When the World Stops, Increase your Social Media Emotional Intelligence
The bombing of the Boston Marathon again brought tragedy to our nation. The VinTank family is extremely saddened by the needless violence and send our thoughts and prayers to all the victims and their families. Sadly our nation has faced a lot of sorrow over the last few years (Sandy Hook, Super Storm Sandy, and Aurora to name a few). But while Americans simultaneously continue our lives we also echo our days through social media. While what you reflect on your persona account is one thing, what you publish on your brand’s channels is something entirely different. It is especially important during these times to stop and reflect what messages your company is distributing during these terrible events. This includes press, email marketing and social media. The company will not end if you delay “hype” messaging for a single day. Also is a key time to look at your scheduled social media posts and reschedule them (personally we are against scheduled posts for 98% of content). As much as we wish there will be no more horrible incidents like yesterday, humanity has a way of mucking things up so when the next tragedy emerges, we recommend following David Armano’s Five Considerations for Branded Content during Sensitive Times. PS – On these days no one wants to hear about what wines you are pouring . . .
The Legend George Vare is Gone
I was fortunate enough to work with George Vare for almost a decade. He was an early investor in Inertia Beverage Group (now WineDirect.com) and eventually the Chairman of the Board. He was also one of the co-founders of Luna vineyards, the father of Ribolla Gialla in the US, and truly a great man. This weekend he passed away. It has been almost four years since I have spoken with George after my departure as CEO and this news has hit me unusually hard. Perhaps it is the punctuated timing that illustrates the circle of life as I sit here waiting for the birth of my daughter Brooklyn Adele Mabray. Or maybe it is thoughtful recollection of the wisdom George, knowingly or not, imparted on me through my decade relationship with him. Or maybe it is the fact that he is one of the few figures that deserves a place in the US wine industry history books but is not as public facing as Robert Mondavi or others. He truly was a legend.
In my ten years with George I didn’t always agree with him. In fact I struggled often as I tried to push ahead my vision of the future and he thoughtfully pushed back. Sometimes firmly. In every meeting he was always measured with his words and I regret not slowing down to listen more often. He also was incredibly passionate and more than once I saw him stand tall (metaphorically and in real life) and assert his opinion with a strength that made everyone listen intently. In his infinite wisdom he understood my weaknesses and pushed me to resolve them to be a better CEO and a better man. Sometimes it was so very frustrating to me (ask AJ or Jason Meek) but in retrospect he was so right. George had a great laugh and enjoyed the youthful nature of the early days of IBG and the spirit of a team trying to change the world. He had a special affinity for four other members of the founding team (Andrea Johnston, Stephen Mutch, Natalie Douvos and especially Eric Hsu) and I would fathom to say he saw us all as family. In fact he treated us like family. Many times he reminded me of a long lost grandfather and included me in many family events with his wonderful wife Elsa, his son Michael, and his daughter Tessa (who actually lived next door to me when Finn was born). I remember swimming in his pool next to the famous vineyard or drinking Luna wines together. I have so many stories that this post wont do them justice. Instead I plan to get together some of the old IBG crew and celebrate his life in the upcoming months.
The world is a better place because of George Vare and I am eternally grateful for his friendship, his support of my digital dreams and for his place in changing American wine forever. He is truly a legend and always will be in one my heart. Thank you George.