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Here’s a Really, Really Good Job!

My wife has a saying, something along the lines of, “Don’t Boo my Wow.” She likes to convey the equivalency of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” particularly when my sunshiny and warming brand of pragmatic idealism dances the fine line of disdain.

Depending on the perspective, it happens either very seldom (my perspective) or all the time (her perspective).

Understanding that, I hate to be a party pooper, but “wow” am I experiencing Murphy-Goode fatigue.

This program has officially turned into the boorish, loud-talker at the cocktail party that goes on for an hour talking about their boy-genius 1st grader, but fails to ask you your name.

Is this Murphy-Goode thing a promotional earned media opportunity or a genuine social media engagement program?

I honestly can’t tell which it is.


Murphy-Goode has gotten so much ongoing, persistent press out of this deal it almost obscures the fact that some really good, really talented people genuinely want the opportunity to work for them.

It’s almost like the Super Bowl when you realize on that early February Sunday that, yes, besides the hype and the commercials, there is actually a game to play.

And, in playing this game, the Murphy-Goode winner has to relocate, effectively leave their existing life and earn good money (not great money) for a six month temporary gig.

At the end of the day, it’s presented as a temp. job.

I dunno.  Maybe I just don’t have enough vision for how that six month gig might parlay itself into something better.  Maybe I’m not in tune enough with the zeitgeist that makes this so newsworthy.

And now VinTank layers on by offering $100K worth of pro bono consulting.  To be fair, I like Paul Mabray from VinTank, I used to work with him, and I think he is a classic entrepreneur – he has a vision for things that are still 250 miles away and very, very hazy for people until much closer to the destination.

That said, Paul is also a born marketer who knows when to catch a wave and when to beg-off on snaking a wave.

He also doesn’t shrink from a dissenting viewpoint which is why I don’t have a problem calling “bullshit” on the consulting offer, his catching a wave, so to speak.

I’d rather see him offer $10K of pro bono consulting to 10 wineries then to pile on this Murphy-Goode media reach-around.  It shouldn’t be hard – Paul can check out his Twitter followers for wineries that don’t also have a blog and/or a Facebook fan page, those that are toe-dipping and not fully engaged, and really help them grow a focused presence based on some actionable planning and in doing so measure their mindshare and sales increase. 

That would be genuinely helpful to the wine industry, spreading the seeds of positive progress.  It also helps build measurable case studies which the wine industry desperately needs, with many wineries adopting Missouri’s unofficial state motto for most things.

So, as I’m “Booing the Wow” here it was with interest that I saw a job listing for Italian Wine Merchants in the current issue of the Sommelier Journal.

To me, this gig, a Sales Portfolio Manager position, is a really good job (pun intended).


Maybe it’s appealing to me because I love Barolo but only get to drink it every full moon during a leap year.  Maybe it’s because the opportunity to penetrate the secret society of high-end collectors while acting as the equivalent of a trusted financial advisor is fascinating to me.  Regardless, Italian Wine Merchants (who didn’t respond to several inquiries for comment on the job posting) seems to have a good opportunity, natch, a great opportunity for the right candidate.

To boot, it’s a permanent position with openings in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Connecticut, Seattle, Dallas, Houston, Washington DC, Hong Kong, Mexico City and London.  So, it’s in a neighborhood near you.

They are looking for (according to the job posting):

Ambitious, self-motivated and industrious sales professionals. The successful candidate will have a proven record of success in fine wine, luxury goods, wealth management, financial trading or exclusive real estate sales. The candidate will be responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with high net worth individuals, while simultaneously managing a portfolio of fine wines and other luxury products and bringing them successfully to market.

With the following attributes (edited):

• Highly motivated individual; thrives in a competitive environment
• Active learner with initiative, drive and salesmanship
• Demonstrated professional demeanor
• Refined communication skills, both over-the-phone and face-to-face
• Strong knowledge of, or interest in the fine wine industry
• Experience making phone/face-to-face sales calls (cold calls included)
• Capacity to work with a client base of high net worth individuals and to grow that client base
• Ability to identify high-level clients from large lists of leads
• Strong presentation skills to both small and large groups (20 — 100 people)
• Ability to formulate, present and implement selling plans and work within a CRM system

You can tell from the job posting that this is a serious job, for serious candidates, with the opportunity to make serious money, while being immersed in the wine business.  The previous job history they are looking for in a candidate virtually ensures a six-figure income opportunity.

