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PR 101,Wine,Wine Blogger,Wine Business,Wine Writer

Business is Not a One-Way Street ~ PR 101

[Photo by Mahdis Mousavi on Unsplash]

Here’s how to think about the bigger picture:

So, you get someone onto the task of giving you a list of wine bloggers. The time is taken to build the list. Someone in your company writes glorious stories about how fabulous you are. It gets formatted into an email blast, and you send it to all bloggers.

Here’s the fail of this campaign. See if you can catch the PR blunders, before I reveal them to you.

Subject: SAVE 20 Percent on our…through June!

My response to this email:

My wine blog is my personal journal as a wine blogger. Every story holds some connection to something I have experienced, enjoyed, and then endorse.

As yet, I haven’t experienced [your product].

Their response to me:

I manage inviting micro influencers to … on us! In order to present to marketing I need to have some numbers and data to outline what kind of reach we will get.

Can you fwd some screen shots of your Google Analytics traffic? General referrals, time on site etc?

Thinking to myself about that word “micro,” and smiling to myself… I respond…

My footer has my social handles.

I’m very hard to measure, because of aggregations. I’ve been in the wine business since 1993 as a wine publicist.

I was the first female wine blogger in the world, beginning in 2005, when Web 2.0 began. I’m aggregated on:

  • deepwine.com
  • muckrack.com
  • Wine Advisor
  • Wine Business
  • Wine Industry Insights
  • Wine Industry Network
  • www.networkedblogs.com

I continued with credentials, then sent it with a smile, because… why would someone be querying me, if my credentials hadn’t yet been researched? It boggles bloggers’ minds, people.

The response of all responses arrived.

Thank you for reaching out Jo. At this time, our marketing department has chosen to pass on this opportunity.

Just in case you missed it…

They came to me asking for help to spread their good news. I responded by saying that my wine blog is my journal about my experiences in wine country, and I hadn’t experienced their product yet.

How it all happens

I write a typical blog, like this one would have been, for at least five hours. Multiply five hours by the average amount of money I receive for five hours of writing, as a publicist of wine for the last 26 years…

Tom Wark ~ Profiling the Wine Blog Award, in 2012:

Jo Diaz is one of the wine industry’s most respected publicists. She began her career in the wine industry in 1992 working with some of the industry’s largest and most progressive wineries. She opened Diaz Communications in 2001 and has since become a go-to publicist for numerous wineries, associations and wine industry services. Jo is also the founder of the Association of African American Vintners and PS I Love You (Petite Sirah advocacy). Finally, she pens one of the most important business-related wine blogs.

So, the catch is they came to me. Why? So I could spend five hours of my life writing about them, just because?

Then, I’m told,

“our marketing department has chosen to pass on this opportunity.”

They are passing on engagement, after they queried me? Do they not understand how this typically works?

Let me set this straight

If you send out emails to people, it’s because you’re asking for relational help. Relationships are give and take. A wine blog is NOT a public service announcement platform or free advertising. It’s business to business. When a wine blogger writes about his our her passions, it’s because something nice happened to that person, and then the story evolves.

What I did gain from this is an experience that I can write, because PR 101 is so important.

Build a list of your top dozen people, then work it and be ready to develop that relationship. Bury your old list of every blogger alive, because it wasn’t researched. Research is on you… those of you soliciting media… not on the person you write to and say:

I manage inviting micro influencers to … on us! In order to present to marketing I need to have some numbers and data to outline what kind of reach we will get.

Can you fwd some screen shots of your Google Analytics traffic? General referrals, time on site etc?

I didn’t ask for your email. I have also written this response before to this company. Had I not just seen a colleague of mine endorsing this group, it would have been another just “delete.” I decided to just end it, by sending the same message for the second time, to see what would happen.

Life is not a one-way street. Bloggers are NOT free advertising placements from micro bloggers. We’re writing about our passions.

Make a connection next time. Don’t go to someone, put them through interrogation, then tell them they don’t measure up.

While it may seem to boggle my mind, It doesn’t. Everyday someone is just starting out, and so the learning curve begins. I turn lemonade into a PR 101 learning curves. Education is the name of the game, when all else fails.

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