Posts Tagged ‘Winery Marketing’

TasteLive Participants: How Are You Engaging and Posting to #TTL ?

Social Media Quick Tip: Introduce Your Twitter Team

Cork'd Twitter Team Page Showcases Each Member as "Who's Talking?"

As you know, social media engagement is all about personal touches.  Remember this when thinking through your social media presence, including Twitter.  As much as possible, introduce and humanize your Twitter team.  Here are a couple of great examples of  brands who have added special touches to their Twitter strategies, going beyond a standard Twitter presence to introduce and promote their Twitter teams.

The Capital Grille

A simple, dedicated Twitter page for The Capital Grille’s Master Sommelier, George Miliotes invites web visitors to engage with George on Twitter.  The Capital Grille’s main navigation bar also includes a button linking to George’s twitter profile.

Cork’d

The team at Cork’d, an unpretentious wine consumer review site, designed a Twitter background that shows “Who’s Talking” from their company’s Twitter profile @Corkd (see above).  Each Cork’d team member signs their initials at the end of their tweets to let followers know which of the four of them tweeted.  I liked this so much that I recommended it to my clients at Vin65 and we implemented it onto our new @vin65team Twitter page.

It excites me to see brands embracing the opportunity to engage with their customers and clients on Twitter by adding these types of personal touches to their marketing strategies.  Have you seen any others that you like or have you implemented some into your branding?

Academy of Wine Communications-FLX: February Meeting this Thursday, 2/25/10

AWC FLX members Kim Aliperti, Billsboro Winery & Erica Paolicelli, Three Brothers Wineries & Estates taste Ravines Wine Cellars '07 Dry Pinot Rose'

Update: February meeting canceled due to winter storm warning for the region.  We’re working on setting up our next meeting for Thursday, 3/18/10.  Watch here for more details.

February’s meeting of the Finger Lakes Chapter of the Academy of Wine Communications will be held on Thursday, February 25, 2010 at Three Brothers Wineries & Estates at Stoney Lonesome Wine Cellars on Seneca Lake, 623 Lerch Road in Geneva, NY.  The meeting will be held from 10:00 AM-12:30 PM with breakfast provided by Three Brothers Wineries & Estates.  Attendees: feel free to bring a bottle to share during the meeting and RSVP for new members is greatly appreciated ASAP to Melissa Dobson at (917) 816-5424 or melissa.dobson@avantguild.com.

Topics to include:

  • Identifying wine influencers
  • How to turn wine blog reviews into sales $$
  • New York Cork Report: Mini-Rieslings: Hazlitt Hopes To Take a Major Step With Customers http://bit.ly/cm6Ydf, alternative packaging
  • Viticulture 2010 takeaways: Erica Paolicelli of Three Brothers Wineries & Estates
  • Vino Visit and Cellar Pass

If you haven’t joined us yet, check us out. Wineries and wine marketing groups that have attended include: Heron Hill Winery, Splash The Finger Lakes, Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance, Damiani Wine Cellars, Ravines Wine Cellars, Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association, Anthony Road Wine Company, Three Brothers Wineries & Estates, Sheldrake Point Vineyard and Cafe, Red Newt Cellars, Rooster Hill Vineyards, Shaw Vineyard and New York Wine & Culinary Center.  Bring a favorite bottle and your notebook, it’s a great excuse to get out and talk wine marketing over a glass of vino with Finger Lakes winery owners and marketers.  See you there!

Academy of Wine Communications-FLX: Invitation to our next meeting

Attendees to Our Info Meeting at Heron Hill Winery

Attention Finger Lakes wine PR & marketing professionals:  This is an open invitation to you to our next meeting on Thursday, 12/10/09.  Hope you can join us!  UPDATE 12/7/09: Meeting location is at Ravine’s Wine Cellars, 14630 State Route 54,  Hammondsport, NY 14830. Please RSVP to melissa (dot) dobson (at) avantguild.com before 12:00 noon tomorrow if you’ll be attending.

Hi all,

For those who haven’t discovered us, the Academy of Wine Communications is a group of wine communications pros based in Napa, CA (history http://academyofwine.org/awc/about/history/) with a developing chapter here in the Finger Lakes. Our goal is to bring wine communications professionals together to share and discuss hot topics and the latest developments in the wine PR & marketing industry. Additionally, the AWC strives to provide resources to wine writers and bloggers. We held our first small info meeting last month and now moving forward with our next meeting. We’re planning monthly meetings through April and then will reassess meeting frequency during busy season.

