I recently got to thinking about my twelve years in public relations – I came from publishing on the editorial side and, perhaps being the daughter of a journalist, this gave me a different perspective. I am by no means a vet of PR, but I’ve had my share of experiences and witnessed a thing or two. With that said, please bear with me as I rehash what I’ve learned in public relations for wine and spirits in the last decade. Perhaps something might rub off…
Everyone SHOULD have an “aha” moment. I like to ask people this question to gauge their love of the industry – and I’m always happy to share mine: I was sitting in on a journalist interview with a terroirist, about a year into my career, when I tasted three different wines: one from Sonoma, Tuscany and St. Emilion. The three wines all had the same grapes, but different percentages and different terroirs. It was an eye-opening experience. How could three wines with the same grapes taste so vastly different? I was amazed at the endless tastes and possibilities and thought, “This is awesome!”
Only you know what’s best for you. I’ve had three very diverse jobs in beverage PR, coming from a boutique PR world and finding my way to corporate, yet they were all very similar. Needless to say, I now know what I’m suited for. But the word of advice that I’ve heard over and over is: No one will look out for your career better than you, and only you know what you want. And, I speak from experience, it’s true. I think you can figure out pretty early on if something feels right or wrong. What feels right to me is wine and spirits, and, since my “aha” moment, I know it’s my career.
A job is a job, but a career is different. When you have a job, it’s exactly that, a job. When you have a career, it should be fun and, it should be your life. You should be excited when you wake up in the morning to go and do what you do. In some cases, it’s what you wanted to be when you grew up. It’s that exhilaration and entertainment in your life away from home. I have a career and don’t consider it a job. I love what I do and I am a lucky person to have relationships with media, be creative and write. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to get to taste test. Sure, there are days when it feels like a job and I’m annoyed and want to mow people over, but it’s easy to focus on the negative. It all goes back to that “aha” moment and finding that happy place.
Try, try, try. This isn’t so much work advice as a way to drink… When I attended a mixology summit back in 2008, I learned something from the mixologists there: always try the cocktails on the menu. It is the mixologists’ platform to experiment and try new things. Wouldn’t I want people to see the depth of what I can do with my talent? Yes, of course. So, always check out the cocktail menu at bars and restaurants – that is their creativity coming through. Unless, of course, it’s a rough night. Then whisky. Neat.
At the risk of sounding like an alcoholic, I love booze. I count myself as one of the few lucky individuals who loves what she does and craves more information to better myself. I hope everyone out there finds their passion and their “aha” to make their life, or their career, complete.