Rum in Russia

In word association, the word “rum” rarely follows “Russia” but last month I had the pleasure of witnessing the two come together in the form of the BACARDÍ Legacy Cocktail Competition, an international competition that brought the best contemporary bartenders in the World to one stage in search of the next legacy cocktail. My role was to accompany five US media covering the competition and ensure they had everything they needed throughout the week to write their stories. In short, it was pretty amazing!


I arrived in Moscow on a dreary Monday morning after a 10-hour flight from New York’s JFK Airport. Though exhausted from travel, I was energized by the thought of everything the week would bring and I was not disappointed.

My schedule included:

  • A cruise along the Moscow River;
  • Walking tour of Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral;
  • Several delicious meals at trendy Russian restaurants and nightclubs, all featuring hand-crafted BACARDI cocktails;
  • A formal dinner celebrating the finalists where guests arrived dressed in Golden Age of Cocktails attire (think 1920’s!);
  • A final competition held at Petroff Palace, an incredible venue built in the XVIII century that radiated Russian opulence; and
  • A sendoff complete with dancing and fireworks.   

The week was unmatched to anything I had experienced before, however, my biggest take-away from my time in Russia was much simpler:

PR is PR no matter where you are in the world.

Behind the private tours, fancy dinners and seamlessly run competition, was my Russian counterpart Liza and her team. Arm in arm, we worked feverously to guarantee each and every element was executed without issue or complaint. Though Liza and I were from very different countries, we understood each other despite all cultural and language impediments. We spoke the international language of PR! (Loose translation: Get. It. Done.)

Our mission had a common goal:  a successful week and a happy client. This roaring victory could not have been accomplished without mutual collaboration and a passion to get past all barriers. After traveling around the globe, the bottom line is the needs and processes of successful PR—teamwork, strategy, clear messaging—are the same.