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The Business of Wine Industry Public Relations Or The Proper Care and Handling of the Beast Tom Wark Communications March 25, 2006
A. Stating the Obvious? 1. The goal of any ongoing PR Effort in the wine industry is to increase profits. 2. We are all here to make money. 3. A good public relations program, at its simplest, tells the world why Winery X is worthy of the consumer’s patronage. 4. Publicists are in the business of telling stories.
B. The Story To sell wine, a winery must be more than a maker of wine. A winery must offer a compelling reason to exist. A winery’s story is a set of values and commitments that set them apart from other wineries. Understanding that story, crafting it, being able to communicate it to various groups, then being willing to deliver the story over and over again, in a creative way, is what a publicist does.
C. Compelling Stories 1. Humanitas Wines: Giving Back-One Sip At a Time 2. Foppiano Vineyards: The Champions of Petite Sirah 3. Roshambo Winery: Wine for the People 4. Mayo Family Winery: Nothing but Single Vineyard Wines 5. Matanzas Creek Winery: Extremism in Pursuit of Quality
D. THE NITTY GRITTY: HOW TO TELL A STORY Aiming a Story at Three Different Groups: Consumers, Trade and Media Each Group Gets the same story, but gets it differently.
Aiming At The Consumer: Buy This (story) Wine!! Newsletters: requesting they buy the story Emails: electronically requesting they buy the story Advertising: “Go buy this story!” Events: experience our story Tasting rooms: taste our story Shelf Talkers: reach for our story Media: a good reason to buy our story
Aiming At The Trade Training More Storytellers Sales Kits: creating the story book Sales Trips: it’s story time Trade newsletters: updating the story Media: giving story tellers a reason to tell the story
E. The Proper Care & Handling of the Beast: Dealing with the Wine Media Understanding the Beast Feeding Implements Feed Them What They Want Observe Them in Their Natural Habitat
Understanding The Beast The Trade Press Small, Technical, intra-industry Wine Business Monthly, Wines & Vines, Practical Winery The Consumer Press Nationwide, Regional, Educational, Influences buying patterns New York Times Wine & Dine Section, Forbes, SF Chronicle Wine Section, Food & Wine Magazine, Books The Hybrids For Trade & Consumer, Enormous Influence Wine Spectator, Robert Parker, Wine & Spirits, Newsletters
Feeding Implements Communicating with the Press The Press Kit The Press Release Pitching the Story Face time Samples Events
Feed Them What They Want The Wine Media has responsibilities. By understanding these responsibilities and working with them as partners you help them do their job and you do yours.
Feed Them What They Want What the Media Wants and Needs to Do Their Job: Lessons From the American Wine Writer Survey 1. What they get is not very helpful 2. New Products, Events, Awards = Useless 3. Personalities, Winemaking, Terroir, Trends = Useful
Feed Them What They Want Breaking through the Clutter and Being Useful 1. Know the Writers 2. Fit Your Story To Their Needs 3. Avoid Disappointment
F. The Power of the Media Robert Parker: The High-End Market Maker The Wine Spectator: Expertise for the Masses The Snowball: The Power of Many
G. The Secrets To Being a Great Publicist Read Write Listen Know Your Industry
H. The Blogosphere: A New Frontier A PR Tool & a New Set of Publishers Rapid Publishing Rapid Spread of Ideas Interactive Potential for Creating Loyalty
Regional Wine Blog
Varietal Specific Blog
Trader Joe’s-Wine Blog
Winery Website Design Blog
General Wine Coverage Blog
New York Times Wine Blog
Wine Publicist Blog
Rules to Blog By 1. Blog From An Angle 2. Express Your Unique Voice 3. Know the Wine Blogging Community 4. Publicize Your Blog 5. Post New Entries to Your Blog Often 6. Interact With Your Readers
Using Blogs To Promote 1. Treat Bloggers Like You Would Any Journalist 2. Contact Them Personally with Sample Offers 3. Post Comments on Their Blogs 4. Know What Each Blogger Tends To Cover 5. Do It Electronically
Tom Wark Communications Public & Media Relations Glen Ellen, California 707 -933 -9313 [email protected] com www. fermentation. typepad. com