Wine PR Pros: Join and Conquer
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.