The Oregon Wine Symposium, an annual event held by the Oregon Wine Board, is an opportunity for those in the industry to meet and learn from each other. This year, Janel Lubanski, our Account & Media Relations Manager, spoke during a general business panel on public relations. She was joined by Kim Kramer of Kramer Vineyards and Ryan Pennington of Erath Winery. Here are a few of the key points made during the session.
Before you reach out to media, you must know your story
Every winery has a story. Whether your winery has been in the family for decades or is a new project, your brand has a unique history. In the Pacific Northwest, there are over 1000 wineries, and therefore stiff competition to gain recognition. Before you contact a journalist, you must have at least a few key talking points about your brand that summarize your main message.
For example, Kim Kramer, who is a client, gave an example of Kramer Vineyards’ talking points: Second generation winemaker, expanding sparkling wine portfolio, and over 30 years of winegrowing in Oregon. If you have trouble thinking of unique talking points, survey your fans using a tool such as Survey Monkey. This can be an excellent way to generate ideas and distinguish your brand identity. Be sure to keep in mind that you’ll be repeating these points over and over.
Focus on developing relationships with media
Before you reach out to a journalist, it is important to do your research. Discover the varietals and price points he typically covers. When you contact him, compliment a recent article or ask questions about his interests or regions he is currently covering.
After the initial introduction has been made, do not get discouraged if the writer does not write about your wine immediately. As Janel advised during her speech, many publications have planned editorial calendars for the year, and it is possible that the writer needs to find a place for your story. Whatever you do, do not ask a writer when an article will be published. This is seen as presumptuous, and could harm your relationship with the writer.
Promote your press
Many brands make the mistake of not sharing their coverage with fans. It is crucial to post your press on social media, share it in an e-mail newsletter, and encourage tasting room staff to share the news with guests. More eyes can only help brand awareness and ultimately sales.
If you would like to discuss how Trellis Growth Partners elevates brand recognition with smart PR strategy, please contact us. For a complete list of our tips for interacting with the media, please click here.
-Erin Stutesman, Account Coordinator
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