It’s April 1st and for the past few years, it’s a day that I have dreaded in the cigar industry. It’s the time of April Fools’ press releases.

On one hand, I get the creativity of the press releases. On the other hand, when I see cigar companies invest time and resources to creating an April Fools’ press release – when they normally do not do any type of media communications, it really makes me scratch my head. Why not take that energy that you put into the April Fools joke and put it into a dynamic media campaign instead?

To be fair, many other industries run April Fools gags, so while it might seem like the cigar industry should not be excluded, I would disagree. It’s an industry that many still have a long way to go with media relations. I just would like to see the gap closed before the April Fools gags appear.

Whether cigar industry specific or not, most of the jokes have run their course.  The one in the cigar industry that probably is best known was the movie trailer that had a lot of us fooled – Operation Smokescreen. While that one was created by Famous Smoke Shop and was a very creative project (and for all practical purposes, was a marketing campaign), I can’t help but think that could have been so much more – and something that leveraged the talent and creativity of the cigar industry. I always suggested those participants from the industry could have a short ten-minute film. From that film, money could have been raised to fund our battles with the FDA.

I can live with the April Fools gags on social media, it’s when it moves into the formal press releases where I have the issue.

One thing I will say – there are a lot of companies that are very good with media relations, and it is unfair to lump them in with the ones that do a poor job – so my negativity here does not apply to them.. This past month saw the industry take a bold step forward in terms of media relations with having Rocky Patel on Tucker Carlson Tonight. However, when I see cigar companies continue to exclude media and deal with only one print publication and/ordevelop these April Fools’ jokes, I realize the cigar industry has a long way to go.

On the other hand, April is a special month on Cigar Coop. This month marks one year when we launched our first podcast, “The Prime Time Show”.  Thank you for all of the great support and feedback from our audience, sponsors, and the industry. This month we will celebrate our one year anniversary and our 50th episode. As it happens, Episode 49 will be just about on our one year anniversary. I will be traveling to Tampa, Florida where we will broadcast from the Davidoff store in Tampa and welcome Scott Kolesaire, the brand manager for AVO and we will help them celebrate 30 years as a brand.

Lucky we only have to deal with April Fools on the first day of the month, so we can enjoy the rest of what now will always be a special month in the Cigar Coop heritage.