Public Relations, Wine Sales and Softball
So what do public relations, wine sales and softball all have in common? Answer: Absolutely nothing.
When I first started at Dry Creek Vineyard almost 5 years ago (gulp!), Wilma brought me aboard to be the winery's communication conduit. Writing, interfacing, schmoozing call it what you want, but when it comes to communication and public relations outreach, Wilma relies on me. Well, in the past six months, things have changed a bit check that, they've changed a lot.
With the economy sputtering along, Wilma and The Husband came to me in January with one simple request help SELL wine! Not that I was surprised. Everyone in the wine industry is in the same boat. When times are tough, businesses need all hands on deck (pun intended). Hey, I'm a team player. Why not? This sales thing is a piece of cake, right? Uh, no, not exactly as I would come to find out.
Over the past six months, I've been knee deep in the sales world, working with sales people, attending distributor meetings and trying to keep my positive glass-half-full attitude. Not easy. That being said, it's been really rewarding work. I've met lots of very talented sales people, who spend their days out working the streets. I'm not sure there is anyone I admire more than a distributor salesperson these people are some of the hardest working professionals I have met. Sometimes their job is totally thankless and yet most of the time they manage to still get their job done with a smile. I've learned about sales reports, business reviews, and how wine is sold in the real world. I have to admit I think all wine industry PR people should be required to do this kind of work. Sometimes we PR people get caught up in our lofty PR ideals and forget that there is a certain reality to how the market works. Being in sales over these past few months has taught me a ton about how I need to think and look at the big picture as a PR person.
And so, as we continue to fight the good fight, selling one bottle at a time, I have this to fall back on the winery softball team. Yep, that's right. Every Wednesday night we Dry Creek Crushers lace up our cleats and head to the diamond, with just one thing on our mind okay, two kick the stuffing out of the other winery team and then enjoy an icy cold beer at the local pizza joint after the game. After all, it's the little things in life that keep us happy, right? That and beer. Okay, and a W we won 9-6 last night, defeating The Sexy Wine Bombs!
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