a food/wine/marketing blog that is funny by accident, sarcastic on purpose.

wine blogging, tweets, PR and pinot.

Great discussion about the validity of wine blogging happened at Hahn Estates in Napa this past weekend.

Lisa DeBruin aka @winedivergirl, social marketing director at Hahn Estates invited wine bloggers to come to Napa to try some of the Hahn wines and discuss the wine blogging world as it exists now.

The discussion stemmed from a blog post that Lisa in her “social marketing blogger” shoes wrote about some suggestions she had for bloggers and brands to work together to bring the wine industry into the web 2.0 (or whatever cliché you want to say about new media) world. She was basically ripped a new one by a traditional wine editor who doesn’t think that bloggers and wineries should work together; in fact he made a call TO bloggers to keep their distance from wineries. That the relationship will create a conflict of interest, thus the possibility of writing a biased post.

Without flushing my PR paycheck* too much down the drain I do want to point out two things:

1. Everyone has a little bit of a bias. I talk about Scharffen Berger all of the time. Granted, they are an awesome company that makes fabulous dark chocolate, but I wouldn’t always talk about them specifically or be constantly asked about them if I didn’t help do PR for them.

2. Wine journalists have been wined, dined, paid and been given special treatment for years. Of course, Public Relations is all about relationships and who you know. The traditional media expect the dog and pony show because that is how the industry has worked in the past. Bloggers do not expect this, so when it does happen, it is a treat. I believe I am coming into PR at a great time. Social Media has opened up so many doors where it is all about personalization and establishing more honest relationships with others. It isn’t all smoke and mirrors, which means that some brands will need to strive harder to put out the best product they can. Others, who do this naturally will rise to the top. The same can be said for traditional vs. new media, those who are true to themselves and their passion will be sought out, those who hide behind point scales, will have to adapt or accept defeat.

*This is where I should note, this is my personal blog and my opinion does not reflect my clients or my agency.

I sat at the forum very quietly, drinking a fabulously strawberry flavored 2006 Lucienne Vineyards Pinot Noir and mostly listening to the conversation (while in true blogger form, tweeting my thoughts).


Right now, all I have to say is that some good ideas were thrown around, but mostly the forum got my brain thinking about ideas for some clients as well as inspired me to blog more. Now that some consider me a wine blogger, I need to at least attempt to earn some creditability (mostly so I can keep getting invited to drink free wine) all while making people laugh.

mike_hahn-041Us at the afterparty.


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