We know it’s difficult growing, producing, wholesaling, marketing and building your brand. The number of wineries in the U.S. is continuing to increase, so keeping your wines in front of writers, their readers, and staying top of mind with your customers is more important than ever. Public Relations (PR) is a strategy that all competitive wineries in the current environment need to consider. Wonder why the same wineries tend to get good press again and again? They probably have an excellent in-house PR strategy, supplemented by external PR services from specialists.
For wineries that want to create and manage their own media programs in-house, the following are five basic steps required to attract the attention of wine, travel and lifestyle writers.
1) Plan: Create a target media list and a samples calendar. What are the magazines and online publications that you would love to be featured in or highly reviewed by? Establish a budget for samples, shipping, shows, market trips, professional writing, PR consulting, etc.
2) Target: Identify your points of differentiation and key messages. Pitch writers who can relate to your story and wine styles. Identify how often and for which outlets they write, and best contact methods. Categories are wine, beverage, food & wine, travel & leisure, business and the trades.
3) Sample: Have your wines professionally reviewed and scored by rating publications, competitions, online reviews, etc. They won’t write about your wines if you don’t put your wines out there. Use strong ratings to drive traffic to your online store and tasting room.
4) Pitch: Develop relationships by following, commenting, sharing and obtaining editorial calendars. Make it easy to write about your winery. Provide Media Kits and Tech Sheets (not tasting notes) with your samples and on your website. Include website and photo gallery links in all your communications.
5) Track: Follow up on interviews, samples and pitches. Use analytics to determine the result of media hits. Did it drive traffic to your tasting room, website, social sites, and email subscriptions? Was there any form of engagement, commenting, or sharing that took place? How about sales? Track your accolades (articles, reviews, scores), and use them in your content marketing.
Hire a PR Expert
In partnership with winery PR and media relations consultant Carl Giavanti, Vinbound Marketing is pleased to offer a range of public relations services to wineries looking to expand awareness and traction around their brand.