Once upon a time…
There are many “once upon a times” for me. I remember when I first began Diaz Communications, Page Poulos reached out to me.
At the time, she owned Paige Poulos Communications, Inc.. She congratulated me on taking that independent step. And she warned me, “Always be looking” [for new clients]. Then, after 30 years of being a wine industry PR specialist, in 2010 she dropped out… She and her husband went to Europe for a year, and upon their return, I was very curious to see where she’d land. Well, it wasn’t back into the wine business. In 2011, Paige segued from wine to agriculture, to focus her energies on the expansion of California’s organic farming community. She founded John Woolley Ranch Hay Sales, the nation’s first hay brokerage devoted to the sourcing and sales of certified organic and non-GMO hays for dairies and meat producers. She is licensed by both CDFA and CCOF as an organic agricultural commodities broker.
And, good on her!
And so it goes, just one “once upon a time,” with a warning. Interestingly for me, I haven’t had time to promote myself for clients in the past 20 years. They somehow find me, and then we begin a new story. This is about one of those stories that had found its way to my doorstep. And, this one is from Michigan.
As with all stories, there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end.
- Some are stories of greatness
- Some are stories to teach me a lesson
- Some are stories to teach others lessons.
This one is about greatness…
Supermarketer Lynn Fischer Kirimli was working with Shady Lane Cellars on the Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan. Lynn suggested to them that we help with their PR and the journey began. It was a joy working with Winemaker Adam Satchwell, who is also the winery’s general manager. He’s informative, friendly, helpful, and a winemaker who really knows what he’s doing in all realms of his job. We worked together from 2008 until 2009. We can still find a bottle of his wine in our collection… It would be a 2005 or 2006 as a vintage, still in 2014; and the wine is nearly as vibrant as the day he shipped it to us. We’re always delighted when we get to enjoy one of Shady Lane’s wines.
I recently got an email from Brian Boyer of 9and10news.com. Brian had no way of knowing our history with Shady Lane. He was just asking for my help with an event that’s being created. I have a stock answer for about 95 percent of the queries that I get from marketers, who want me to help broadcast their events. My answer has to do with the nature of my blog, not that I have an aversions to public service announcements… I was a PR executive in radio for years, who had to focus on PSAs, so I get the importance of them. The reason for my not taking care of 95 percent of them is simply put.
My blog is a pesonal journal about being a wine publicist. If I haven’t created or attended the event, because it’s not part of my history or future, I can’t write about it.
There are also times when I’ll help colleagues to pitch their events, because they’ve helped me, too. Because Shady Lane and Diaz Communications had the best of connections during those two years, I’m willing to help Brian with his event…
Also, there’s something v-e-r-y special about this one… As an wine event organizer, I would pass out – seriously, I would pass out – if a radio station came to me and said, “As a public service, we would love to help you with Dark & Delicious… We want to create this opportunity to support our local wineries, promote tourism, and at the same time give back to the community through charitable contributions.” Yeah… you’d have to pick me up off the floor.
Here’s his first E-Mail to me.
Hey there! My name is Brian and I work for 9&10 News / Fox32 (Northern Michigan’s leading news stations) and we are launching a FUN and EXCITING wine passport! This passport is going to feature some of the best local wineries in Northern Michigan. This is a great time to help our local businesses out by promoting the wineries. The new Winery Passport 2014 – Leelanau & Old Mission is going to be a very interesting event for both local residents and tourists traveling to the area. I would like to reach out to your business and page in hopes to talk about promoting this wonderful event. I am looking to connect with well known wine networks and I think yours would be a perfect fit. It would be a HUGE help to have our event promoted via Facebook, blog, website, or any other networking method. Please let me know if this is something you would like to help with. I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you so much (The Passport website is almost finished. I will send the link when it is ready.)
I wrote back to him:
Brian, my wine blog is my journal about being a wine publicist. I only promote that which I know/have a personal connection to, so it will have an interesting lead into the story. So, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Oh, crap.” Not to worry. I’ve worked with Shady Lane Cellars in the past. Yeah, what are the odds of that one, and we parted as good friends. I’d love to help you. Send more info when you have it and I’ll promote it for you.
Details have arrived:
Old Mission & Leelanau Winery Passport
Wine lovers can now enjoy some of the beautiful award-winning wineries of Northern Michigan at a discount with the Old Mission & Leelanau Winery Passport. Launched by 9&10 News, Fox 32, Fekete Knaggs & Burr Agency, and Central Insurance Companies, the passport includes exclusive discounts towards purchases at 13 local wineries. The passports are valid for [two] 2 people and can be reused at each winery as often as desired. Any passport completed before December 31, 2014, can be exchanged through 9&10 News for a complimentary wine tote.
The passports are on sale now for only $59.00 on milocalwinepassport.com and directly through migreatdeals.com. For each passport sold, $5, will be donated to each of the following organizations… equally:
- Feeding America West MI Food Bank
- Father Fred
- Tip of the Mitt Watershed
- Grand Traverse Area Literacy Council
- Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center
“Northern Michigan is home to beautiful, award winning wineries. We wanted to create this opportunity to support our local wineries, promote tourism, and at the same time give back to the community through charitable contributions. This passport can give locals and tourists a chance to experience more for less,” says Jennifer Gingras, VP of sales and digital sales manager of 9&10 News/Fox 32.
For a list of participating wineries or for more information visit milocalwinepassport.com.
Yeah, this VP of sales and digital sales manager is thinking on her feet. good on you, Jennifer Gingras.