Welcome to our blog.

PR 101

I don’t get as many comments on my wine blog as I do personal Emails…

Why I don’t get as many comments on my wine blog

as I do private Emails…

I don’t write a blog to elicit extensive comments on what I’ve put out there. Controversial stories always elicits emotions and that’s when people jump right it.

I write in order to distribute information. Then I tend to get private Emails on whatever the topic was, because there’s a shared bond. And, this is actually a great set up for those PR 101 moments I’m looking for. My writing is more akin to when I was teaching and people took notes. That’s because I had the text book in front of me, and was explaining in great detail info for comprehension, not controversy. It’s hard to have a contrary opinion on say, this example:

  • the 12 cranial nerves
  • whether they were sensory, motor, or mixed
  • what muscle they were sensory motor or mixed to

Who’s going to argue with that? Many times, the things I’ve written on my blog are like that. It’s just an inside view from a wine veteran, distributing that which is real and happening. It sparks something within other wine execs, who then send off an Email. And, this sets us all up for great PR 101 moments.

A blog post I wrote about cork recently elicited this E-Mail from Jeffrey S. Lloyd, Ph.D., Sitrick And Company.


In case you missed the following, thought it could be of interest:

Wine & Spirits’ 25th Annual Survey of the Top 50 Restaurant Wine Brands (http://www.corkqc.com/S-mat/Top50.pdf) asked wine directors at 218 restaurants to name their 10 best-selling wines. Their responses were compiled into a list of the Top 50 Restaurant Brands. Results were presented for 2013 and for the previous 10 years. The results for 2013 by closure type showed that brands primarily finished with cork accounted for 90 percent of the Top 50 Restaurant Brands, up 21 percent, as compared to ten years ago. Brands primarily finished with screw caps showed a 39 percent decline and brands using synthetic closures were down by 70 percent, as reported by wine directors. (Please see attached news release for more information.)

By way of introduction, we are working with the Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR) to help communicate the advantages that cork stoppers have over artificial closures. Please check out our Web site (http://100percentcork.org/) for additional information on our campaign.

Best wishes,

Jeff Lloyd

This is how a lot of information comes to me, and it’s great PR , and I’m able to share (like I did the one above… and it wasn’t a press release, but just an exchange of information). Jeff’s content enriched the content of this blog before (as inspiration), during (helping to building a case), and after the input (continuation of the conversation).

NOTE TO PR PEOPLE: Reach out via E-Mails, and make your case to someone… personally. Your odds are greatly increased for coverage… regardless of how labor intensive this may seem. It’s the best way to get the attention of today’s busy writers. The press releases are rarely working (too much to read in this fast paced world). The delete button takes even less time than the act of throwing something physical away.

What might be around the next corner is publicity for you.



Winemaker trepidation is pretty common when it comes to wine writers

Working with tons of winemakers, through my 20 years of being in the wine business, I’ve seen many winemakers fear what’s going to happen to their wines, once they’ve been sent for review. Tons of questions arise:

  • What if I get a bad score?
  • Will a bad score ultimately cost me my job?
  • Why do we even have to send out wines?
  • Can’t we just build an audience on our own without publicity?
  • Who cares what they have to say, anyway?
  • Who are they to tell me whether or not my wine is good?

Some advice

Let me start with something I read and believe in from the 1960s. It’s from the Desiderata:

  • … If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Everyone of us is born and has lived with different life experiences. We all have different palates; things we like and things we don’t like.

In many regards, we have to take each review with a grain of salt. We run with the good and let most of the bad simply go. If someone really trashes your wine, first of all, they’ve forgotten what mom had to say:

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” because you’ll burn a bridge that you may later wish you had… You never know…

What we marketing people run with are those comments that closely align with our own way of thinking. Those words become selling points. Wine pros who taste the wine, and agree with the assessment, will be persuaded by a positive endorsement and bring the wine into their wholesale house, retail shop, and/or restaurant. Consumers who like the words are also convinced to try the wine.

