Understanding Wine PR

Being in public relations has taught me so much about stardom. I was first in PR in FM radio. I produced a community issues talk program for WBLM radio, and was its host. I was the staff photographer, so I had nearly unlimited backstage access to all major bands in the 1980s and into the 1990s. I was also the rep for membership into community civic organizations, being one of the very first women to be admitted to Rotary (Lewiston and Portland, Maine over the years). I led their committees and sat on their board of directors. It gave me great satisfaction and a lot of perspective into the world of leadership.

Then, I moved to California

What did I begin to learn, as I shifted gears from radio PR to wine PR? A lot…

It’s been my experience over the years that people who become prominent in one field then have to learn they’ve just stepped into a new ball game, segue from one game into another. It’s like asking a baseball player to be on the starting line-up of a football team. It’s a completely different area of expertise, new performers, its own set of rules and specialized capabilities.

It’s also very difficult to fully grasp, unless you’ve been there. As a result of my having “been there,” I feel for clients who are experiencing a paradigm shift in their own new chapters. Some will trust what I have to say; others will be frustrated and change horses midstream… Meanwhile, I get emails from media asking if I’m still working with someone years after they’ve come and gone. It’s like the word association game.

When I launched Diaz Communications, PR veteran (at the time) Paige Poulos said to me, “Always be looking for new clients.” At the time I didn’t know what she meant. It was I – as I stepped into yet another chapter – who was the naive one. I didn’t understand what she was saying.  Turning back the clock? Boy, she was so right. If an expert isn’t trusted, this just means that that person will have his or her own personal journey, like I did. Experience is – after all is said and done – the best teacher; we definitely learn from painful experiences.

From my own life… when I lived in Maine, I had set up a community garden that spanned both sides of the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge (Lewiston-Auburn). Very expensive price tag, and I raised all of the money, directed all phases of the project with politicos, and worked through the Chamber of Commerce, etc.. Next, I created a scholarship for immigrants and refugees at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. Two scholarships a year at the time were approved, I left it in great hands (before moving here) and it’s been expanded to be yet more scholarships. I sat on the dais with Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell at my Portland Rotary (also from Maine). I was at the top of my game.

I then came to California and was laughed out of some very important wineries; because, while I knew PR well, I knew nothing about wine. I found myself at Merry Maids scrubbing people’s homes, while I made the important decision to just start at the bottom in wine; one day a week in a tasting room, until that expanded into full time, then a PR/marketing department. It’s was very humbling experience…. What it did do for me that’s very positive, is a that I got a solid first five years at Belvedere Winery, working in all aspects of wine sales, marketing, and PR.

Ways of Learning

From Learn Dash: There are seven different learning styles.

  1. Visual: These people prefer to use pictures, images, diagrams, colors, and mind maps.
  2. Physical: These are the “learn by doing” people that use their body to assist in their learning. Drawing diagrams, using physical objects, or role playing are all strategies of the Physical learner.
  3. Aural: People who prefer using sound (obviously), rhythms, music, recordings, clever rhymes, and so on.
  4. Verbal: The verbal learner is someone who prefers using words, both in speech and in writing to assist in their learning. They make the most of word based techniques, scripting, and reading content aloud.
  5. Logical: The people who prefer using logic, reasoning, and “systems” to explain or understand concepts. They aim to understand the reasons behind the learning, and have a good ability to understand the bigger picture.
  6. Social: These people are the ones who enjoy learning in groups or with other people, and aim to work with others as much as possible.
  7. Solitary: The solitary

Logical learners make the easiest clients, in my humble opinion and experiences. We just get a lot more accomplished in a shorter amount of time. Not everyone is on as fast of a track. And, that’s okay, too. We’re all  here with our own special lessons to learn.

It’s tough having been all that elsewhere and then entering the world of wine. Slow and steady or fast and furiously… It’s all one and the same complementary yin yang, depending on where we are in our journey back to being a leader, again.