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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Writing For PR & Credibility

Patrick Gallagher, CMT Academic Contribution
Certified Master Tobacconist #1835
Writing For PR & Credibility

I recently began writing a monthly cigar review for a local men’s fashion magazine. Like any other reviewer, the position requires me to smoke a cigar and give my thoughts on the experience. But what is unique about the review, is that I am a certified tobacconist.

Too often, we see in today’s media the demonization of tobacco and cigar smokers. And more often than not, these anti-tobacco zealots are typically uneducated about our industry and fed a high amount of propaganda and false data. We tobacconists know the benefits and albeit the risks of tobacco thanks to our extensive training.

I am encouraging tobacconists like myself to reach out to those media channels whom embrace the luxury life style. In doing so, it is important to share your educational experience and your knowledge to those who are with us and against us. These articles and reviews are important for the longevity of our industry and our trades. We must be viewed as educators and purveyors of history and the luxury lifestyle.

Much like a sommelier is to wine, a tobacconist is to cigars/pipes. Our role is to set the stage for the consumers’/readers’ experience and to educate. Thus, preparing the consumer/reader for an emotional and spiritual moment that transcends “just smoking”. Tastes, textures, feelings: these evoke emotions which translate into a valuable experience.

Taking the role of an educator through editorial style writing is an excellent way to reach those enjoying the luxurious moments in life. I suggest finding a local magazine, blogger, or newspaper to get involved with.  Develop a piece and share it with their editor, maybe over a cigar. Explain to the editor the purpose of your piece. Much like a style columnist, we are informing those interested and involved in the lifestyle.

Remember, we are purveyors of luxury and educators of history. It is our job, not only in our stores but in the world, to uphold our traditions, values, and beliefs to honor the great cigar/pipe makers and tobacconists who came before our time.

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