But… as I’ve written here before… people don’t have an unshopping list.” Who has time for that? If a wine gets a bad review, unless the author is way off base and mean spirited in the process, let it go. It’s not going on an unshopping list. Unshopping lists don’t exist. With 10,000 brands flooding our wine world, it’s a drip into an already full bucket.

If negative reviews are consistent, then one has to rethink one’s play book, however. This, too, needs to be said.

So, assuming it’s one bad review, let it go… and in the process remember: If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Answering those questions above

  • What if I get a bad score?
    • Covered above.
    • Get over it.
  • Will a bad score ultimately cost me my job?
    • Only if you’ve let your skills go so badly that you need a wake-up call.
    • That, too, can be a good thing, preparing you for your next great job.
      • Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom. – Phyllis Theroux.
      • Think positively and get ready to move on.
  • Why do we even have to send out wines?
    • To get those great talking points that are needed in sales.
    • There’s only one reason we send out wines for review of any kind… for SALES support.
  • Can’t we just build an audience on our own without publicity?
    • Slowly, ever so slowly
    • If, at all….
  • Who are they to tell me whether or not my wine is good?
    • They’re someone trying to make a living, through their own opinions via their audience.
    • They’re also a potential link to your future success.
  • Who cares what they have to say, anyway?
    • You do, or you wouldn’t take offense.
    • Admit that to yourself, and then you can get over it; because, you really shouldn’t care that someone else has a different palate, and that’s ALL it is.



Enhanced by Zemanta

Glossophobia, the  abnormal fear of public speaking or trying to speak, comes from the Greek words:

  • γλῶσσα ~ glōssa, meaning tongue
  • φόβος ~ phobos, fear or dread

Speech anxiety is a real apprehension for many people. People are known to fear giving a speech before any group, even if it’s only two or three people “more than they fear snakes, spiders, heights, disease, and death.” (University of Central Florida)

There are many site pages devoted to helping a presenter put his or her best foot forward, because Speech Writing 101 is a very important class to take. This is regardless of one’s major. No matter what business anyone goes into; if you become a leader, you’ll be called upon to teach and/or present in that capacity.

Get prepared, so that when you do give your speech, you’ll not only be more at easy, but you’ll also do a thorough job. Consider all of the following:

  • First and foremost, what do you need to communicate?
  • Next, consider your audience.
    • What does your audience want to hear?
    • Who are they, because you’ll have to tailor how in depth you can go, depending on their level of already being informed?
  • Don’t memorize and don’t read.
    • Keep a short outline to stay on track, but don’t clog it with details.
    • Speak from your own personal learnings and experiences.
    • Inject humor wherever possible
    • Speak in concepts, not in memorized talking points.
  • Use body language.
    • Animation works, and helps you to relax.
    • Pretend you’re talking to a group of friends.
    • Don’t think about what you look like.
  • Take you time, but be aware of how much time you have.
  • Don’t worry about being perfect; no one is.

Speech writing 101 gives its students the following formula:

  • Tell them what you’ll be talking about
    • Hello, my name is (fill in the blank), and today I’m going to be tell you about blah, blah, and blah (the three most important take away points you need to make).
  • Tell them
    • Blah, blah, and blah.
  • Tell them what you’ve told them
    • So, in summarizing, I just told you about blah, blah, and blah.

To that I like to add:

  • Does anyone have any questions?

… Because there always will be questions at the end of any good presentation.

You not only want questions, because you can’t cover everything in the time you’re allotted, no doubt. But, even more important tot he point, you also want to know that you’ve inspired your audience to want more from you… That you’ve been not only informative, but also a bit entertaining, because using humor is known to be the best way to have people remember important points.

Writer Herb Gardner, who is best known for his Broadway hit “A Thousand Clowns,” made this point: “Once you get people laughing, they’re listening and you can tell them almost anything.”