I originally wrote this figurative Memo to the Wine Media back in May 2014, and I believe it still applies today. I’m recirculating now leading up to the 13th annual Wine Media Conference, coming this week to Eugene, Oregon, and beyond. The suggestions represent mostly standard operating dynamics that exist between the publicist and journalist communities.
These are my own perspectives as a winery publicist and do not represent the opinions of all publicists, but might resonate with a few. Let me start by saying that we love, respect, and appreciate what you do, wine media folks; really… we mean it!
Is there room for improvement? You decide… here are 10 suggestions:
1. After you’ve engaged with our client, let us know if you decide NOT to write about your experiences – we’re grown-ups. All status updates are good; and this way, we won’t bother you with follow-ups seeking the status of your engagement.
2. Let us know if you DO decide to write — we’ll post the results on our clients’ various platforms and in turn, we’ll make you an even bigger star than you already are.
3. We’d love to have you visit our client. We’ll be happy to handle the logistics – it’s what we do — so that you can focus on the personalities and the wine. Tell us what you’d like to accomplish in order for you to get a good piece, and we’ll try to make it happen.
4. Communicate what changes you might need early and often during your trip – there may be lots of moving parts that we don’t wish to burden you with, and so that you’ll be free to concentrate on your story.
5. Why not look at ours, as a long-term relationship? In turn, we’ll stay in touch even when we don’t have a story to pitch.
6. We pledge to not waste your time by submitting wines or to pitch you on a story that might not fit your palate preferences or your journalistic agenda. Let us be a resource for you. We’ll strive to find educational topics and story ideas that may be of interest to your readers
7. Share your editorial calendars – let us know your editorial needs and we’ll sincerely try to provide content.
8. Tell us what you don’t want or expect from our clients. We don’t want to waste anyone’s time or energy.
9. We promise to keep our client on point but if it’s the idiosyncrasies that you’re after, we’ll “coach” our client to be who they truly are in front of you.
10. We’ll give you all the help you may need in terms of tech notes and media kits. And we promise never to furnish you with tasting notes or scores from your colleagues. We know you have your own interests and palates.
So, dear media friends, this is not meant to be a manifesto but a conversation about working together. We need each other and the wine industry needs us, clearly not a zero-sum game, but win-win-wine, right?
CARL GIAVANTI is a Winery Publicist with a DTC Marketing background. He’s celebrating his 12th year of winery consulting. Carl has been involved in business marketing and public relations for over 25 years; originally in technology, digital marketing and project management, and now as a winery media relations consultant. Clients are or have been in Napa Valley, Willamette Valley, Walla Walla, Columbia Valley and the Columbia Gorge. (www.CarlGiavantiConsulting.