Debbie, founder and principal of DRink PR, specializes in public relations, Mixology Relations™, event planning, brand development and bar/sales development for beverage clients. A native New Yorker, Debbie spent ten years in Boston working on Samuel Adams Boston Lager, where she managed the launch of Sam Adams Light and the national launch of two of the brewery's "extreme beers" – Utopias and Millennium.
More recently, Debbie has managed the stateside launches of The Bitter Truth Bitters, Uber Bar Tools, Bols Genever, and the redesigned bottle launch of Plymouth Gin, the New England launch of Peet's Coffee & Tea, and has worked with numerous other clients, including: Martin Millers Gin, Bluecoat Gin, and Damrak Gins, Trumer Pils beer, Vieux Carre Absinthe, Gosling's Black Seal Rum, Square One Organic Vodka, Chartreuse, La Fee Absinthe, Dale DeGroff and BAR SMARTS (Pernod Ricard), and Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim. Events have included Tales of the Cocktail, San Francisco Cocktail Week, Whiskeyfest and The San Francisco Ski and Snowboard Festival. On the restaurant and lifestyle side, she has worked with The Bar Method, CardGirl custom designed invitations, The Yogurt Bar, Jasper White's Summer Shack restaurants, and Goorin Brothers Hats.
Debbie has garnered significant print and broadcast media coverage in the nation's premier food and beverage outlets, including Simply Ming, Iron Chef America, Martha Stewart Radio, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Imbibe, Wine Enthusiast, and more as well as trade journals like Sommelier Journal, Malt Advocate, and Tasting Panel, among others. She has placed clients in the nation's largest regional publications, including The New York Times, The New York Post, New York Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe and more. Through strong relationships and creative pitching, Debbie has garnered significant placements in consumer general interest magazines such as Oprah Magazine, Robb Report, Playboy, MarieClaire, and Paper Magazine.
Debbie has spent the past 14 years cultivating strong relationships with key beverage media and the mixologists they look to for inspiration – this is the key ingredient to her success. She is an active member of the U.S. Bartender's Guild and worked as a media and event organizer at industry taste making event, Tales of the Cocktail in 2008 and 2009. Whether behind the stick, the copy desk, or the Twitter feed, Debbie is plugged in to a wide and loyal network of beverage enthusiasts that are always open to new ideas and spirited discussion about the brands she represents.
Rena Ramirez is a reputable public relations professional with both "start-up" and full-service agency experience, and is known for her avid relationship marketing, razor-sharp intellect of what drives consumer trends, and the natural ability to land a story.
As the founder of Provocateur Media, a San Francisco-based public relations consulting agency, Rena consults for Debbie Rizzo at DrinkPR, and has previously worked for some of San Francisco's leading public relations agencies including lifestyle boutique agency, Arieff Communications, representing fashion, beauty + consumer products, and also for Wagstaff Worldwide, a hospitality PR firm representing award-winning chefs, wine + spirits brands and also travel destinations.
In 2009 Rena founded Pro Media and pulled all of her love and expertise in the lifestyle arenas to represent San Francisco-based business including wine brands + entire wine associations, spirit brands, and beyond. She has publicized and managed countless launch events, San Francisco annual festivals as well as spearheaded long-lead media campaigns. Some of her current work in wine + spirits include working with Rock Wall Wine Company, the East Bay Vintners' Alliance, Dogpatch WineWorks, Blackbird Bar and also the Family Winemakers of California, among others. She also consults behalf of Sunset magazine, premiere guide to "Life in the West" and also for celebrity chef Michael Chiarello's NapaStyle. She thrives on the challenge of turning an undiscovered product, person or idea into a household name.
Rena is a proud graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a degree in Communication Studies. She has experience in working for some of the entertainment industry's most recognized studio names such as Miramax Films and Paramount Pictures in both development and interactive marketing.
