“There’s somethin’ happenin’ here … ”
Long-time fans of Buffalo Springfield, like me, certainly recognize the opening line to the band’s first mega-hit, ‘For What it’s Worth.’ And they probably know the next line, ‘What it is, ain’t exactly clear.’ And that, my friends, pretty much sums up the starting point for this blog.
Welcome to Washington Wine PR, or WAWinePR, for short.
There is ‘somethin’ happenin’ here’ – I’m launching into a blogging adventure that will enable me to tap into my professional expertise in marketing communications and public relations, scratch my journalistic itch to report and write, and mush all of that together with my ongoing love affair with wine, and more specifically, Washington wine.
But in the next breath, ‘what it is, ain’t exactly clear’ – in other words, I don’t know exactly where it’s going to lead. But here’s what I do know:
I’m not reviewing wines: There are plenty of wine critics & reviewers – pros, amateurs & hacks – and the blogosphere doesn’t need another one. I know a good wine when I taste it, but I’m not going to pretend that I have the expertise or palate to make recommendations on what you should buy and drink. I’ll leave that to others.
The intersection of wine & communications is under-served: More than one winemaker has told me, “It’s easy to make wine. But it’s really hard to sell it.” My goal here is to help make that second part a little bit easier by offering advice, ideas, tips and suggestions on how wineries can improve their PR and marketing efforts, which in theory supports their sales initiatives. There are a handful of excellent blogs that focus on marketing and PR issues for the wine industry, and my hope is to augment what they’re doing while providing some new insights that help the industry.
I have a definite bias toward WA wine: I’ll just get this out right up front: I love the Washington wine industry – the people, the geography, the history, the future and of course, the juice. While my focus will be WA Wine, it won’t be restricted to it. I visit other wine regions. I enjoy those wines and learn from those experiences as well. So I’m sure I’ll incorporate that knowledge as we go forward.
I want to share my passion and my experience: Writers should write what they know and love.
I know journalism. I spent nearly two decades as a newspaper journalist, learning the craft of storytelling while covering Super Bowls, Major League Baseball and the Olympic Games as well as a host of other events and stories.
I know public relations. I’ve spent more than two decades developing PR, marketing and social media campaigns for global brands such as Samsung and Volkswagen to dozens of smaller, early-stage companies in Seattle, the West Coast and across the United States.
And I know how to apply those skills to the wine industry. I’ve provided PR and marketing counsel to the Washington State Wine Commission, the Washington Wine Institute and to leading regional wine associations such as the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and Wine Yakima Valley. My resume also includes work for large, multi-brand wine companies as well as some of Washington’s hottest boutique wineries.
That’s what I know. But what I don’t know, standing here at the starting line, is where this will all lead. I hope you’ll join me as we figure it out together.