The next meeting of the Academy of Wine Communications-Finger Lakes Chapter is set for next Thursday, 12/10 from 12-1:30, meeting location is still TBD. If you have or can suggest a winery (preferred) or restaurant (that serves a lot of local wines of course!) where we can either bring in our own lunches or order lunch, please reply back ASAP. Also, if you plan to attend, please email me back by Monday to RSVP so that I can plan for the appropriate venue.

Here’s what we have lined up for our next meeting:

* Hot topics

* Recent wine PR/marketing challenges

* Best/worst practices

* Blogger relations

* Chapter Officers

* Meeting calendar through April

* Open floor (as time allows): share current initiatives, recent events ie Spit & Twit, books, resources etc. (please feel free to bring any books, websites etc. to share)

Don’t forget, you can list yourselves on the AWC site’s wine PR directory http://academyofwine.org/awc/resources/wine-pr-directory/

I’d love your help in spreading the word to anyone involved in Finger Lakes wine PR and marketing interested in attending our next meetings. The main home page for the AWC is academyofwine.org, check out the resources tab for: Job Board, Useful Links, Social Media including blogger relations tips. We’re also updating on the Academy of Wine Communications Facebook Fan Page. Your suggestions and feedback are welcome there too. (Will be closing down the AWC-FLX fan page very soon, so please join the main AWC page)

Hope to see you all soon.

Thanks so much!

~Melissa

melissa (dot) dobson (at) avantguild.com

Winery Marketing: “Trust Agents” Outlines How to Win Hearts and Minds

Chris Brogan and I_Nov2009

Chris Brogan & I at SM2Day Conference

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m a huge fan of Chris Brogan and the book he co-authored with Julien Smith entitled “Trust Agents.”  (And Chris’ blognewsletter…) Okay, I know I’m gushing.

This isn’t meant to be a blatant push for Chris and Julien or their book.  But one of the things I believe you come here for is my opinion on discoveries that can help you to grow your business and keep you on track to continue to engage with and build a community of enthusiasts for your winery brand.  I understand that your days are busy so I love to bring you resources to help you to do that.  Being a solopreneur affords me the flexibility to watch out for things for you that I strongly believe can help you to tell your winery’s unique story to those who want to hear about it the most and will in turn tell their friends about you.  “Trust Agents” outlines best practices for using the web to build influence and teaches you how to earn trust and build relationships that can benefit you and your community.

If you’ve been reading my posts on social media, have attended workshops or webinars but still feeling like you’re not sure what to do next or if you can improve results on what you’re already doing out there on the web, Chris, Julien and “Trust Agents” offers guidance and actionable steps.  And there’s a really cool story about J Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma and how one of their staff members won the trust of tech blogger Robert Scoble and got him to buy a case of wine from the winery after winning him over.  Plus, there’s a bit on Gary Vaynerchuk and how he makes us want to buy his products.

The book was also recently listed as one of the recommended books for those interested in digital marketing for the wine industry by Paul Mabray, founder and Chief Strategy Officer at VinTank in a post on John Corcoran’s Think Wine Marketing blog.  If you’d rather listen to an audiobook version, there’s one available via Amazon.

Have you already read “Trust Agents?”  What are the takeaways that resonated most that can be applied to a winery’s business plan?

Update: Academy of Wine Communications Finger Lakes Chapter

awcmasthead

Earlier this summer, I wrote about the development of the Academy of Wine Communications Finger Lakes Chapter. With the announcement of the AWC’s new website today, it’s time for an update.

The AWC has recognized that there’s a need for an organization that will become the go-to resource for wine writers, bloggers as they seek sources within the industry to interview for articles and posts.  Having this  information readily available on the AWC site will be a time saver for both writers/bloggers and PR and marketing representatives and becomes a first step in getting them connected.

The rapidly changing wine communications industry has made it difficult to keep up with the latest in best practices for engaging with wine writers and bloggers.  The Academy of Wine Communications plans to open and facilitate conversations surrounding these topics in order to keep members up to speed and ready to apply traditional methods and the latest in social technologies to help them tell their winery’s stories, establish trusted relationships with writers/bloggers and plant the seeds for coverage in a manner in which writers and bloggers want to be engaged with.

