I was glad to see Merilee Anderson's Cooper Peak Logistics blog, 4 Tips for Sending Wine Media Samples, in yesterday's Wine Industry Insider newsletter. Anderson brings forward some important points about compliance and shipping logistics. Her third point, "Know their name and notification needs," highlights that wineries need to create a "rapport" with the reviewers they are seeking to influence.
In addition to finding out if the journalist accepts unsolicited samples and/ or wants ship notifications, we recommend asking about other ways to best serve each individual. Here's a quick list of other items you should know:
1. Almost everyone wants tech sheets (sans reviews from other outlets), and these need to include suggested retail price and a web link. Are there additional forms needed? And does he want them included in the shipment, emailed or in a few cases, uploaded to an FTP server with images?
2. Are there better days for her to receive wine? Preferred carriers?
3. Is one bottle sufficient or does he need multiple samples of each wine given his reviewing process?
4. Is there a preferred price point or range in which she is interested or bound by editors?
5. Is he working on a assigned story and therefore more interested in certain things such as specific varieties or wines from a specific region? Is there more information that would be helpful?
The main thing to keep in mind when working with the media is that those whose attention you most want are also usually bombarded by wine. Therefore, what you send should be both delicious and compelling.
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