Author: David White

Spring Hike

On Thursday, Keybridge hiked through the woods and scrambled, climbed, and clambered over jagged rocks and boulders at Billy Goat Trail "A." The adventure included lots of selfies, a quick game of trivia, and plenty of breathtaking views of the Potomac. [gallery columns="1" link="none" size="large" ids="18700,18702,18699,18697,18696,18698,18701"]...

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It’s time to launch your media firm

Seattle coffee giant Starbucks recently announced plans to launch a media company. With veteran Washington Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran at the helm, Starbucks hopes to create "social impact through creative storytelling." This is big. As social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk explained, "This will become another...

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Virginia’s Finest

As regular readers know, I moonlight as a wine blogger. When not cranking away at Keybridge, I’m running the wine blog Terroirist.com. Last month, I visited northern Virginia wine country to chat about the future of Virginia wine with the state’s three top winemakers: Jim Law of Linden...

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PR Tips | Writing better pitches

Last week, I was in Napa Valley at the Wine Writers Symposium, an annual gathering of some of the nation’s top wine writers. While there, I spoke to attendees about how to write better pitches and get their stories placed. I was paired with Alison Clare Steingold, a senior editor at C Magazine. Drawing on my experience at Keybridge Communications and as a wine writer, I also coached attendees on query writing in a series of one-on-one sessions. The pitching process changes depending on your goals, of course. Op-Eds, for example, are almost always written before they’re pitched. With magazine articles, writers should pitch editors before they put pen to paper. These lessons also work for conventional PR – there’s no better way to get a reporter interested in your story than teeing it up for her.
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PR Tips | To Communicate Effectively, Care

As regular readers know, I moonlight as a wine blogger. When not cranking away at Keybridge, I’m running the wine blog Terroirist.com. Last month, I visited Rioja, Spain to speak at the Digital Wine Communications Conference. My panel explored the communication challenges faced by global wine brands. I shared the stage with Ben Smith, who heads up communications for Concha y Toro in the United Kingdom, and Pia Mara Finkell, who directs media relations and social media for Rioja Wines. The event was moderated by Robert McIntosh, co-founder of the conference. You can check out my prepared remarks on Terroirist.com. To put it briefly, I argued that generic brands -- think Rioja, Champagne, or Napa Valley – have an easier job than huge wine companies like Concha y Toro and Kendall Jackson. This makes sense. Just as the clothing you wear and the politicians you vote for say something about who you are, so does what you drink. Journalists are no different. San Francisco Chronicle wine editor Jon Bonné enjoys being an ambassador for “new” California wine – the producers who are exploring California’s vast and varied climate to protect old vineyards and produce wine from unusual grapes.
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PR Tips | Writing An Effective Press Release

In addition to my work at Keybridge, I'm the publisher of Terroirist.com, an award-winning daily wine blog. So when I'm not at the office, I'm immersed in the world of wine -- attending and hosting tastings, reading and writing articles, and browsing other blogs. One of my favorites is Fermentation, published by wine industry insider Tom Wark, a veteran wine marketer and publicist. Last summer, Tom wrote a blog post detailing how to write an effective press release. While Tom's focus was wine, the lessons are universal. So if you work in PR, it's well worth reading. The key takeaway? "The one thing that anyone writing, receiving, or reading a press release needs to be able to do is understand what 'news' is and if the press release contains any." Too often, public relations firms are guilty of sending out press releases devoid of news. When writing a press release, you must have a sense of what 'news' is -- to journalists, not your client -- and if the press release contains any. A good PR professional should be able to take virtually any story and make it newsworthy. All that's required is creativity and media savvy. Consider a fairly typical assignment for our firm, the release of a new think tank study. Let's think about a few possible headlines:
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