I’ve been honored with the role of Finger Lakes Chapter Director of the AWC. My goal is to organize and facilitate a strong chapter here in order to help keep the Finger Lakes wine region in-the-know, front and center in the world of wine public relations and marketing.  With the increase in interest in the region and the people behind the numerous wineries here, it’s prime time to continue actively collaborating and pushing forward.  Let’s do all we can to make it easy for writers and bloggers to contact us and get the information, photos, videos and samples needed in a buttoned-up, efficient manner so that those writers and bloggers will come back for future articles and posts.  One of the best ways to stay updated on things is to reach out to and participate in conversations with wine communicators in other regions.

With that, our first meeting will be an info session to discuss the organization and get your input on the shape of our chapter.  I’m working on the details but look for it to be sometime in November after Harvest, and you can count on a glass of wine or two.  What are some of the things that you would like to see the Academy of Wine Communications help you with?  In the meantime, check out the Resources pages on the site for info that can help you right away.  And be sure to  submit your contact information to be included in the Wine PR Directory.

Winery Facebook Fan Page: Ceja Vineyards

Amelia, Pedro, Armando and Martha Ceja

Amelia, Pedro, Armando and Martha Ceja

Okay wineries.  I bet you have your Facebook fan page up and running.  You update it with event details, photos from your winery, photos of your bottles and labels, new release announcements.  You’re thinking that you’re on track and ahead of the pack, right?

Although these are all great elements for your page, take your strategy one step further.  Gather your staff and have a no-holds-barred discussion of what it is about your winery that your customers and wine club members LOVE about you.  Make sure that that core of your brand is woven into each and every post.  Ceja Vineyards in Napa and Sonoma is a great example of a winery fan page that does this very effectively.  Here’s why:

  • Ceja Vineyards is founded by a Latino family of first-generation Mexican-American winegrowers from Napa and Sonoma Valleys named Amelia, Pedro, Armando and Martha Ceja.
  • The Cejas’ page exudes a tight-knit, hard-working family winery that is proud of its heritage and carries its fun, warm Latino roots into each post.  The Ceja Vineyards staff all contribute to the page and there’s a familiar, friendly voice that says, “Hola Friends!”
  • For example, a Ceja Vineyards staff person posted that it was Amelia Ceja’s birthday along with a picture of her.  Amelia received birthday wishes there from fans.
  • The page has a post that links to a cool wine and music site that features Ceja Vineyards wines with music from Tito Puente, a famous Latin jazz artist.  Click on the songs and it transports you to a fun time that requires a Latino wine.
  • The Cejas have posted a photo album called “In the Beginning” that tells the story of the winery’s roots.  You can see the passion and enthusiasm in the faces of the family members.  After checking out their page, you get a true sense of who they are and what their wines mean to them.
One family in the Ceja gang - Ariel, Amelia, Navek, Dalia and Pedro Ceja

One family in the Ceja gang - Ariel, Amelia, Navek, Dalia and Pedro Ceja

  • Most importantly, the Cejas respond to comments personally and regularly.  Muy bueno!!

Winery Marketing: Where’s Your Winery’s Media Site?

Fox Run Vineyards Winemaker Peter Bell

Fox Run Vineyards Winemaker Peter Bell

One of the things I absolutely love about the wine public relations business is that there is so much to learn.  Therefore, I love to incorporate teleseminars and webinars into my work week as much as I possibly can.  Yesterday, during a Bulldog Reporter teleseminar on blog pitching best practices, several bloggers revealed their likes and dislikes for receiving information to be considered for posts on their blogs.

One of the panelists made mention of how he is looking for information and he’s looking for it quickly.  He said that if you can provide what he needs to compose a blog post and include videos/pictures, quick facts and contact information, your chances of being blogged about increase dramatically. (As a blogger myself, I couldn’t agree more)

This blogger panelist gave an example of a great media room that delivers just what he’s looking for.  The Chrysler Media Site provides a drop down list of items called “What Do You Need Fast?” that includes images, bios, fact sheets,videos, logos, press kits and several other things that make it quick and easy for a blogger or journalist to pull updated, relevant information on the company.

Here’s the truth.  Bloggers and journalists are pressed for time, need fresh content and they need it now.  If you provide them with what they’re looking for and save them the time required to track it down or ask for it from you, they will appreciate it and they will see that you respect their time and have the foresight to provide them with the information that they want.  They will like you for it and they will pay more attention to your pitches in the future.

