She might be new to Patron, but Pam Dzierzanowski is no stranger to the spirits world. Before joining the New York office of Las Vegas-based ultra-premium tequila maker in March as events director, the one-time liquor sales rep held positions with Seagram, Diageo and Absolut.
In her Patron post, Dzierzanowski relies on the client relationships she's worked hard to nurture over the years — particularly in the media market. Patron is “a huge media buyer,” notes the event expert, who calculates that media clients, especially magazines, make up 80 percent to 90 percent of her event partnerships.
With such extensive media experience in her arsenal, Dzierzanowski has learned how to handle the delicate give-and-take such partnerships require. “It is often hard to come up with an idea that will allow my brand to stand out and that the event manager of the magazine will go along with, as it is their event and they do not want to be trumped by one of their sponsors,” she notes. To ensure a mutually beneficial relationship, Dzierzanowski meets with significant players on the client side to plan an upcoming year's event schedule. She typically includes the magazine's sales rep, who is “getting revenue from the media buy and has a vested interest in making us happy,” as well as the event man-ager, who “cares about my brand — but really cares about his or her event.”
Then the negotiations begin. “They say, ‘These are our 10 events for the year — which do you want to be involved in?’” Once the dates are laid out, Dzierzanowski puts forth her branding priorities, and her client counters with its own. “It's kind of church and state,” she notes. “But if we're all in agreement before saying ‘yes’ to the event, then we're all happy.”
And what makes her higher-ups, her clients and her events' guests happiest, she says, are interactive Patron-related event elements that unite her product with the event's overall theme and contribute to the fun. Among interactive experiences she's brought to the party: make-your-own margaritas, learn-how-to-DJ and a “bling-your-martini” glass-decorating activity so compelling that even event guest and bling aficionado Snoop Dogg clamored to get in on the action.
While Dzierzanowski gives Patron-sponsored events her all, she does not give her sponsorship to all events. “We're selective and only create and sponsor events that match our high-quality ‘Simply Perfect’ persona,” she says, alluding to Patron's brand slogan. “We want people who attend our events to feel like they're someplace special, experiencing something sophisticated and unique.”
The Patron Spirits Co. 880 Park Ave, Suite 2H, New York, NY 10016; 646/478-8674; www.patronspirits.com
KEEP 'EM SEPARATE
“I believe companies are starting to separate PR and events, which they used to consider to be the same. I am quite opinionated that they are two unique and different roles and should be treated as such. A PR person can be, but isn't necessarily, an expert at events. I'm not a great PR person, but I'm a great event person. They are two different personality types in my opinion, two different types of expertise. But you do need both.”
“It feels great to work for people who hold you in such high regard. I feel I am a lucky person who has found her niche. I love what I do every day.”
SPREAD THE WORD
“One of the most difficult challenges about my job is trying to keep everyone informed about so many events taking place across the country and around the world. As all event professionals know, events and details change quite frequently, and there are always so many layers of people that it really is difficult sometimes to keep everyone in the loop.”