This has been an especially exciting year for me personally, because in January I celebrated my 20th “careeraversary”.
I started doing publicity in 1997 without any formal training (as I was hired as a marketing assistant, and marketing was my education). In those days we were faxing out press releases to a (small) curated list, creating paper press kits that went into folders and were mailed, couriered or handed out at events. (Email was just starting to become adopted and I remember trying to talk my then boss and mentor Christine Coletta into using email!) After continuing to do media relations with the wine cognoscenti as a function of my role as a marketing coordinator for the BC Wine Institute, I took college courses on weekends and evenings until I earned my PR certificate.
When we left the BC Wine Institute I remained working for Christine Coletta & we started doing marketing and PR for other wineries in Canada, and for wine regions beyond. My last name was still Clemens then, and I was among maybe three other people in the country who were doing wine-related publicity. (There were other publicists at the time but there were very few solopreneurs and primarily just agencies were doing PR.)
Over the 16 years of working for and then becoming business partners with Christine Coletta, I went from doing marketing and PR, to helping create and build brands from the ground up. In 2013 when Christine and our other business partner Julian Scholefield went to run her Okanagan Crush Pad winery full time, my husband Andrew von Rosen and I opened our agency. We hired talented people to do the PR, and I am now a director of PR activities rather than doing one-on-one publicity myself.
I’m super proud of the relationships I have created with the media, but I’m even MORE proud of my PR team, who day after day reach out to establish more contacts, and forge strong relationships. These relationships are with people and outlets who support us to help us tell our client stories, and we are so grateful.
Now as we are winding down to say goodbye to 2017 we see the increasing niche publications, the dominance of the influencer (and let’s see where that goes) and then the shrinking but strengthening of many mainstream media outlets. We are refining our team, and need to remain nimble in order to get stories out there.
It remains my perpetual aspiration to inspire. I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.