Last fall, we launched a national media study results report, and today I'd like to share our key takeaways for improving your winery's media relationships. This is of course not meant to be an exhaustive list -- it's a simple summary aimed at making measured improvements. For those who are looking to establish themselves as leaders, much more is required. However, these four tried and true methods apply to all.
1. Focus on building relationships with media on an individual basis. Learn their preferences, interests and policies. Connect personally and offer exclusives when possible. Read their work, share it and thank journalists when they cover you or your industry. You’re not in it for one vintage, and neither are they.
2. Recognize the value of sending samples. Samples are your most effective marketing tool. Put a sticker on the bottle back with price, case production and your trade webpage (you do have one, right? Fore more info see #4.). Avoid shipping in extreme weather and refer to #1 -- an individual journalist might want samples automatically upon release, per his set reviewing schedule or not at all; you have to know him to know his preferences.
3. Avoid the no-nos. Sending releases about gold medals. Following up to see if a press release was received. Blasting emails out to a group of media. Attaching preconditions to receiving samples or attending events. Repeated follow ups to see if an email was received.
4. Ensure you have the correct press materials. This is most notably a simple trade page on your website that houses your tech sheets and visual assets – logo, labels, bottle shots, property and people photography. A winery fact sheet addressing the 5 W's (who, what, when where and why) is always welcome. Be sure this fact sheet includes the full names of the owner(s) and winemaker, and that these spokespersons have up to date LinkedIn profiles, which journalists use for biographical information.
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