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Wineries Versus the Virus


New website gathers programs from numerous wineries

Julie Ann Kodmur HeadshotSt. Helena, March 2020 — St. Helena-based publicist Julie Ann Kodmur has launched a website which gathers in one place the programs her clients have put in place because of the Coronavirus, www.wineriesversusthevirus.com.

“The Corona virus has ripped away conventional marketing, whether in the wine business or any business,” she notes. “Yet, while we’re social distancing, we crave contact. As marketers, now is the time to dig deep. Creativity. Imagination. Empathy. Discretion—walking the line between exploiting and community building. Do you charge for your virtual tasting? Does your “quarantine kit” have a whimsical detail or two? The goal of course is selling more wine…not having a prospective customer look up from your eblast with a cringe and a groan,” she comments, in explaining the rationale for the site. Kodmur is a respected publicist with more than 30 years of experience in New York and California.

The website includes a graphic of the Johns Hopkins Corona Resource Center map. The site provides a one-stop spot for seeing how a number of wineries are reaching out to customers today. The website was designed by Julia Belshaw of JRedWeb.

“The most important thing for marketing people right now is to stay informed,” Kodmur says. “Whether it’s what Bill Gates is noticing or how The New York Times is helping its readers,” she adds.

Kodmur welcomes inquiries, whether through the website or to 707/963-9632 or [email protected].

Kodmur has a one-person publicity and marketing consultancy based in St. Helena. She began her PR career in New York working for Sotheby Parke Bernet, Frederick Wildman & Sons and Renfield before being hired by Seagram Classics in 1988 and moving to the Napa Valley. She launched her own firm in 1999. Throughout her career she has also contributed freelance articles to publications including The Wine Enthusiast, The New York Times, American Journalism Review, Quarterly Review of Wine, The Wine News, Editor & Publisher, Appellation and Town & Country. She served as the editor for The Napa Valley Wine Library Report for five years.

She has won awards for publicity and marketing campaigns she created. One program she created was awarded a Guinness Book of World Records record; another year a lot she created garnered the highest bid at the Napa Valley Wine Auction. She has launched a number of new brands—both ultra-premium and wide-distribution—as well as pursued a wide range of initiatives for wineries.

She has been a judge for The American Wine Blog Awards and has taught public relations and journalism classes at Pacific Union College. She has been a panelist on publicity and marketing topics at numerous wine industry seminars and symposia. She received her B.A. from Stanford University and did master’s degree course work at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts. She grew up in southern California and today lives in St. Helena.

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