Call me crazy, call me Shirley, call me whatever you want, but the longer this Murphy-Goode thing goes on with the stroking of the press, and the candidates inducing themselves into a Darwinian game of social media chess, the more my skepticism (and my empathy for the participants) increases.

They won’t be a social media consultant, they’ll be a monkey in a Twitter zoo.

If the 500 or so Murphy-Goode candidates are serious about a career in wine, the opportunities exist for a really goode permanent job, no gimmicks attached.


Posted in, Around the Wine Blogosphere. Permalink | Comments (23) |


On 06/11, Paul Mabray wrote:

My brother from another mother - if you saw our message we are offering consulting to ANY wine company who hires any of the VinTank 4+  - we believe this will help wineries online by adding 8 more rockstars to the wine industy with a focus on online sales and marketing.  This is more than A Really Goode Job this is A Really Goode Movement.  Watch the VinTank 4+ Kung foo in the wine industry!

On 06/11, Dale Cruse wrote:

Jeff, I agree. I’ve been saying and commenting publicly for a couple of weeks that I’m getting tired of hearing about Murphy Goode and they haven’t even picked a winner yet! At this point I’m more curious who wins the job than what they have to say.

On 06/11, Jeff wrote:


I get that.  That point isn’t lost on me.  I guess, my point is it seems like a little huckterism and promotional and trying to catch a media wave alongside Murphy-Goode.

Honestly, this has to be the largest earned press opportunity a winery has ever had.  That press is a also a double-edged sword.


On 06/11, Dale Cruse wrote:

I’m glad you said that, Jeff. I’ve never been comfortable with VinTank’s presence in this whole matter.

From the moment they jumped on board, their presence has just felt like them shouting, “US TOO!”

This is Murphy Goode’s contest. Let them have it. Observe, report, discuss - but it’s their matter.

VinTank bungled (in my opinion) the whole matter by putting their support behind four candidates and offering $100K in consulting services to the winner. At that point the contest felt like it was no longer about Murphy Goode or its candidates - it was about VinTank.

When people finally called them out on Andy’s blog, Paul made comments about no good deed going unpunished. Thing is, no one asked for that good deed. Shortly after, the Murphy Goode PR director came in to reject VinTank’s offer and Paul and company had egg on their face. After some quick maneuvering, VinTank offered to back multiple candidates and Paul actually sent me a direct message on Twitter asking me to blog about their altruism! Once again Paul, this whole thing isn’t about you.

All that being said, I wish Murphy Goode and their candidates good luck.

On 06/11, Jeff wrote:

Thanks Dale.

I want to note that, overall, though I go on side tangents, my overall intent isn’t to indict VinTank.  It’s to talk about weariness with M-G, how this promo is being handled with the excessive press and to point out that there are real, legitimate, long-term opportunities in the wine business that are interesting.

I want to be careful that a side blurb on Vintank doesn’t dominate comments.

Stay on message is what a politician would call it.

Thanks again!


On 06/11, Paul Mabray wrote:

I think once you added the word “bullshit” and “huckterism” next to our intentions, you’d get some good response around that effort. 

Though you may fatigue of the PR, the reality is that their foray into e-business may spark not only one job, but an industry really paying attention to e-business. 

And though you may think we are trying to ride MG’s wave, you can look below at our reasons and see where our thought process lies.  The reality is we (and the companies that will be announced that we circled for biz dev) have been the ONLY business to put our efforts and money where our mouth is to support MG’s efforts to hopefully help ensure it is a success.  It NEEDS to be for the health of wine e-business.

So first let me give you some real context that will stand on record on Jeff’s post going forward regarding our position as well as a time line so that you have context of what this means.

In the US wine industry there are approximately 6000 wineries.

Only approximately 8 wineries have dedicated e-business staff.

There is only 1 digital think tank for the wine industry.  If you want to term it differently (since think tank is so specific), there is only 1 digital consulting firm for the wine industry.

