Apr 15 2015
I recently got to thinking about my twelve years in public relations – I came from publishing on the editorial side and, perhaps being the daughter of a journalist, this gave me a different perspective. I am by no means a vet of PR, but I’ve had my share of experiences and witnessed a thing or two. With that said, please bear with me as I rehash what I’ve learned in public relations for wine and spirits in the last decade. Perhaps something might rub off…
Everyone SHOULD have an “aha” moment. I like to ask people this question to gauge their love of the industry – and I’m always happy to share mine: I was sitting in on a journalist interview with a terroirist, about a year into my career, when I tasted three different wines: one from Sonoma, Tuscany and St. Emilion. The three wines all had the same grapes, but different percentages and different terroirs. It was an eye-opening experience. How could three wines with the same grapes taste so vastly different? I was amazed at the endless tastes and possibilities and thought, “This is awesome!”
Apr 1 2015
I’m not a big prankster, but I have been on the receiving end. Working in wine PR, I sometimes wish people were joking. For example: When a shipment of a new wine vintage is stuck in customs and your media tasting is the next day, that’s got to be a joke, right? Sadly, it never is.
If you’re planning to prank your wine PR colleagues today, check out my list of office-appropriate lies below. All of them are too good to actually be true, but your coworker may believe you for a hot second.
2. “I heard your client needs help with an issue,” said on a weekday morning. Have you ever strolled into the office on a Wednesday after a good night’s sleep and your…
Mar 18 2015
Recently I sat across from some restaurant “publicists” at a dinner and as I listened to them and fed them ideas for promoting their client, I was amazed (appalled?) at the lack of understanding. I asked myself, “Does anyone think they can write a release, get it out on PR Newswire and call themselves a publicist?” It suddenly occurred to me why my industry has such a lack of empathy from the world: People who don’t put in the effort expect a grand pay off. Is that a Millennial thing? Naivety? Or idiocy?
Needless to say, I was annoyed, upset and a little shocked. When people ask what I do, I say public relations for alcohol. I’m sure many think I just drink all day and tinker around. OK, sometimes. But in all seriousness, I consider myself a fantastic publicist, and yes, I say PUBLICIST, and I’m not ashamed. And for those naysayers out there, it’s considered one of the hardest jobs in the U.S.
Public relations is about perception. It’s all about how one perceives the topic of conversation and approaches the situation…
Mar 4 2015
All things being equal, media and consumers trust studies without corporate or branded backing most. Edelman’s 2015 Trust Barometer confirms that academic experts are twice as credible to consumers as CEOs.
We are quick to call out bias, which makes a new report published by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee last week so significant. An independent, government-backed advisory panel announced that drinking more coffee is good for you. It was the first time in 40 years the committee weighed in on coffee consumption and said that up to five cups of Joe a day are A-Okay. Now, federal endorsement for drinking coffee seems imminent.
If you work in the coffee business, I think you would agree: It doesn’t get much better than this.
One important question remains: How do you leverage positive and independent health research? Everyone agrees independent research ranks highest in credibility. But since you don’t own it, you can’t customize the study to fit your communications needs. Or can you? I spoke to our in-house RD and Manager of Nutrition Communications, Joanne Tehrani to find out.
Here are three…
Feb 25 2015
I love what I do. I count myself lucky to have found my calling in an industry I adore. I began my experience in booze PR as a singleton, going out, friending mixologists and sommeliers, living it up. Even when I got married, I hit the nightlife, got major media hits for clients, traveled the world and threw some amazing events. Then I had a baby.
Whatever industry you’re in, women who choose to have a career and children are forced to live a double life – they can’t have it all. We know this; we’ve read this; some, I’m sure, are sick of hearing this. I, for one, am not. Women who split their lives 50/50 soon find themselves dedicating more time to one world over the other, and something has to suffer. I’ve experienced it first-hand.
Honestly, I can go off about maternity leave in the U.S., equal pay (thank you Patricia Arquette) or just overall how the country treats mothers (and single parents of any gender). But this is specifically about the booze world.
In booze PR, keeping up with the constant…
Feb 18 2015
Similar to the craft beer trend, sake has become a growing niche market where consumers – specifically millennials are looking for sakes that are high-quality. According to Impact Databank, sake consumption in the United States increased to 3.9 percent to 2.2 million cases in 2013.
Sake growth is also branching outside of traditional Japanese food like sushi and ramen restaurants, and so are pricier variations. In restaurants across the country sakes easily go upwards to $210 for a 720-ml bottle.
If you’ve only tried sake bombs (a beer cocktail where you drop hot sake into a glass of beer) then I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and give sake a try. Here are a few to get you started:
Feb 4 2015
When it comes to media darlings, reporters tend to give David (craft beer) more ink than Goliath (Anheuser Busch and the likes). There are many possible explanations for this phenomenon, ranging from “craft beer is more authentic” to “everyone loves the underdog.” Here is my theory: the media loves geeky stories, and craft beer brands happen to have more of them.
NPR just announced on its culinary blog “The Salt” that The Oregon Brew Crew and Clean Water Services in Oregon seek approval to collaborate on making the first beer with treated wastewater (yes, you read correctly). The network of home brewers would make small batches of beer to be served at events, not (yet) at a brewery.
Takeaway for the Big Boys: My educated guess is that a larger brand has more R&D budget than a bunch of home brewers, some even more than a state agency. Think like a start-up when it’s time to decide what research project to fund next. An innovative study will always have a home in a consumer outlet with a passion for science and…
Jan 30 2015
As a virtual stranger to wine PR (but definitely not to wine), getting tossed into the ring was a teensy bit stressful, to say the least. But hey, I don’t mind conducting my research at the liquor store. Definitely beats a library.
After spending 2014 knee-deep in the industry, I’ve taken away a few glassfuls (get it?) of knowledge to fortify myself for the year to come. While there’s definitely a great deal of knowledge I have yet to gain, here are the top three things I learned:
1) Making sure a wine brand’s voice is heard in a saturated wine media landscape is a bit tricky. Well, that’s an understatement. Let’s just say it’s tear-inducing.
Though there are hundreds of wine blogs, columns, magazines, etc., when everyone in the industry is vying for a mention, things get competitive. Though it’s difficult, it’s important to identify the aspects of a wine brand’s identity that make it niche enough to stand out to media, but appealing enough to consumers.
2) Events are huge in the wine PR industry. Walk-around tastings, wine seminars, press lunches with winemakers… The thing is, there are usually three million of…