A new acquaintance in the Finger Lakes wine industry recently brought something very important to my attention. We were discussing my new wine PR and marketing business focused on the wineries here and he told me that I may run into a bit of initial skepticism due to my origin and experience. What he said was, you may hear from some of the winery folks, “What’s a city girl doing telling me how to run my winery?” Very good question, indeed.
I’m slowly starting to build relationships and reach out to those who may want my services in the future by attending local wine events and seminars, visiting tasting rooms and by speaking with them via my blog. I honestly haven’t been aggressively pursuing business yet. I’m doing some assessment of the state of the wine industry here, self-educating by reading just about anything I can get my hands on about wine, wine marketing and public relations and asking questions of those I meet. I’ve been developing an extensive network of friends in the wine industry both nationally and internationally, absorbing all the wine business knowledge, opinion, controversy and insights that may help me in my business and in turn may help my clients and future clients. I’m looking to establish trust and become a resource for any winery or wine-related business owner who may be frustrated with a business problem and who would welcome a new perspective or creative idea. I’m looking for opportunities to bring more awareness and visitors to the Finger Lakes wine region, drive interest and traffic to winery websites and have been looking to California, Washington and Oregon for the “magic bullet” or series of landmarks that will propel our region to the next level.
So here’s the thing. My husband and I moved to the region and I fell in love with the beauty of the wineries, the lakes and the warmth of the people here. After working on PR campaigns in Technology and Business to Business arenas after leaving my position with Deutsch, Inc. for Sam Adams Beer, I couldn’t ignore my desire to bring my passions together and create a business working within the local wine industry. Aren’t the wine folks here so busy running all of the pieces of their businesses and concentrating on perfecting their wines that they may want someone else to take the public relations, marketing, and events pieces off of their plate? If the winery does have a marketing person, could that person benefit from having an additional person to brainstorm ideas with on occasion or regularly? Could the region use an additional ambassador, someone to help spread the word about the wine industry here who is plugged into the latest social media conversations? I expect that my upcoming series of interviews of the Finger Lakes Visionaries will provide candid and frank insight as to the state of the Finger Lakes wine industry, its challenges and triumphs, and where we would like to go next to ensure continued success for the wineries here. I truly understand any skepticism that may initially be present about me, but I hope that once we meet or in time, you will see that my ideas come from a place of passion, enthusiasm and a genuine desire to bring fresh ideas and tactics to the wine industry here as it emerges and claims its spot amongst the most respected regions of the wine world.