Murphy’s Goodes offer to hire an digital marketing person (under whatever guise) is revolutionary.

VinTank, being who we are (a digital consulting firm), wanted to ensure that their hire was a success instead of a failure so that other wineries would join them in hiring e-business experts.  Our method was to vet them with our pre-requisites and offer them up as a check mark on a resume and with a special qualification that we’d assist only those candidates.  This was done WITHOUT the consent or knowledge of MG.  We put our money where our mouth was to support what really was a forward thinking move on MG’s part.

Our mistake was that our efforts, while noble, would make the competition look skewed if one of our candidates (although highly qualified) was chosen.

MG and VinTank connected we negotiated a change that was better for ANY winner, no matter their origin.  I think you, and all the qualified candidates, can see how we have helped raise the professionalism for what everyone should understand is a job offer. Candidates looked at the job differently after our influence. 

We also stepped up our offer and added 4 candidates on top of our 4 (for a total of 8) and expanded our offer beyond MG so that if any of our 8 were hired by ANY winery, we’d also extend support to that winery pro-bono.  So far we have had 4 job offers come to our office for the 8.  We have been working hard with the first two candidates on their campaign (and for biz dev items that will help far after) and this week we plan to get deep into strategies, tactics, and KPI’s for the remaining 6.  It is our GOAL that we do not only help the “A really goode job” candidate but we help 8+ people and wineries focus on digital marketing.  You will see by the way our endorsed candidates run their campaign that they support all candidates and I think (and strongly hope) that they will be in the wine industry for a very long time.

We (and the VinTank 4+) continue to support other MG candidates going so far as to answer questions, give tips, even spend hours on the phone helping people craft their strategies.  Our hope is that even more than 8 will learn and join the wine industry as well.

As to us trying to make this about us rather than MG, I think you can see the above how much bigger this is than MG or VinTank.  This is about an industry adopting e-business and us, the only company that focuses on wine e-business, ensuring that success.  You trying to pull in the fact that we are trying to make it about us is akin to you saying that we made the WBC scholarship (that you won) about VinTank (which we were one, if not the, largest contributor).  If you look at our intention there, we contributed to support bloggers which we feel are key to the wine industry, not to make it about VinTank.

On 06/11, Paul Mabray wrote:

One last note - Dale, we did ask you to blog about our altruism because of the string above because we respect your blog and you had made mention of the MG response.  Like any PR effort, we assumed that since you had interest in the incident and you are a good blogger, that you would be willing to talk about the benefits and implications of our efforts rather than the obvious controversy.

On 06/11, Jeff wrote:


Thanks for the excellent remarks.

Within context of the post and comments, the point to what I was saying, specifically regarding the use of the “bullshit” and “huckterism” remains:

“Id rather see him offer $10K of pro bono consulting to 10 wineries then to pile on this Murphy-Goode media reach-around.”

I go on to elaborate that the process for doing so wouldn’t be hard, separate from Murphy-Goode.

And, as stated previously, the post has two main thematic points:

1) M-G press coverage is bleeding this out to nausea

2)  There are other good jobs that exist

This isn’t an indictment on VinTank. 

Really, since I say over and over that I’m big on context, the reference to VinTank is merely a contextual point.

I’d really prefer that the comments not turn into a VinTank fest (pro or con).

You are to be commended for your consistent support of industry-wide initiatives that are healthy for everybody.

Somebody please comment about the Italian Wine Merchants job and opinion on how that position may be appealing.


On 06/11, Dale Cruse wrote:

Paul, your last two comments prove to me that in your mind it’s all about you and your altruism.

You like data, so let’s count how many times you use certain words in those comments.

“Our” 18
“We” 17
“VinTank” 6
“Us” 3

“Murphy Goode” 8
“Them” 2
“Their” 1

You talking about yourself four times more than you talk about Murphy Goode seems about right.

You defend your actions by saying things like: “VinTank, being who we are (a digital consulting firm), wanted to ensure that their hire was a success instead of a failure….”

In my mind, that wasn’t your job. That was you and VinTank being buttinskys.

“Our method was to vet them with our pre-requisites….”

Again, not your job.

