Dear Reader, To fully understand this extraordinary challenge to Stephen Colbert's brilliant, blatant self-promotional skills, I urge you to first read the first two articles in this series: article one and article two. Or, ignore them. After all, it's not Shakespeare.
As promised by my angel of cirrhosis, Shelley Lewis, PR pro extraordinare of The Thomas Collective (one can't help but wonder, collective of what? I hope dear Shelley isn't being held captive)... anyway, Shelley arranged for me to speak with a most delightful representative of Jameson Irish Whiskey, Frankie Pezzella. Hardly an Irish lass, as she'll admit, and, despite my best efforts to drag her into dangerous territory, she demonstrated time and time again her ability to avoid the lures dangling in front of her.
She is, on the other hand, a bright, charming, delightful person with a sparkling sense of humor... in that she laughed at my jokes.
I approached the interview carefully. I had specific wants in mind, although I knew it would be strategically inadvisable to blurt them out. So I began our phone interview with an approach straight out of Miss Mannners.*
First of all, I must thank you for the case of Jameson and the bottle of Midleton.
Oh, you're welcome. Have you been enjoying it?
Absolutely, although I haven’t touched the Midleton yet. It's still in its box. I take it out from time to time, admire it, say a silent prayer of thanks to the gods of Jameson. After all, it's not something you just open and slug down.
[First indication that she's really good at her job.] You're definitely one who knows how to enjoy their Jameson.
Besides thanking you, I want you to know that I'm committed to continuing to promote Jameson. I'll do whatever I can to help out. By the way, what is your job there?
I'm a senior brand manager on Jameson.
What’s that mean? [This sounds good. Senior is a good title. Maybe this is the person who has the authority to improve my giftiness.]
We work with the brand director in the States and with the Irish distillers in Ireland. [We??? There's more than one? That's not good.] A senior brand manager handles marketing, promotion, and public relations. We work across the board to increase Jameson's share of voice and sales volume.
How’d you get your job?
Well, I'd known Jameson well and had been working in spirits for a long time. There was an opening to work for Jameson, and I asked for it.