Here’s a wine industry example of a media room from Israeli Wine Direct.  Notice the links to their logos, fact sheet  and blog/podcast.  And their media contact information is clearly shown.  I would recommend adding some videos that are easily embeddable and reinforce your winery’s key messages and branding, bios with photos and a nice assortment of other images.  For a winery, wine technical sheets and images should be added.  And keep this information fresh and updated.  The bloggers on the call mentioned a study result that revealed that blog posts without photos or video are very often skipped over by readers, so they are hungry for them.

I wholeheartedly encourage you to put someone on this if you’re looking to increase your chances of receiving coverage on blogs and in the media.  Of course, then there’s the task of continually serving up creative and compelling “news hooks.”  But that’s for another post.


Winery Marketing: Wine PR & Marketing Books I Love

There are a couple of books that I have found invaluable this year and I thought I would share them with you.  If you’re in a planning phase and looking for some guidance and fresh ideas for your winery public relations and marketing plan, you may want to add these two books to your list.

“Wine Marketing & Sales:  Success Strategies for a Saturated Market” by Paul Wagner, Janeen Olsen and Liz Thach

This book has become my “bible” and I refer to it all of the time when developing strategies for clients. I think you will find it very helpful.

Chapters include:

  • Basic Wine Marketing Principles
  • Research and Demographics of Wine Consumers
  • Wine Branding
  • Wine Advertising and Promotion
  • Graphic design in the Wine Industry
  • Wine Packaging and Labels
  • Wine Public Relations
  • Wine Budgeting and Pricing
  • Three Avenues to Wine Sales
  • Wine Sales and Distribution Management
  • Direct Wine Sales-Wine Clubs and E-Commerce
  • Establishing a Tasting Room
  • Strategies for Wine Exporting and Importing
  • Winery Repositioning and Turnarounds
  • The Big Picture and Evolving Topics

“Spinning The Bottle” by Harvey Posert and Paul Franson

This is a book filled with case histories and stories from Wine PR experts Harvey Posert,  whose bio includes many years as head of PR for Robert Mondavi Wineries, and Paul Franson, freelance writer who has worked in corporate and agency public relations for years.

Posert and Franson collected stories of 50 experts who were successful in their PR campaigns and some of the experts have included their contact information, which I think is a great bonus.  Some of the case histories include:  “Building a Name for Lodi Woodbridge” by Executive Director of Lodi Woodbridge Winegrape Commission Mark Chandler, “Some Tips on Wine Public Relations” by Paul Franson, and “Delicato Family Vineyards” by Cheryl Indelicato, Delicato’s Public Relations Manager.

I’ll be sure to share any others that I come to discover.

Winery Marketing: It May Be Time to Create a Plan B

After reading an email update about New York Governor Paterson’s proposed 2009-2010 budget plan that would eliminate the budget of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, I sat back and thought about what that would mean for my friends here in the Finger Lakes wine industry. It certainly would make promoting the region more challenging with a smaller pool of capital to work with. So during this time when funding from NYW&GF is uncertain and cannot be counted on, it may be time to create a plan B for 2009.

A good place to start is with an assessment of your current marketing position. Which strategies have been most successful for you to date? Are there low-cost ways to continue to spread the word about your winery and the region? Who are your core customers and where do they spend time consuming information and doing research? Do you have a charismatic, inviting spokesperson who can actively promote your winery brand? What have you tried that hasn’t worked?

Next, dig in and do some research, look to your current best customers and ask them what keeps them coming back to you. Explore your options for actively pursuing new customers/visitors with a marketing-savvy friend, colleague or consultant. And certainly don’t forget to take special care of your current customers and keep up communication with them. Social media platforms provide a low-cost way to actively engage with your customers and prospective new customers. Explore social media platforms such as Open Wine Consortium, Facebook and Twitter and seriously consider introducing them into your marketing mix if you haven’t already.  There’s a group on Open Wine Consortium for wineries to interact with each other and the discussions in the general forum of the OWC contain valuable insights from the thought-leaders in our industry that may help you.

Plan for the worst-case scenario in regards to funding from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. That way, you’ll have a bare-bones plan in place that can be put into motion without losing a beat. There is strength in collaborating with others in the industry both here and in other wine regions. In my experience, those in the wine industry are passionate, friendly and helpful and you may discover a new idea that may be the one that makes a difference in your bottom line.  Don’t be afraid to contact me or comment here if you would like to continue the discussion.

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