MEDIA MAVENS LONG BEFORE THE SPIRITS INDUSTRY EMBRACED WOMEN BEHIND THE BAR AND IN EXECUTIVE POSITIONS AT BEVERAGE COMPANIES, THESE WOMEN WERE PIONEERING AND BUILDING BRANDS THROUGH PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MARKETING.
With her own business and a resume consisting of numerous consulting projects in communications and branding on the corporate level as well as the agency side, Yvonne is currently with Global PR for the Dutch family business, De Kuyper Royal Distillers. “I think it’s important to stay as you are as a female businesswoman, using your feminine nature while being a tough leader. Empathy is my most used skill. I take an interest in another, giving a sense of appreciation and empowerment while discovering talent. And I always take everything with a healthy dose of humor!”
DEBBIE RIZZO >> In the business for almost 20 years, Debbie got her start working with Sam Adam’s PR team at Jackson & Co. She is the founder of DRink PR, a national lifestyle public relations agency specializing in food and beverage lifestyle.
“As far as traditional PR, the industry is flooded with big firms as well as many independent consultants like myself. There’s an art to public relations, and relationships take a long time to build. My advice to others wanting to succeed in this business is to expect long hours and to pay your dues. Be sure to work for a firm that supports you, elevates you, and enables you to grow. There’s no room for unsupportive bosses.”
Born to European parents, wine was part of every meal. From working in marketing for Champagne Veuve Clicquot to opening her own firm in 2002, Deussen Global Communications specializes in wine and spirits, as well as ancillary luxury travel disciplines including fine dining and hotels. “The most important business lessons I’ve learned over the years are to understand the end consumer, always think strategically (What are you trying to achieve?), immerse yourself in your customers’ categories and brands and enjoy that journey, always do your best even when you fail. Do what you love, and never give up. “Enjoy the ride. Both wine and spirits and communications are bedrocks of the human connection. We are lucky to work in this field.”
Photo by Rick Camargo
“I belong to a host of PR professional groups that find ways to support one another. PR has a tendency to be cutthroat, so surrounding myself with likeminded colleagues, especially women, is helpful.
Sauvignon Blanc by Sarah Jessica Parker. Wine's Fashion Statement.