This is the first post from Lauren Clark, a freelance drinks journalist in Boston. She chronicles the city’s drinking landscape at Drink Boston.
For those of us who write about and promote drinks and mixology, Tales of the Cocktail is a magical time when we are surrounded by thousands of kindred spirits who want nothing more than to hear about new recipes, great bartenders, and happening bar scenes. But when the party ends and everyone returns to the real world, we face the question: how do we convey that excitement to the media?
The panel I’m moderating this year, “How to Get Your City, Bar, Recipe or Bartender More Media Coverage,” offers a glimpse into the various ways that cocktails and the people who make them become news. The panel is part of the Cheers Professional Series, a special track of sessions (co-developed by Cheers magazine) that address specific needs in the restaurant and bar industry.
Panelist Jenny Adams — freelance writer, contributing editor at Nightclub & Bar magazine and author of Mixing New Orleans, Cocktails & Legends (2007) — says she’ll discuss “how I pitch and the best ways to pitch me on a story. Basically, how to be your own PR company if you can’t afford to hire one.” She’s full of helpful do’s and don’ts, like:
- DO approach all types of press with your story ideas (blogs, Web sites, magazines, newspapers, trade publications, etc.).
- DO include high-resolution photos of what you are pitching (might be shots of your bar, your bottle packaging, your waitstaff in action or a cocktail).
- DO NOT send vague pitches. For example, “My bar rocks. We do 300 people every Monday night for $2 draft pitcher night.” There is no story here.
Jeffery Lindenmuth, a contributing editor on wine and spirits for Food Arts magazine and Beverage Media, will be another repository of concrete advice with “three low- and no-cost keys to better press placement and six ways to improve your pitch.” For show-and-tell, he’ll bring along a “rather humorous” editor-to-writer email (“edited to protect the guilty”) outlining what it takes to get into national magazines.
Speaking of national magazines, Andrew Knowlton, restaurant editor of Bon Appétit, will be on hand to dispense his wisdom. And Jennifer Baum, principal of Bullfrog & Baum, will present the PR professional’s point of view.
Me, I’m the blogger of the bunch. I’ll chime in about my experience launching and promoting a successful blog (drinkboston.com), how that blog promotes the Boston mixology scene, and how I’ve managed to become not only a contributor to but a subject of the media.
Oh, and did I mention there’d be cocktails? Two beauties will be served: the Navan Cocktail #4, created by Gary and Mardee Regan and showcasing a new spirit, Navan Natural Vanilla Liqueur (our sponsor, along with Grand Marnier), and the Jaguar, created by Boston bartender Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli and featured both in the Boston Globe and on drinkboston.com.
Navan Cocktail #4
- 1 1/2 oz Laird’s Applejack
- 1/2 oz Navan Natural Vanilla Liqueur
- 1/2 oz Grand Marnier
- 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake well over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
- 1 1/2 oz Milagro blanco tequila
- 3/4 oz Amer Picon
- 3/4 oz green Chartreuse
- 3 dashes Fee Brothers orange bitters
Stir well over ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with flamed orange peel.
How to Get Your City, Bar, Recipe or Bartender More Media Coverage takes place Wednesday, July 16, from 2:30 – 4:00 at the Hotel Monteleone. Tickets may be purchased here.