Yesterday I had the pleasure of helping to teach a class at Sonoma State with Tina Caputo, E.I.C. of Vineyard and Winery Management, Robert Larsen, Head PR Dude at Rodney Strong and Dr. David Horowitz of Sonoma State.
The first two need no introduction to folks in the wine world. Prior to her position at V&WM, Tina was an editor at, and wrote the wine marketing column for Wine and Vines, published freelance work, and authored her blog The Wine Broad .
Robert is famous (or infamous, depending on your view) for Rockaway-gate last year where he lead Rodney Strong’s effort to become the first winery to ever sample wine bloggers ahead of the traditional print journos on a new wine brand (Parker gave it a 91). Plus Rodney Strong isn’t exactly a “below the radar” winery.
David however is someone you might not be familiar with yet, but he’s doing some really exciting stuff over at SSU as a Professor of Marketing and on his blog at drhorowitz.biz.
There’s the old saw that those that can’t do, teach. But David is taking a different approach to the scholarly life and is encouraging his students to aggressively use social media during their college years to build their social networks.
It’s amazing to me how many students don’t bother to stray beyond the comfy confines of Facebook. Dave thinks so too, so he gave this talk:
This is really solid advice. There is a lot of free time that comes along with being a college student, and students should really consider using some of it to get aquatinted with the various flavors of social media.
Here’s another great talk entitled You’re Never Going to Be Gary Vaynerchuck. Dave’s a huge fan of Gary’s and he even compares him to Robert Mondavi (!) and Lebron James (!!) in his talk. I’m a fan of Gary’s as well, my previous reservations not withstanding, and Dave makes important points about being realistic about your chances of monetizing social media or hitting it big.
I hope his students appreciate his effort. There’s no textbook for this stuff. We’re all just kind of winging it and making the future as we go along.
But besides dispensing great advice, Dave’s drinking his own kool aid by posting parts of his lectures on Viddler, along with blogging and tweeting his ideas. And he’s refreshingly honest:
Yes, it is embarrasing and it takes a little time, but Iâ€™d rather be a little embarrased than unemployed.
And me being unemployed is a possibility. CAâ€™s budget is not exactly rock solid. If I do become unemployed, Iâ€™ll have some proof to go with my resumeâ€¦
As you can see from the videos, Dave connects with his students and he has an affable and accessible style that makes him easy to like. And with an undergrad from Stanford and a PhD from Florida State he has the academic chops to back it all up.
Bottom line: If you are a winery that wants to take the pulse of the millennial generation, you could do much worse than to pick up the phone and give David a call (or email or twitter etc.).