“Our mistake was that our efforts, while noble, would make the competition look skewed if one of our candidates (although highly qualified) was chosen.”

Your mistake, in my opinion, was getting involved at all.

*Sigh.* I’m tired of this whole conversation. I’m tired of hearing about Murphy Goode, I’m tired of reading about VinTank trying to save the wine social media world and then playing the martyr when someone calls them on it. I’m just tired.

On 06/11, Paul Mabray wrote:

While you may tire of it, your public statements should be responded to.

As to your math (which I do love) it is natural that when explaining “our” position that we will be referenced more than MG.

As to “martyr” I do not see us asking for anything but to present our opinion.

As to “saving wine social media” I think you’d be better served to use the sentence “helpin to stimulate wine social media.”

And as to our involvement, I don’t think any of the MG candidates that have spoken and worked with us (even beyond our picks), MG, or the four wineries with job offers think that our entry was a mistake.

On 06/11, 1WineDude wrote:

I like the debate… strong, and I’m hoping it remains civil.

Reading this, it makes me realize that while some of us like Dale (and me, too) are getting tired of hearing about Murphy-Goode, some others are really getting into it and the overall effect on the wine industry is going to be positive, especially for those who are into digital media, etc.

This is already driving some change in wine company thinking.  I got a call from a VERY big wine company PR dept., wanting to talk about how to convince their senior management on how/why to include wine blogging, etc., in their PR plans…

On 06/11, Dale Cruse wrote:

It sounds like such a copout, but it sounds like Paul and I will have to agree to disagree.

As an aside, I enjoy the debate. I also find it interesting that wine bloggers never debate when all we do is post tasting notes. “Hints of cassis?! Are you mad?! That’s clearly blackberry!” Never happens.

On 06/11, Jeff wrote:

Thanks guys.  1WineDude - you should throw that bone over to VT for the consulting exercise. 

I’m calling an official moratorium on comments regarding VinTank.

Please take it DM’s on Twitter or email, por favor.


On 06/11, David Mark Horowitz wrote:

Did you guys get some adderall from my students?

MG has been a great promotion, but the ultimate question is “How is social media going to be used to connect a PERSON/PEOPLE at Jackson Family Wines to other people via rss, twitter, facebook…?”

Winemakers jump ship all the time.  Is Jess Jackson ready to soak up the social media spotlight?  Will this end up looking good for JFW or like a weird social media episode of The Girls Next Door?

My thoughts a while back:

My awesome MG video:

I’d settle for the VinTank Top 100.

On 06/11, Jill wrote:

Wow, um wow…I want to make a comment and it has nothing to do with the heated exchange above. It has to do with your assertion, Jeff, that the IWM job is a really good job compared to the Murphy-Goode opportunity.

Did you happen to notice that there’s no salary listed on the Italian Wine Merchants listing? That’s because it’s a sales position, and likely is commission based. Guaranteed six figures is more than a bit of a stretch.

I realize that IWM is a retailer, but it sounds like this is both a distribution portfolio sales job as well as a private client oriented position. These are some of the hardest jobs I’ve encountered in the wine industry, and they amount to door-to-door sales calls, often cold calls, lugging a wheelie suitcase filled with bottles around to buyers all over a city who may or may not be amenable to one’s product.

It doesn’t seem to me that this is a cutting edge or a dream job. Yes, it could be a great job to cut one’s teeth on. But when you compare it to guaranteed income, and a six month vacation—err, I mean relocation—in wine country, the two just don’t compare on a superficial level or even on a fundamental level.

I see your point, and I think it has some validity. I just wish you’d picked a different opportunity to juxtapose the Murphy-Goode position against.

On 06/11, Jeff wrote:

Hi Jill,

Thanks for the comment. 

I’m not so sure this is a commission-only job, most sales rep positions in the industry have some salary, and based on who they are looking for, there is likely at least a healthy draw.

If they’re looking for quality candidates, people who polish their shoes and use a dry cleaner, there is at least a draw.

I guess it all depends on your experience and comfort level.  I’ve never not carried a revenue number and the things you cite don’t bother me. 

But, I get your point from a different perspective, and it’s valuable!


