The Colangelo & Partners Guide to Surviving A Pandemic

(According to one booze publicist!)

In 2019, the public relations executive was ranked as the eighth most stressful job on CareerCast’s Most Stressful Jobs list, behind life-or-death occupations like soldier, police officer, firefighter and airline pilot. The survey reports that 78% of respondents rate their job stress at seven or higher on a ten-point scale. PR pros face tight deadlines, unreasonable clients, a constantly changing media landscape, confrontational reporters and a cynical public. Sure, the challenges are many, but crisis is in our blood! We live for a good problem to solve. And let us not belabor the elephant in the room, if that same stressful jobs list ranked PR jobs by industry, wine & spirits would fall somewhere soft and buzzy, far below the likes of celebrity or political publicists.

But let me remind you, this was 2019. Little did we know that in 2020 we would have to use our skills of spin in the face of a deadly global pandemic, in the face of daily social unrest, in the face of instability and decay in the moral fiber of our fellow patriots. But we did. We PR’d the hell of our booze clients. And this I share with you, is the Colangelo & Partners Guide to Surviving A Pandemic.

We didn’t have anything about this on our server already. I checked.

Samples? We got a Colangelo for that. When in doubt, or really, when New York City shuts down and bottles need to be shipped, there’s always someone in New Jersey willing to lend a hand, wife, or basement. While many companies would have folded under the pressure, we were glad to have Gino ready to ship wine and spirits for us. And that’s Gino A. Colangelo, Michael Colangelo’s son. Same name as Michael’s brother and our President, Gino Colangelo. Having a few good Italian Americans on your side during a Pandemic is highly recommended.

Email Greetings. Boy, that’s been hairy. Hey Brad, Hope you’re well! Mmm delete. Goodness, what if they’re sick? Or someone they love has Corona? Hey Brad, this is crazy, isn’t it? Hope you’ve been staying safe! Jesus, what the hell can I say to this journalist? Hey Brad, in an effort to prioritize safety, we have decided to make our events completely virtual… Hey Brad, have you heard about the drinking at home trend? To-Go cocktails are cool, aren’t they? Some days, it’s best to get to the point, and C&P is pretty good at that. Hey Brad, you still like drinking wine right? Well, I got just the bottle for you.

Virtual Tasting Etiquette. Wine and Spirits are sensual, romantic beasts. The distinct sound of that all-natural Portugese cork….the aromas of the finely aged Barolo… the slight perlage on that Txakoli….and for spirits the romance is no less enchanting, the rhythmic lull of a cocktail shaker, the way that light slants inside a glass of whiskey, and if you’re lucky, that long finish of aged tequila evolving from toffee to leather. We didn’t invent the wheel. We ARE THE WHEEL. And despite not being able to connect in person, we kept it turning. Never underestimate how much a person wants to be told how something tastes, looks, smells or feels. But while you’re on the Zoom, don’t forget to compliment their apartment either.

Press Trips. Let’s just put a pin in this for now, okay?

Teamwork. Hey, I just chatted you. Are you around to take a quick call? Now? I was just….in the shower, in the bathroom, making coffee, washing my clothes, looking out the window in existential dread, but sure, let’s hop on a call. Ah, you meant a VIDEO call. Okay. Give me a few, I just need to get….dressed. It’s okay to take some time for yourself, it’s been a YEAR! But either way, even in the end of times, this is still PR and I’m still gonna need that….end of day.

Written by C&P Account Supervisor Victoria Cooper

The preferred marketing agency of regional, national and global food & beverage brands and institutions. Based in NYC and SF.

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