Michael Wangbickler on July 2nd, 2010

This is the last video of the sessions I recorded at the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla. This one happens to be of the panel on which I participated, along with Grace Doyle of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Beth Cotenoff from Cornerstone Communications. Our goal was to have a dialog about how Bloggers and publicists can work together for the benefit of all, and I think we ended up with a very informative and constructive discussion.

As some of you who read this blog may know, I have a particular pet-peeve with what I call “lazy PR.” I can’t abide publicists who send generic pitches, don’t proof their work (Jeff Lefevre showed me a pitch from a winery while at the conference in which they had obviously cut-and-paste the email, but didn’t change the name of the publication–ooops), and don’t get to know who they are pitching to. It just makes the job the rest of us do that much harder. We tackled this subject at length during the session. We also discussed what bloggers should do to make it easier for publicists to work with them, such as introducing themselves and letting the publicist know their policy for samples, letting us know what is the subject of their blog, who is their audience, etc.

In the end, I think that a lot was learned on both sides of the aisle.

Wineries, Bloggers, and PR Firms from Michael Wangbickler on Vimeo.

While waiting at the Tri-cities airport for my flight home, I had a discussion with Doug Levy regarding this subject. He had some great ideas on developing a standard policy and/or developing a juried/certified list of bloggers to help guide publicists and help bloggers establish a presence. I think it’s a great idea. How about it Doug?

5 Responses to “Bloggers, Wineries, and PR Firms”

  1. I sure enjoyed WBC10 and your session–it really helped to hear it directly from you and the panel, the PR pros. Thanks and cheers! K.

  2. Regarding samples…in my opinion…don’t ask. If PR firms like what you do, they’ll send you samples. I’m not a fan of trolling for samples. Just my opinion. If you’re doing this for samples, you won’t be around long…in my opinion.


  3. Kathleen: It was pleasure seeing you. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Josh: I agree somewhat. I think, however, that it is a good idea to get on publicists’ radar screens. Whether you ask for samples or not, we appreciate you reaching out to us with your contact info. There are literally hundreds of wine blogs out there, and more being added everyday. That’s a lot to keep track of. There is nothing wrong with saying,”hi, I’m here if you’re interested.”

  4. Thanks for the shout-out, Mike. I always appreciate when PR folks and the media to whom they are pitching agree (I am on both sides as a health care PR pro and a wine/food journalist.)

    The directory is a work in progress, but I’ve set up a “beta” version of the bloggers registry at http://winebloggersociety.com and am working with several others on the methodology.

    At a minimum, the goal is to create a verified directory of bloggers with an apples-to-apples data set. I would love feedback from anyone who has ideas on how best to make this useful for people on both sides of the fence.

  5. this has been tried a few times. I would love to see it eventually work, but I would ask/consult with Pinotblogger about his efforts and the efforts of others(I know they exist, just coming off a long trip and my mind is empty!)

    Might be an interesting discussion at the EWBC…we’ll see where it might fit

Leave a Reply