We can all pretty much agree that food and wine are two of life’s greatest joys. And working in food and wine PR has its list of perks, one of which is that there is never a dull moment (and another being a never-ending supply of food and wine!) One minute, the team can be pitching Miami media to meet our Ribera y Rueda wines brand ambassador at a local trade show, and the next minute we’re reaching out to Chicago-based restaurants to see if their chefs would like to live demo a recipe on local TV on behalf of another client. Did I mention there’s never a dull moment?

Being in New York is a great way to get your foot in the door in this industry, given almost every major media publication is located within a few miles of one another (and sometimes writers sit side by side!) At times it can seem like all food and wine news is centered around what is happening in the city: the grand opening of a highly anticipated restaurant, limited time pop-up bars, and Instagramable foods that get the attention of national media writers. But on a macro scale, the number of writers in New York is only a small percentage of media nationwide, which is why it’s important to cultivate relationships with regional writers too. You’d be surprised by how many people in “random” regional markets that I’ve had the opportunity to work with on behalf of several clients over several years.

Below are a few helpful tips to keep in mind as you cultivate relationships with regional writers:

  • Get to know them: local writers also like personalized pitches
  • Keep in touch: Even if your event or national holiday is over, it goes a long way to reach out and check in once in a while
  • Let them know when you’re in town: it’s so important to get face time with writers so they can put a face to the name. If you happen to be in their area, send them a note and ask if you can meet up for a quick bite to eat. Even if they can’t, the effort on your end doesn’t go unnoticed

So, the next time you’re pitching a client initiative with a regional news hook, don’t look at it as a “one and done” opportunity. These regional relationships can age like a fine, red wine!