On 06/11, kevin keith wrote:


Amen bro!  It’s all a side-show and for what, a TEMP job.  I have been working hard for almost two decades to get where I am in the biz (which isn’t all that far), so I know, if I am pulling up stakes in this business, I want to do it for a permanent, well-paid gig.  A lot of these folks vying for the MG job I know and respect, but I think they might be a bit awestruck by the contest and not seeing the big picture.  Best of luck to them all but I think they’re all crazy.

On 06/11, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

This is simply awesome, let’s see if I have this straight:

* K-J tries to become the first company (other than a consultant) to make some real money in the social media wine universe by trying to boost the struggling M-G brand.

* Vintank nutswings its way into the fray by riding aftershocks of PR that K-J created.

* Called out, Vintank plays the altruism card (because, really, everyone who knows Jess Jackson only wants to “help” him (LMBFAO)).  A bit like saying “I reached out for Donald Trump because I care so much about him”.

* Jeff very gently calls out Vintank the company, but loses his nuts short of calling out Mabray personally, instead decrying overcoverage of the issue, whilst covering it himself.

Awesome, simply awesome.


On 06/11, Jeff wrote:


Now I’m laughing my arse off.

I officially anticipate this being the last comment on this post, as you have officially given final word.


On 06/11, winebratsf wrote:

From a bloggers perspective, even though the media has been saturated with Murphy Goode of late, I actually am not sick of it.

It excites me to see the level of involvement that K-J as a major player in the wine industry has in the social media / bloggersphere, and encourages me that new media really is taking hold in a world that is generally 5-10 years behind the learning curve.

I think that overall, while there might be one so called “winner”, every applicant, and specifically the VinTank 4, will DIRECTLY benefit from the exposure.  A well run effort for the M-G job will expose a talented individual to multitudes of opportunities.  It is up to the smart consumer and/or companies to take advantage of the talent pool - or not.

On a personal note, other than 4-5 twitter friends and one personal friend who applied, how many of us now know who these people are?  I personally have found new blogs to read, and new and interesting people to follow on twitter as a direct result of the Really Goode Job campaign. 

On another note, Dale - we debate tasting notes all the time.  We just don’t bash people because their opinions differ.

Perhaps VinTank is riding the MG wave, but isn’t that what PR is all about?  Taking a good idea and running with it?  In my book that is called good (or is that GOODE) marketing.  They are helping the VinTank 4 gain exposure as much as the campaign is helping VinTank get exposure, making it a mutually agreeable situation.

It is quite clear to me, as an experienced professional, which of the 500 odd applicants are a) serious professionals b) serious about wine and c) serious about making a difference.  If you

On 06/11, Paul Mabray wrote:

I guess civil went out the window. I actually smirk at rocks some people feel they need to throw through absurd conjecture, observations, and often times just negative opinions.  We stand proudly behind our position, our activities, and our results.  We are proud of MG (especially because it is a major winery like Jackson Estates) for dipping a toe deep into the digital space.

I am amazed at the negative nellies tend to criticize rather than support the positives that this campaign and our involvement have meant to people and the industry.  As a result of MG more wineries are paying attention to the online space (a much needed activity) and due to our small contribution 4+ people will have jobs at wineries doing digital marketing.  Nuff said.  For those of you who keep blabbing I say BOO and shame on you.  You should spend more of your time and energy encouraging wineries to try to interact with the web more(even if it is a PR campaign).

At the end of the day MG has catalyzed more online activity for wine and we’ve helped people and wineries connect for more digital wine jobs.  Kung foo.

Thea - thank you.  All of your statements are true and much appreciated.

On 06/11, Jeff wrote:

Thanks again for the comments.

I feel like Mark Squires now.

Any additional comments to this post will be closed and not published.

I’ve asked politely now three times to not make the comment space off topic from the theme of the post.

Paul, if your comments “I actually smirk at rocks some people feel they need to throw through absurd conjecture, observations, and often times just negative opinions.” is related to my site, feel free to send me a private email.


On 06/11, Paul Mabray wrote:

Just to clarify - Jeff - that was not about your blog post or your site.  It was about the commenters here and on a few other blogs and twitter.  I know you have shut down comments but please post this one so that it clarifies my position.


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