Curious Epicurean

Archive for March 2011

I learned long ago that an important part of PR is managing expectations, whether it’s from a client or company executives. In my very first client meeting at my internship with a fabulous student-managed PR agency, my client let me know (in all seriousness) they wanted to be on Oprah. I immediately thought to myself, “sure, everyone wants Oprah.”

Times Square from my iPhone

In the years since that first meeting, I’ve had other clients with the same request. Of course I’d love to get every client, product or cool story idea on Oprah, but so does every other PR pro. Part of our job is to help our clients, supervisors and stakeholders understand realistic, achievable PR goals and plans. Oprah is not be realistic or appropriate for every pitch, product or idea.

Being on the West Coast makes it additionally challenging to make connections with writers and editors on the East Coast. Being in New York for a California Tourism media event presented a great opportunity to make new connections. Yesterday, I had the chance to pitch the Food Editor at O, The Oprah Magazine for my organization and our destination. This was by far the biggest opportunity in my PR career.

Our team spent two weeks researching and preparing for this meeting that lasted about 15 minutes. Just 15 minutes. To describe the agriculture, culinary trends and wine scene in our area in 15 minutes is not an easy task. 150 years of wine history, award-winning restaurants and inventive restaurateurs made for a jam-packed 15 minutes!

It was a great learning moment for me as a young professional. These editors get countless e-mails and dozens of pitches everyday. It is important to be concise but descriptive.  Our job is not only to showcase the attractions of our region, but also the character and vibe a visitor would experience. Being able to set our area apart from so many other wine regions can only be done by demonstrating the charm and character.

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I read a tweet from a local weather anchor that by Friday it will have rained 20 out of 25 days in March. Being a fan of all things summer, this is killing me! I crave sun, swimsuits and baseball season.

I’m excited to trade in the rainy Bay Area for sunny, warm Arizona for a few days. I need a little dose of summer to make up for this extended Bay Area winter. This is my first time attending the WACVB Destination Marketing Tech Summit.  We’re getting a chance to hear from travel & tourism leaders, who have expertise in business communications, social media strategy and content marketing. There are tons of great resources to keep on top of social media trends. But it’s rare to find such a wealth of industry-specific info in one place.

WACB Tech Summit Mixer at Tempe Center for the Arts

Of course I’m excited to play tourist in Tempe, too! Competitive research, just part of my job. With my iPad in hand, I’m doing last-minute plans for my free time. I’m definitely planning on checking out downtown Tempe and Mill Avenue.

Maybe we’ll even have time to pretend it’s summer and lay by the pool or check out one of the Giants last Spring Training games.

What’s on your must see list in Tempe?

I ordered my dress last August. I found it on the first day of trying on dresses, and it was the fifth dress I tried on. It was so easy! And I was shocked. I am usually picky, non-committal and indecisive. I fully anticipated driving to every dress store in Northern California and trying on dozens–if not hundreds–of dresses. Luckily, the awesome little boutique down the street from my work in Pleasanton had just the dress I wanted. It was that easy!

So, in August my dress was ordered and  waited and waited and waited. The seven months it took to make the dress seemed like a lifetime passed. I tried to avoid every image of another bridal gown in magazines, in stores and online. Let me tell you, that wasn’t easy! I tried really hard not to fall out of love with my dress, but I was worried that I wouldn’t love it just as much when it finally arrived. This would be the worst time to get buyer’s remorse because of a purchase.

When my dress finally arrived this month, I gathered my bridesmaids, mom and fiancé’s mom and adorable flower girl to see me try it on. I still had this sinking feeling that, after all those months, I wasn’t going to LOVE it.

Just a preview of my dress.

Luckily, when I tried it on, the feeling and all the emotions that I had felt in August came rushing back, and I knew this was still the dress. I never want to take it off! I’m counting down the days until I’m wearing it at our wedding at Turtle Bay.


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