Coats Public Relations is a full service, results oriented, “get your hands dirty” public relations and event marketing firm. Born in November of 1999, company principle, Michael Coats, after 12 successful years leading a top shelf san Francisco based publicity company, Coats left to focus on regional clients in California’s Wine Country, and to rekindle his event management experience. Michael’s personal hands-on attention to his client’s public relations needs has been his hallmark throughout his over 30-year career.
Entertainment Industry Highlights
Over the years, Michael Coats has been privileged to represent an array of top flight entertainment clients including: the Doobie Brothers, tours by James Brown, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Night Ranger, Hot Tuna, and Jefferson Starship. Michael has also managed major entertainment events including the annual California Music Awards (Bammies), Simon and Garfunkel’s Day on the Green reunion, Silicon Planet and countless others. Michael has also worked with Bill Graham Special Events on a myriad of projects. Michael managed the publicity for the “old” Guns N’ Roses reunion, featuring Slash, Duff, Izzy and Matt, which evolved into Velvet Revolver and to this day co-produces the annual B.R. Cohn Charity Events Fall Music festival, an event he co-founded 28-years ago and has raised over 6 million for charity.
Michael Coats was the founding publicity director of the B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen, and stayed on through owner Bruce Cohn’s retirement. He has also worked with Viansa, Gundlach Bundschu, St. Francis, Audellsa, Landmark, Benziger Family Winery and currently enjoys a long-standing relationship with Ledson Winery & Vineyards as well as the Ledson Hotel and Harmony Lounge on Sonoma’s historic plaza. Michael also launched the initial public relations campaign for California’s first Hispanic-owned winery, Robledo Family Winery in Sonoma.
Coats was also one of the founders of the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction, represented the Sonoma County Showcase of Food and Wine and currently represents Mendocino Countiy’s premier wine event WineSong.
Michael Coats public relations career began in high school. As a student at Monte Vista High School in Danville, California, Michael was responsible for promoting the concerts that the schools electronics program staged to raise much-needed funds. Among the groups that performed were such celebrated names like Huey Lewis and the News, Journey, Doobie Brother Tom Johnston and Greg Kihn.
Making contacts led Michael to San Francisco music entrepreneur Jeffrey Pollack, who had just opened the Old Waldorf nightclub. In 1977, Coats started working the box office and quickly assumed the floor management position. Also during that year, Michael met up with Ken Baker, the bay area’s leading public relations man and was given an account executive position. Ken’s partner at the time was John Glodow, Michael’s future partner.
In 1984, after rising to the position of Vice President at Ken Baker Publicity, Michael Coats left for Sonoma, lured by Bruce Cohn to look after his stable of artists, which included the Doobie Brothers, Night Ranger and Taxxi. In 1987, Michael reunited with John Glodow to establish Glodow and Coats Publicity Services. In 1991, Jeff Nead joined the firm as a partner. During those 12 years, Michael was involved with many successful projects including: the opening of W Hotel and Sony’s Metreon, long-term projects with Virgin and Alitalia Airlines, and the hot-selling Pokemon trading card game. In 1999, Michael felt the time was right to start his own company and Coats Public Relations became a reality.
Michael Coats has lived in Sonoma for 30 years. He and his wife Valerie live on a small farm and grow grapes in their own vineyard, daughter Allison is VP of Coats PR and son Michael is a social media expert at a famed Napa winery. The family also owns Valerie Coats Catering in Sonoma. Michael is the past president of the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau and headed the publicity committee for the city of Sonoma’s Sesquicentennial in 1998. He volunteers on local school projects and fundraisers, and is a past board member of the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation. He enjoys spending time with his family; hosting the weekly radio show, Guys @ 5 with sidekicks, Mr. Pickles and Jobsite Jeff, Wednesdays on KSVY 91.3 FM; trout fishing the west; and growing critically acclaimed organic, ultra-premium pinot noir grapes for his family label, Valerie’s Vineyard. www.valeriesvineyard.com