AT&T play a role in understanding the user experience across platforms?

The deal is not guaranteed to be realized. Already the Presidential campaigns and lawmakers are expressing

Media Relations

Media Relations: The Scoop on the Pitch


I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a couple of friends who work in today’s ever-changing media landscape (it’s a small world indeed) and pick their brains about media relations best practices and opportunities for improved communication between PR pros and reporters. While there isn’t (and will never be) a one-size-fits-all media relations approach, a few nuggets of information in particular stood out to me:

1) Be Brief, Be Intriguing
Our clients have a story and we want to tell it—sometimes too much of it. Reporters work on tight deadlines and in an ever-changing, around the clock news cycle. If we don’t have the time to read a three page email, then they certainly don’t. Value intrigue over volume. Craft a succinct, enticing email (a couple of paragraphs at the maximum) and aim to pique their interest. “Some of the best pitches I’ve received were three, maybe four sentences,” one contact told me. So what does that mean? It means the pitch should be direct, it should get to the point quickly and it should have a clear benefit to the recipient and to his or her audience. “Think of it…


3 Priorities for Every 2017 Hospital Marketing Budget

SOURCE: Healthcare Informatics Society of Ireland

As leaves change and temps fall, healthcare organizations that begin their fiscal year in January are finalizing budgets for 2017. With most hospitals grappling with flat or declining admissions, it’s now more important than ever for marketers to select the most impactful budget priorities. Fear not – PadillaCRT has outlined three priorities that should be on the radar of every hospital marketer.

1. Deliver ROI with Your Digital Strategy

Only 14 percent of 2015 healthcare marketing budgets were allocated to digital activities – significantly lower than almost any other industry. There isn’t necessarily a good reason for this, other than the fact that hospitals tend to be late adopters. Search engine marketing, social media, and geofencing are some of the most efficient, nimble and measurable marketing approaches.

We know that more than 72 percent of U.S. healthcare consumers have gone online for health information in the past year. Ensure that your organization is top of mind by being in the right place at the right time. The right place might be choosing the right keyword to promote or sharing a patient story on the right social channel or promoting the right service while they are surfing on their mobile