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ON MY OWN: Capitalising on golden PR opportunity

Judette Coward-Puglisi

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I HAD WONDERED how Giselle and her colleague had scored the coveted spot on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show to discuss one of her company’s top sellers, Angostura Bitters; as it turns out,  it was all about the phenomenal power  of public relations.As Giselle tells it, she actually  wasn’t in office when Maddow’s producers came calling to get feedback on the perceived shortage of Angostura  Bitters. The prime-time American  talk show host apparently loves bitters  and does a regular cocktail segment. In any case, the producers wanted a quote, which they got from an official company source. They said “thank you  very much” and that could have been  the end of that.But Giselle, who has her public  relations nose trained to smell  opportunity like a dog does a cat, followed up on the inquiry with an “apology-for-my-absence phone call” and a case of the  “liquid gold”.Days later, well, can’t you see how the picture tells the story? Giselle and her colleague get five minutes of airtime on a show that was named one of the top shows of the decade by The Washington Post in 2009 and whose host, Maddow, was also named  a Breakout Star of 2008 by The Washington Post and The Los  Angeles Times.“We only had five minutes but  I wanted certain key messages to get across,” said Giselle: 1) Angostura Bitters is made in  Trinidad and Tobago. 2) Angostura also produces some  of the world’s best rums. 3) Angostura Bitters is still being  produced but there was an issue  with the bottles.The prime-time interview, which  you can view on Maddow’s site,  was the result. Giselle would probably  call it mission accomplished. I’ll call it  a massive win for a cash-strapped  company that all the liquid gold  in the world couldn’t buy.