Wine PR Pros: Join and Conquer

Awclogo The Academy of Wine Communications, an association of wine industry public relations professionals and marketers has launched a new website. And it's a very good website.

I've written about the re-emergence of the AWC before when the organization had a meeting to re-introduce the organization to local PR folks. I thought it a brilliant idea then and think it so still.

If you are a wine PR professional or a wine marketer who works out of an agency, as a consultant or with a winery, you should join this organization. It's that simple. Few things are as beneficial to one's career and work than an organization where you can find colleagues who understand your work, where you can obtain continuing education, where resources to help you do your job better are available and where you can find like-minded folks to bitch and moan to without having to first explain what it is you do and why you might be prone to bitching and moaning.

The new AWC website has tremendous potential. First and foremost, particularly for those companies that might be looking for PR Help, is the Wine PR Directory found on the new site. Though it is sparsely populated with firms and consultants now, I suspect that will change rather quickly as members of AWC and others provide information for it.

The job board housed on the site should also be a tremendous research for companies looking to either filled PR and marketing positions or letting the Wine PR community know they have a project out for bid.

If you work in Wine PR in any capacity, I urge you to join this organization. Annual membership dues are $100 for an individual and $500 for an organization. Those kind of dues are nothing given the opportunity the AWC should offer as it builds a head of steam and reaches its potential.

And while I'm at it, let me say something about PR Professionals. Gathering a herd of PR pros into an organization is not the equivalent of a meeting of the "Society of Bullshitters" as some might think and as mass media may want to portray. The fact is, PR pros are often the most informed and well-rounded people in any organization. They are most often required to have significant knowledge of the entire organization for which they work and have a comprehensive birdseye's view of the industry they work within. While it is our job to put the best face forward for our company and clients, we are often the first (and sometimes only) people to pipe up and say, "that spin simply won't work—it has no legs and won't fool anyone." We probably are the first to say these things because we are the ones who often have to do the saying. 

11 Responses

  1. Dr. Horowitz - October 2, 2009

    “sparsely populated with firms and consultants”
    Don’t forget to mention the academic(s?) involved;)
    I look forward to learning more about wine PR.

  2. Arthur - October 2, 2009

    For $100 I’d like to be sure that there will be events o interest to me in the So. Cal area and that membership will allow me to interface with those in wine industry in the geographical region I cover.
    There are vineyards south of San Jose and east of Fairfield……

  3. Michael Wangbickler - October 2, 2009

    Hi Arthur,
    We will be doing our best to include areas all over the world. It is going to require a certain amount of local commitment from folks in your area. This is very much a peer-driven organization and will require everyone to pitch in. That said, we do intend to conduct a number of “events” over the internet, both those that involve face-to-face meetings, as well as webinars, etc. We don’t necessarily have to be in the same room anymore to communicate.

  4. Arthur - October 2, 2009

    Hi Mike
    Well, that is reassuring.
    It sometimes seems like the North Coast is the be-all end-all center of the wine universe. This is good for those who are located there but buts others at a disadvantage.
    When I read the benefits page on the AWC site, it was not immediately apparent that these would not be exclusively physical meetings etc. But it could also be that the anesthesia has not fully worn off yet.

  5. Arthur - October 2, 2009

    “…but puts others…”

  6. Charlie Olken - October 2, 2009

    My dear Messrs. Wark and Wangbickler–
    I sometimes feel as if winewriters are treated as extensions of the wine PR machine. How many writers belong to AWC?
    Of course, many of those writers also belong to the Wine Tourism Federation–an organization of wine writers who go on several fam trips per year, of which there are many who would qualify. You may know this organization by its nickname, WTF.

  7. Dylan - October 3, 2009

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but is that low-opacity Lorem Ipsum (latin place-holder text) behind the top red of the website’s banner?

  8. Chris - October 3, 2009

    Hey Charlie,
    I think it’s very generous and open-minded of Fermentation to feature new wine blogs and organizations.
    After all, everybody who loves wine and writes about it has the same goal: turning other people onto good wine and wine-growing regions.
    It’s Fermentation and other blogs that got me the idea to start my own v-blog,
    Thanks Messrs. Wark & Wangbickler!

  9. Charlie Olken - October 4, 2009

    I have seen your website. You are clearly confused. Philadelphia, New York, Hartford sports teams? Cheap chianti on wedding day? I will bet you my lifetime supply of Two Buck Chuck that neither Mr. Wark nor Mr. Wangbickler were are aware of your strange predilictions when they let you join the winewriters WTF organization.

  10. Chris Riccobono - October 4, 2009

    Charlie, did you happen to see the wine before wedding day. Alzero not bad right?
    I guees you missed when I tasted Ghostblock which is what I drank on wedding day…maybe you have not heard of it.

  11. Johnny - October 5, 2009

    By the way I just checked out It is by far the best wine review program that
    I have some across. Thanks for the heads up.

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