Colin Baugh brings more than ten years of experience both as a public relations professional in travel, hospitality, food and beverage, and consumer products spaces and as a radio personality in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. This experience has led to the development of relationships with top-level national print and broadcast media including Food & Wine, GQ, Esquire, Condé Nast Traveler, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, Details and more.
Having been a member of the media and a public relations professional, he offers a unique perspective on how to build relationships with media members as well as an understanding of what is and is not news and exactly what it takes to get stories placed.
Baugh led national media outreach on behalf of the Louisiana Office of Tourism's response to the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which yielded coverage from MSNBC, the Today Show, The Atlantic, Saveur, Huffington Post, CNN.com, Los Angeles Times, Fodor's and more. He also contributed significantly to the launch of fledgling flash-sale travel site, Spire.com, securing coverage numerous outlets including USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Boston Herald, Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sun Sentinel and SmarterTravel.com.
Baugh's firm, Emblem PR, is based in San Diego, California. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from the University of Arizona.
Michelle Sullivan’s extensive experience managing day-to-day strategic communications, brand marketing and government relations for The Boston Beer Company give her an outlook and understanding that aligns directly with client-side business needs and expectations to drive on-strategy, consumer -centric results.
She is best known for helping Samuel Adams wage the David vs. Goliath craft beer revolution that transformed the entire beer category through a decade-long, highly strategic and widely lauded communications effort. Her proven track record leading many areas of the marketing/communications mix include brand storytelling capability, advertising, media relations, media training, message development, product launches, retail distribution strategies, founder and executive positioning, digital and social engagement, and strategic partnerships that link back to ROI to drive brand equity and grow market share.
From 2014-2017, she was the Head of Marketing for Boston Beer’s Flavored Malt Beverage Division (FMB). In this capacity she managed the $350m category-leading Twisted Tea brand, doubling volume through a mix of strategic marketing campaigns to overcome brand challenges with existing consumers and attract new buyers. She also led the highly successful launch of Truly Spiked and Sparkling Water, helping establish a new multi-million case category in the industry. Her leadership helped propel Truly to the leadership position within it. She drove Twisted Tea and Truly to the number one position nationwide in each of their categories, despite competing against much larger international conglomerates in a hugely competitive retail environment.
Michelle served as a key strategic leader for public relations, marketing, advertising, media placement, and product launches for Samuel Adams from 2000-2014. She coordinated and integrated work across dozens of external agencies, aligned behind driving corporate brand objectives, including earning hundreds of millions of dollars in on-message, brand building publicity that drove measurable changes in awareness and brand equity. She has a deep understanding of national and local media and how to turn the press into a powerful ally in shaping consumer perception. She played a pivotal role in transforming America’s beer culture through publicity and helping change media, retailers’ and consumers’ perceptions of beer, paving the way for the craft beer renaissance that has taken hold across the nation.
Michelle has extensive crisis communications experience having managed national product recall campaigns and national consumer boycott mitigation at Boston Beer and for several high-profile agency clients. Additionally, she is a sought-after resource for media relations and interview training for executives, board members and brand spokespeople. Prior to joining Boston Beer, Sullivan worked on the agency side at Bishoff Solomon Communications with a number of high profile clients including Starbucks and Legal Seafoods.
A graduate of Boston University with a BS in Mass Communications, and from executive education programs at Harvard Business School and Kellogg School of Management, Michelle is a 2015 inductee to the “Society of Distinguished Alumni” of Boston University’s College of Communications where she currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Mass Communications, Marketing and Advertising.
As a leader in the beer industry for more than fifteen years, she has served on numerous Brewers Association Committees, including Public Relations/Marketing, Government Affairs and Federal Excise Tax Recalibration, as a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Brewers of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts Brewers Guild where she continues to serve and for non-profits Boston Cares and the Salem, NH Boys and Girls Club.me text inside of a div block.
known to friends and clients as Kitty, Kirsten Amann has over 15 years of
experience in the beverage industry as a brand ambassador, publicist,
bartender, writer, and cocktail book author. She champions Egan’s Irish Whiskey
and Mad March Hare Poitin in New England as a Brand Ambassador. She previously
spent four years as Boston’s first Brand Ambassador for Fernet-Branca. Past
clients include Plymouth, Beefeater, Bols Genever, The Bitter Truth, No. 3 Gin,
and more. Kitty works with clients to develop dynamic events, create delicious
cocktails and design unique brand educational experiences.
