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Sonoma State Seminar: How to Find the Right Publicist & Make the Most of the PR Experience

With Lisa Mattson, Holly Evans, Christine Deussen, Amber Gallat and Liza Zimmerman
December 04, 2013


Rohnert Park, CA- How do you select the correct PR person (in-house, an individual, or an agency)? What should you and your PR representative expect out of the relationship? What will be the time frame and how much will it cost? A panel of publicists and communication specialists will answer these and other questions as we discuss backgrounds on different types of PR agencies and their services (events to press releases etc.), and will hear from a panel of publicists talking about their experiences getting coverage and exposure for wineries.

This seminar will be led by Liza Zimmerman, who is the principal of the wine education and consulting firm Liza the Wine Chick. She is also editor-at-large of Cheers-a national magazine covering the restaurant, bar and hotel business. Liza has been writing and educating about wine and food for close to 20 years and has published hundreds of stories in the such magazines as Wine Business Monthly, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Market Watch, Wine & Spirits and The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana.

The highlight of the seminar will be a panel discussion featuring well-known industry publicists and communications specialists. The panel includes:

Lisa Mattson, Communications Director, Jordan Vineyard & Winery
With 16 years of experience in writing, event planning, public relations, marketing and digital media strategy within the wine industry Mattson is considered a leader in video storytelling, social media and digital brand strategy for luxury wines. As communications director at Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Mattson is responsible for developing and executing an extensive digital marketing strategy for consumers and trade, as well as managing traditional press relations and marketing initiatives. As an early adopter of social media and video storytelling, Mattson developed The Journey of Jordan blog, which was named Best Winery Blog (2013, 2012) and Best Photo/Video Blog (2013) by the Wine Blog Awards. She has also been featured in Apple Inc.’s iPad at Work series and received Diaz Communications' 2012 Innovator of the Year Award.

Holly Evans, Director of Public Relations, Delicato Family Vineyards

Holly Evans brings 20 years of wine industry knowledge, marketing acumen and media relations experience to her role as director of public relations at Delicato Family Vineyards. Evans holds an MBA with a concentration in marketing from University of San Francisco. For the past five years, Evans has thrived in her role at the helm as director of public relations at Delicato Family Vineyards, playing an active role in the unprecedented expansion of the company’s portfolio from seven brands when she started to 19 brands today. Responsible for media relations across all Delicato Family Vineyards brands, as well as corporate communications, Evans is the voice behind the Indelicato family business.

Christine Deussen, President, Deussen Global Communications

Christine Deussen founded Deussen Global Communications in April, 2002. Her previous experience included marketing for Christie’s Auction House; brand management for Champagne Veuve Clicquot; and creating a wine division for Magnet Communications (Havas / EURO RSCG), which grew to also encompass spirits, fine dining, travel, and tourism. Deussen clients are regularly included in top national brand listings including Impact Magazine’s “Power 100 Future Growth Brands” and “Hot Prospects List”; Bar Profits’ “Hottest New BackBar Prospects”; IWSR’s “Elite Brands”; and MarketWatch’s “Hot Prospect Brands.”

Amber Gallat, Consumer PR Division, Brand Action Team, New York City
Gallat leads the consumer PR division for Brand Action Team in New York City, responsible for overseeing the development of communication strategies for the companies the firm represents. Throughout her career, Gallat has conceptualized, managed and executed countless campaigns for luxury and lifestyle brands such as Wild Turkey, Lenovo ThinkPad, Wines of Chile and Wines of Chile Tourism, Tanduay Asian Rum, The Real McCoy Rum and the entire Pernod Ricard USA wine portfolio. Recently, she spearheaded the introduction of Chilean Pisco to the New York market. A multi-phased project, the initiative included the execution of several events, major press tastings, social media development, media outreach and trade and consumer advertising.

Wine Trends: What’s Hot and Not in the Wine Business
Date: December 13, 1-5pm
Fee: $180; if you register by December 6th, the fee is $150
Sonoma State Campus, Schulz Information Center 1121

More Information

Contact Jessica Heing, or 707-664-3347 with questions.

About Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute

Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute is located in the heart of California wine country and was created through a public-private partnership between the university and the wine industry. Founded in 1996, it is the first program in the United States to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees focused exclusively on the business aspects of the wine industry. In addition to its academic programs the Wine Business Institute offers an array of seminars and certificates. Its faculty members are published experts, active researchers, and requested presenters on pressing industry topics. The Wine Business Institute operates within Sonoma State's School of Business and Economics, a fully accredited AACSB institution. Learn more at

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