Yesterday I wrote about wine PR people being the bridge between brands and media. In that posting, I kept right on going with the reasons people pull the PR plug. Then, I realized this is a another entirely new topic.

Changing Horses Midstream

Many people are fickle in the wine business. Why? Because with 6,000 brands in California alone, the worker bees are a dime a dozen. Sorry to tell it like it is, but this is the way it is. If it weren’t so, peoples’ resumes in wine history wouldn’t read the way they do.

How do they read? Most everyone’s worked at four, five, or six different wineries in a short amount of time. Is this how we (the worker bees) want it?


Employees and private contractors like job stability. Who wants to be constantly brushing up one’s resume, and then hitting the streets marketing oneself?

My wine experiences, and remember, I would have stayed with Belvedere the rest of my life, had my CEO not been fickle in his hiring and pink slip habits….

  • Belvedere | Grove Street
  • Barefoot Cellars
  • Robert Mondavi
  • Ironstone Vineyards
  • Kendall-Jackson

All of this between 1993 and 2001.

Reasons brands have, and what they might want to still consider.

If you’ve got a great publicist that’s taken you to the top (or kept you there, if you’ve already arrived), these things said to him or her, when you’ve decided to change horses midstream, aren’t reasons that make real sense:

  • Can you recommend this person? We’ve decided that we do need PR after all.
    • This is the best backhanded compliment I’ve ever received, after someone told me she couldn’t afford any more PR. Within six months, she gave me a ringy-dingy, and I was floored.
  • We’re going to take it to the next level.
    • The person who got you to that level has the ability to continue to not only keep you there, but s/he also has the skill set to keep the ball rolling uphill.
  • We’ve got enough publicity.
    • Com’mon….. This one’s not possible. As soon as you let your position go, someone else is going to eat up your media space. It’s like losing shelf space in sales…. Just ask any wine sales person if this is true or not. Why is it any different for PR?
  • It’s just not working. We thought this would help us to sell wine.
    • Don’t ever confuse brand building with brand sales. Your sales people have to transfer their own enthusiasm for your product. While the third party endorsements help with pull through, your sales team is responsible for follow-through with on and off premise accounts.

Consider your PR position, Mr. and Ms. Boss-of-Us; and, know that to change horses midstream causes havoc to your cause.

Or, as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, why would you try to fix it?”

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