WTF is a Winery Publicist?
Hi there! Long time, no see! How have you been? Have you lost weight?
Sooooo, sorry I’ve been so MIA lately on here (and by MIA, I mean it’s been like a week since I have posted) but as many of you know, this job is my 5-9 and I actually do have a full-time 9-5. Life is busy, ya heard?
For the first time ever, I think I made a pretty natural transition into what this article is all about *holds for applause*. Today, I wanted to discuss something I get a lots of questions on from my friends, family and followers- what the hell do I do for a living?
Don’t leave, I swear this pertains to wine- stick with me, y’all!
Anyway, I get asked this question so often, (I even wrote about it for my lady friend Katherine at Slightly Savvy- read it here) that I decided to discuss it here, for you all to see. So yes, I took the lazy way out of answering questions. What did you expect?
What is a winery publicist/PR Rep?
Essentially, as a publicist for wineries (also distilleries & sometimes breweries) it’s my job to get that winery into the news. To clarify- It’s not Marketing, which has to do more with getting wine in the hands of the customer, but a different branch under Marketing. So put it this way, if you see a wine in a New York Times article titled “Ten California Reds To Pair With Steak”, it’s my job to ideally get my client’s California red into that round-up. So if a winery I work for IS included in that article, I did my job. Woot woot!
Does this involve drinking wine? Yes. Does it involve eating steak? Unfortunately, no. I should complain about that.
How did I get into this field?
Because I’ve worked in PR for several years, other PR folks ask me how I got this gig. To that I say, OBVIOUSLY my winning personality, devastating good looks and obvious humility.
The truth is, it kind of fell into my lap. As most good things do, like love or puppies.
I majored in Communications with a Political Science and Pre-Law minor, so like, not wine. I had internships with governmental PR firms, and then eventually moved to technology, because I live in the Silicon Valley. Tech was great but I lacked passion in it, so I got another part-time job to fill my passion. And that job was, you probably guessed, at a winery.
For about 6 months I worked 6-7 days a week, spending my weekends at a local winery pouring in the tasting room. I LOVED it. I loved being in the tasting room, talking to people about wine, learning about wine, and I pretty much realized, I just loved wine. Not even drinking it (though I’m a big fan of that too), but just the actual world of wine.
So after doing that, I decided to combine both of my experiences and pursue a career in Wine PR. One thing led to another, an opportunity fell into my lap and I seized it. It’s been almost a year since making that career change and I don’t regret a single day.
So what are the kind of things you do?
I do a lot of different things. Develop press releases, work with media, put together social media plans, event plan, the list goes on and on. One thing I don’t do: get paid to drink wine. It is a full time job, which explains why I haven’t blogged in the past week- it’s been busy!
How do I get involved with wine Marketing/PR or in the business in general?
Look, I’m certainly no expert but based on how my work came along, my advice to any looking to work in wine is to work your way up. Start by working in a tasting room or wine bar. Get a feel for wine. Take a WSET course. Read Wine Enthusiast, Wine and Spirits, or Wine Spectator. Go to blind tastings. Ask questions at wine tasting. Build your wine knowledge and hopefully combining your other knowledge will be seamless.
So, that’s what I’ve got for now! If your interested in learning more about working with me, what I do, or just want to say hi (I love when I get those emails!) be sure to shoot me an email here or at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Happy pour decision making and cheers to following your passion!