Juicy Tale,Marketing,Petite Sirah,PR Advice,PS I Love You,Variety,Wine,Wine Writer

Finding that paradigm shift in PR, when things aren’t going well

Sometimes humor can work to diffuse what’s sure to become a PR nightmare; but it’s got to be handled really well, or it could easily backfire.

I have to admit that I’m relentless, when it comes to advocating for any underdog. I have a mission, and I’m like a pit bull that’s latched onto someone’s ankle… And I’ve only done the latching on unwittingly; I wouldn’t do that deliberately. I’m in PR, not war.

Because I move so quickly, I don’t realize I’ve latched onto someone who doesn’t want my information.

So, let’s talk PS I Love You.

The members will tell you that I just don’t stop. They get so much marketing for their tiny membership fee (the average amount of members is now about $250), that they wonder why other wineries haven’t yet figured out that our collective marketing efforts have grown the variety. In the past eight years,  67 growers and producers have grown to become over 800 growers and producers.

We don’t do membership drives… We just PR the media, and that’s probably the membership disconnect. Honestly, the members do better, because I have less options to talk about, when it comes to media and writing about our own social media efforts.

Meanwhile, every-now-and-then I get some media person who screams, “Uncle.”  I had one guy who sent an Email to me years ago and said, “Stop, stop, stop. I don’t care what PS is doing!” So, I dropped him from my database. About a year later, I got an Email from him, “What?! Am I chopped liver? Where did you go?”

Oy, vey…

So, it’s just happened again. I just received what I think is the funniest Email; although, the person sending it didn’t see anything humorous in my promoting to him, at the time.

This is what the Email said,

Please please please for the love of god please don’t send me emails. Petite Sirah is my least favorite grape in the whole world. Someone must have given you my contact info as a joke.—

Now, the last thing any PR company wants to do is make someone angry; so, I had to come up with a way to diffuse this one, but how? I thought for a few minutes, then I went for humor. Jose said to me, “You’d better hope this writer has a sense of humor. Considering that I could really put him over the edge, I got creative. I wrote:

Dear ______,

God asked me to send the following message to you.


Dear ______,

Congratulations, you’ve successfully completed your wine torture task. Knowing how much you hate PS (won’t even say the words to you, anymore), I conducted a little, playful experiment, by having everything possible that would get your goat sent to you. I wanted to see how long it would take you to crack, before you would call out “god” in the process.

Bless your heart, you finally invoked my help, and you can now rest assured that the test is over.

Hopefully, you’ve also maintained your see of humor in this process, and your place in heaven is secured.

The writer thanked me and God for both of us having a sense of humor.

This writer is also removed from ever having Petite Sirah cross his path again, at least from my office.

I’m now developing my “I Hate Petite Sirah list,” because it’s only fair for everyone. If a members ever asks who NOT to send to, I know who they are… and it’s all good.

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