Building your Media Relations Tool Kit: A Playbook for Successful PR & Communications Strategies
Dive deeper into PR and Communications strategies for wineries with Kelli Matthews (University of Oregon Public Relations Professor and Verve Northwest Founder), Michelle Kaufmann (Stoller Wine Group), Kayt Mathers (Play Nice PR), and Ryan Pennington (Ste. Michelle Wine Estates). Explore the good, the bad, and the ugly with real-world PR case studies that will take your efforts to the next level.
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Michelle Kaufmann, communications director for the Stoller Wine Group, oversees all media relations and communications efforts for the Stoller Family Estate, Chehalem, Chemistry, Canned Oregon, and History wine brands. In her role, Michelle works in lockstep with the marketing, sales, and production teams to advance their family of brands and prestige of the Oregon wine industry. Prior to joining Stoller Wine Group, she served as communications manager for the Oregon Wine Board, a semi-independent state agency representing wineries and vineyards throughout the region, for six years. A Portland, Oregon native, Michelle earned her degree in journalism from the University of Oregon, focusing on public relations and communications. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the International Pinot Noir Celebration, Willamette Valley Wineries Association, and the Chehalem Mountains Winegrowers, as well as the associated marketing committees. When not working, you can find Michelle exploring the culinary bounty of the Pacific Northwest or devouring the latest indie flick with a glass of wine in hand.
Ryan Pennington is Senior Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, where he oversees the company’s corporate communications, government affairs, community relations, and charitable contributions functions. Prior to joining Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Ryan was Communications Director for the Washington Wine Commission, which represents all growers and wineries in the state. Prior to joining the Washington Wine Commission, Ryan was Director of Public Affairs in the Seattle office of MWW Group, one of the ten largest independent public relations firms in the U.S. Ryan began his career in the public sector, serving as Legislative Aide and Campaign Director for Congressman Rick Larsen (D-WA), as Washington State Director for the Democratic National Committee, and as External Affairs Director for Governor-Elect Christine Gregoire (D-WA). Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Western Washington University and has achieved the Level 3 Advanced Award in Wines and Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
Kelli Matthews has worked in public relations for nearly two decades. She’s a smart, strategic public relations professional with extensive experience providing counsel, researching, planning, implementing and evaluating communication initiatives. Her 15-plus years of teaching experience at the University of Oregon keeps her on the cutting edge of research and practice. Particular areas of focus include: digital strategy, media relations and crisis communications.
Kayt Mathers is the Founder of Play Nice Public Relations, a communications agency specializing in wine and hospitality. After eight years working with wine brands, wine regions and restaurants in New York City—first at Teuwen Communications and then at First Press Public Relations—she founded Play Nice in her hometown of Portland, Oregon in 2015. Play Nice works with fine wine producers, winemaking regions, wine organizations, and hospitality clients. Before she began her career in PR, Kayt worked in wine distribution and wine retail. She has a Level 3 Award in Wines from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust and is fluent in French and Spanish.