Wallace wins Goode job

hardy.jpgHardy Wallace, a man who once climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in a bumblebee suit, has been named the winner of Murphy Goode Winery’s “Lifestyle Correspondent.”  

The much-publicized gig begins in early August, when Wallace will move into his rent free-Healdsburg accomodations and get down to business. His task? Spending the next six months finding new ways to reach younger wine drinkers — most notably via social media like Twitter, blogs, video and “Tweet Ups” where online chatters meet in real life. Wallace will be paid $10,000 per month for the six month experiment.

The author of, a popular wine blog, hails from Atlanta, Georgia and was considered a front-runner from early in the competition. He received an endorsement from local wine consultancy, VinTank, who have pledged $100,000 in social media consulting services to the winner.

The Twittersphere immediately lit up in the minutes following the announcement, with congratulations pouring in from friends, locals and even fellow competitors for the job. Which isn’t especially surprising — wineries throughout the region are poised to snap up the losers in their own bids for social media stardom. Recently St. Supery winery announced that a former Goode competitor, Rick Bakas, would be their new Director of Social Media.

Wallace, in an interview last Sunday, said that he’s well aware of the hurdles before him, noting that even within Jackson Family wine group (of which Murphy Goode is a part) there are some that still aren’t convinced of social media’s potential.  It’s a concern echoed throughout the industry.

But Hardy, who recently lost his full-time job in Atlanta, says he’s more than up for the challenge. He’ll start things off by attending this week’s Wine Blogger’s Conference in Sonoma and Napa.

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5 thoughts on “Wallace wins Goode job

  1. Nope, not laid off, and I don’t work for KJ estates. I’d like to see it work personally, I just have my doubts. I do work in the industry, so it’s made me a bit jaded so see these kinds of moves that appear to be economically unsound.
    But it’s great to hear from people that obviously do work for MG or KJ estates put thier positive spin on the situation. I actually do hope it works out, and then others follw suit. The industry as a whole needs a shot in the arm.
    And I’ve had the MG fume, no thanks.

  2. Haterade. I love that. I’m adopting it.
    Have you seen the fake hardy blog?
    I had to write this story for the paper (*and stay somewhat neutral) but here’s my very personal feelings about Hardy — he’s clearly the guy to do this. It is rare to meet someone with the kind of raw enthusiasm, humor and engaging personality that Hardy has about wine who can actually talk the biz in a way that doesn’t make your eyes glaze over. There was no question in my mind — even from the first day I talked to him way back in April — that he was probably going to win.
    On Sunday, I asked him very candidly about the who idea of him becoming a marketing person for a particular winery, which I think is what a lot of wine blog/wine industry people have some issues with. It is something that bloggers who don’t make money through their writing have to deal with. You reach a certain amount of influence and people want to use you to sell their product. But are you then just a shill? And will anyone ever believe anything you say?
    I think Hardy has some thinking to do, but i also think he’s done a lot of thinking about it. He’s keeping separate from his Murphy Goode stuff, but lines can blur easily.
    The bottom line is that Hardy’s a guinea pig for this experiment. He’s putting himself out there (though he is, yes, getting paid well) for all of us to watch and analyze. He’ll make mistakes and hopefully he’ll have some success. He’s also going to have some serious competition.
    Did anyone see the “text” marketing St. Supery is doing? Interesting.

  3. Is “Burgersnob” one of the 10% that got laid off? If so, sorry about that but wouldn’t it be better to be positive and hope that this whole “A REALLY GOODE JOB” marketing campaign DOES result in increased revenue for M-G??
    I had the pleasure of working with all ten contestents at the M-G Tasting Room on Sunday and found them all to be very excited about the challenge of the position. They were all extremely nice and very friendly, working the crowd that came to meet them. Congratulations to Hardy…I am sure you will do a GREAT job! Best wishes to the remaining nine…it was a pleasure to meet you

  4. I’m glad MG describes this as an experiment. Can social media directly increase MG’s sales by at least $60,000/6 months? My guess is no it can’t. Existing tasting room managers and marketing execs need to be able to take this new media outlet and run with it. Paying an additional $120,000 salary each year is going to lose money for the winery. It needs to be handled in house with existing employees for a winery to see justifiable profit in this.
    It’s already hard to justify marketing personnel slaries of $100,000 plus, when tracking direct sales due to advertising is unreliable at best.
    Now we are paying $120,000 per year for a blogger? This after KJ estates has laid off close to 10% of its work force? It’s got to feel awesome for a MG employee that was laid off in order to make room for a $120k per year advertising guy.
    Questionable move in a down economy, but good luck anyway!

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