Let’s give you a situation. How would you handle it?
The winery owner/winemaker/marketing/sales director bursts into your office, waving the latest issue of The Wine Advocate.
He or she is practically dancing: “Look! We got “96-100” points! Fabulous! Get it out there! Tell everyone! GO!”
First step: you do the due diligence. You carefully read through all 1,536 reviews. You see that 10 wineries did receive “pure” 100 point ratings. Your winery’s wine, at “96-100,” is one of many.
How DO you broadcast this? Did your wine receive 100 points? A bit sticky….or not….?
An interesting exercise in ethics, perhaps?
We offer this case study because we see it play out occasionally, that “96-100” turning into “100.”
Is that a win?
Not really: here’s why. It’s entirely possible that the writer who runs that item will somehow find out what the score really was. Or other readers or an editor will find out and the writer will have some consequences—accordingly, you’ve burned a bridge and damaged your reputation with that writer. You’ll have to rebuild the trust; it will take time. There’s another angle, too: savvy readers who know will now have a lesser opinion not only of your winery but of this writer. Collateral damage—but every relationship matters. The effort to repair this trust takes time away from everything else on your plate.
Sometimes, good or bad, the world is black and white.