Wine Publicists Promoting…Themselves
This particular irony will have gone unnoticed by most people: Publicists aren't particularly good at promoting themselves, their businesses, their capabilities and their success.
Today, I spoke with a fellow publicists who was wondering, essentially, "what's the best way to let people know or promote the fact that our firm was particularly successful in getting multiple clients featured on an important wine show?"
For a publicists to get word out about their successes in helping clients promote their goods is akin to a winery sending out a press release that they won a few Gold Medals at a wine competition or recently received a high score or two from a wine publications for its wines. As a publicist with many years of experience, I generally try to dissuade clients from sending out releases along these lines: "Wark Winery Wins Gold Medal at Barstow Wine Competition".
I dissuade them from sending out this kind of release to the media because it's not news. Gold Medals, while a useful marketing tool, are not news. The cost and effort put into the writing and issuing of the press release will be wasted on the media. They really don't car. Better to promote it in your tasting room or via Facebook, Twitter or other Social Media and consumer mailing list tools.
The same can be said for Publicists' victories and successes. I'm not going to send out a press release that says, "Wark Communications Successful in Getting Wilnery Client Written About in National Newspaper". It's not news."
Like the winery who gets Gold Medals or high scores for its wines, the publicist that is successful in helping promote a client should be explaining these success on its website, in materials it gives to prospective clients, and via their social media tools—if they have cultivated a social media following centered around their business, and not their personal lives.
Publicists are notorious for trying to make "news' out of their client's self congratulatory marketing events. It's not an easy thing to do, but publicists are the best there are at turning this neat trick. However, we still shy away, generally, from turning this trick on our own behalf. The fact that a colleague of mine contacted me to talk about how to get out word of what was really a great success they had on behalf of their client knew they wouldn't be issuing a press release on their success or informing the wine trade media about this in any way because they are among the best publicists I know and I know they know that doing so would be tacky and without use.
My point to them, which they already knew, was that Social Media tools, judiciously used by the marketer and publicst, are great ways for the publicist and marketer to promote themsevles to a very targeted audience that cares about the capabilities of potential services providers. How?
1. Create a SM presence that is focused on the firm or your life as a marketer
2. Cultivate a following of others in your field and potential clients
3. Issue info on through SM tools on topics that concern marketing/PR and your clients niche
4. Be authoratative in your SM posts, but not too formal…generate easy conversation
5. Use talk of your success to give advise, teach and inform
6. Use SM tools to tout your clients, being clear they ARE clients when you tout them.
There are numerous other ways and numerous other good rules for publicists and marketers in the wine industry on how to use Social Media to promote themselves and their services. The point, however, is that, while it's critical to not abuse your access to the media if you are a publicists, there is nothing wrong, and everything right, about using SM tools to talk to and inform the industry and potential clients that also helps promote yourself and your firm.
Perhaps Social Media is helping publicists being better publicists for themselves.