The 2010 American Wine Writer Survey
The demographics, work habits, publishing habits, and concerns of the American wine media have changed drastically since I first started observing the wine writing fraternity more than 20 years ago. This is all confirmed in the newly released, 2010 American Wine Writer Survey.
But among the more interesting findings of this new survey is that wine writers remain unimpressed by the work habits of people like me: publicists and marketers who attempt to gain the attention of writers for the purposes of helping promote the products and services of their employers and clients.
Fully 81% of respondents to the survey found the work of publicists and marketers only "somewhat" or "rarely" useful. That's pathetic. Furthermore, only 3% of respondents said our work is "extremely" useful.
There is a key, I think, to making the work of publicists more relevent to writers: Give them what they want and don't be a nudge!
This is PR 101, but it needs to be said: know what a writer writes about before pitching them a story and if you send them a press release, don't call them asking if they received the released.
This lack of respect for publicists by writers has been a constant theme in the Wine Writer Survey's I've conducted in 1995, 2004 and again in 2010. In addition to some of the poor habits that I and my brethren employ where media relations is concerned, I suspect that part of our reputation problem has to do with bulk information that is sent to wine writers and the velocity with which it is sent. Wine marketing probably relies on public relations and media relations as much as any industry. So wine writers are inundated with information from publicists and marketers and it can get a bit overwhelming.
Over the past three years or so, I, as a result of this blog, have also been the object of the work of publicists hoping to convince me to write about their clients or employers. I'm sure I take a more benign view of the contacts since I probably sympathize with publicists more than professional wine writers (I am a publicist—afterall)
Still, every time I've looked at the survey results, beginning in 1995, I get a little down on myself and my profession.
The 2010 American Wine Writer Survey has much more in it than just the view of wine writers that publicists and marketers can do a better job. I urge you to look it over: