When your winery is featured or included in an article by a journalist, it means you've beaten the odds: the media have far fewer writing opportunities than the number of pitches and samples they receive. When you receive press coverage, this presents you with two opportunities -- to share and promote it to increase awareness and magnetism of your winery, as well as strengthen your media relations program.
In just the last week, I've been grateful for four articles featuring our clients:
Kelly Mitchell of Huffington Post on "¡Salud! Celebrates 25 Years"
Tamara Belgard of Oregon Wine Press on ¡Salud's! "25th Fete"
Greig Santos-Buch of Winederlusting.com on "Essential Willamette Valley"
Stephanie Bynington of My Wine Tribe on giving the gift of ¡Salud! in "10 Best Wine Gifts"
Below is the process I use each time a journalist covers a client to ensure that I continue to build the relationships I've cultivated over 16 years in the industry:
1. Thoroughly read the article so that I'm able to speak to my favorite parts and graciously ask for a correction for any factual or spelling errors.
2. Send the article to my clients with an excerpt, noting highlights, wine(s) and photography.
3. Post the coverage on Facebook, tagging my client(s) and the journalist who covered them.
4. Record the coverage statistics in our press spreadsheet, noting the author, date, article link, specific wine(s), top comments, and metrics -- coverage value and circulation provided by my clipping agency. I also look to link the coverage to a pitch or sample so that we may measure our results.
5. Send a thank you note to the journalist who wrote the article, noting my favorite aspects and including personalized information such as well wishes to a spouse. This one is particularly important, not just because it's polite but because it's rare. In our 2015 national media relations study, we found that only 21% of journalists are regularly thanked by wineries; your thank you will stand out.
If you work with a PR firm, they should be running a similar process on your behalf. And if you are handling media relations internally, you can use these steps as noted, changing number two to be sending the coverage to your internal team.
Happy thanking and holidays!
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