Kitty is a founding member of Toast Clubs Boston, the Boston chapters of Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC Boston) and the United States Bartenders Guild. She writes a monthly cocktail column for the MA Beverage Business under the byline "Pink Lady" and her cocktail writing has appeared in Daily Candy, The Weekly Dig, and Chilled Magazine among others. Her latest cocktail book, Drinking Like Ladies will be published in September 2018.
Madeline (“Mady”) is a savvy marketer who creates opportunities for brands in the digital space. She’s passionate about growing brands through social media, influencer marketing, and strategic partnerships, which led her to founding her company, Digi. Since founding her company, she has worked on a number of brands in the food, beverage, tech, and lifestyle industries boost their digital presence, and ultimately increase sales.
Business in the twenty-first century is a virtual world. No where is this more true than in the hospitality business. Alcohol brands, hotels, restaurants, bars and industry professionals gain reputation in the blink of an eye. The worlds of branding and product publicity move like lightning. The path to success is intangible and success can be fleeting. Marketers who are stuck working in an obsolete paradigm do so at their peril.
DRink PR is a virtual marketing, public relations and branding capability that co-exists on both coasts and works on behalf of companies, individuals, and brand primarily in the hospitality area--beer, wine, spirits, bars, mixologists, hotels and lifestyle brands. Its Social Influence Engineers operate at the cutting edge of the ever-changing, fast paced world of communication.
A good publicist’s work boils down to the quality of their relationships. We’ve spent a combined 20 years honing ours with key tastemakers in the beverage world. From mixology stars at the forefront of the Cocktail Revival to the journalists who cover their innovation, we can make your brand the focus of spirited discussion through creative pitches targeting the right journalists at just the right time.
Simply put: You are your brand, and shaping your identity and image in the marketplace is paramount. What makes your brand special, unique, and desirable, a “call” brand above all others in the modern bar? We work closely with clients to identify these intangible qualities and craft a compelling narrative that highlights all that you offer to your target market. Through careful message planning we work to align expectations about your brand and ensure that your brand — and you — are consistently represented across all channels of communication.
We feel lucky to work in an industry where so much business boils down to a really good party. We offer extensive experience in planning a wide range of events, from consumer product launches to industry insider events to gala affairs. We’ve managed sponsorship of major influencer events such as Aspen Food & Wine Festival, South Beach Food & Wine Festival, and Tales of the Cocktail and planned and executed launch events for major brands in important markets, such as Plymouth Gin in San Francisco, Campari in Los Angeles, Krispy Kreme in New England, and more.
On-line experts claim that to successfully make an impression on someone, you need to “touch” them at least 32 times a year. Social networking is an effective way to do that, increasing your brand’s exposure and enhancing individual visibility by utilizing top social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and LinkedIn. Through the interconnected web of social media, savvy brands can interface directly with consumers, micromanaging their identity and presence with consistent messages delivered multiple times a day.
Any marketer worth their salt will devote time and energy to learning all that they can about your brand and category. At DRink PR, we bring a different kind of insider knowledge to the table. In addition to having close ties to the world’s most sought-after mixologists, our key team members are mixologists themselves with extensive experience as spirits journalists, brand ambassadors, and behind the stick. We bring in-depth knowledge of spirits, wine and the history of cocktails to every project and every pitch and can develop drinks that will give your product entrée with a broad range of modern drinkers.
We believe that an aspiring journalist lives inside every good publicist, and bring our knack for crafting a compelling narrative about your brand to every aspect of your campaign. We can assist with all of your marketing communications needs, from developing a press kit to drafting company newsletters to crafting copy for print collateral like advertisements and brochures.