Posts Tagged ‘“Michael Wangbickler”’

Academy of Wine Communications-Finger Lakes Chapter

AWC

I have recently joined a group that I foresee as one of the future.  The Academy of Wine Communications is a group of forward-thinking wine and food communications professionals interested in collaborating and shaping the future of the industry.  The AWC is fueled by the passion of my colleagues, Michael Wangbickler of Balzac Communications and Caveman Wines blog who is the Executive Director and Lisa Adams Walter of Adams Walter Communications, Assistant Director.  The AWC is built on the vision of original founders Paul Wagner, Harvey Posert and Sam Folsom.

The AWC has roots in the Napa/Sonoma region but has its eyes on networking and creating chapters throughout the U.S. and beyond.  The first meeting of members and prospective members took place on June 30th at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone where this video was shot.  Michael walks attendees through the history and vision of the AWC…and specifically calls out the Finger Lakes region as one that we’re looking to create a vibrant chapter in.  I can think of several wine PR friends here that I would love to see get involved in our chapter’s development: the Academy of Wine Communications-Finger Lakes Chapter.

As you know, wine public relations and communications is changing rapidly and it’s challenging to keep up with the latest developments and best practices.  Social media is a powerful way for wineries and other wine businesses to engage and tell their stories to their prospective customers and current customers.  There is a unique ability for wineries to personally respond to inquiries which is a tremendous relationship builder for them beyond tasting room interaction.   By getting involved with the AWC, you can network and collaborate with other wine public relations and communications people throughout the national membership chapters and share insights on what’s working and what isn’t in new media, specifically in the wine and culinary industries.

We will also work to become a resource for bloggers and journalists who are looking for industry experts and creative content ideas.  Social media allows wine PR people to get to know bloggers and journalists on a more personal level and keep attuned to their preferences and needs.  The AWC is using social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,  slideshare  and video sharing platforms like Ustream to update members and prospective members about the group’s activities.

It’s with this type of forward thinking, collaboration and sharing that an up-and-coming region like ours will move forward and gain more visibility…and respect.

Winery Resource Alert: The State of Wine Industry Social Media

logoVinTank

More than likely, if you’re reading this post, you have an interest in gaining a detailed understanding of social media platforms and those that are most relevant to the health and happiness of your winery’s business. A group of the industry’s top thought leaders at VinTank, Derek Bromley and Tom Wark have compiled the first whitepaper specifically for the wine industry entitled, “The State of Wine Industry Social Media.”

The paper contains some tech-speak that may look a bit scary at first, but hang in there and read through to the end. These guys are in-the-know, have strong relationships in the wine industry with bloggers, traditional media and developers and seek to help you, the winery principal, to navigate and gain an understanding of the social media landscape. Facebook, Twitter, Wine Blogs, Wine Social Networks, Gary V and Wine Library TV are detailed specifically pertaining to their relevance to wineries and wine retailers.

Paul Mabray and team are eager to receive questions or input on the report and can be reached at: ADDRESS: 1250 Main Street Suite #270 Napa, CA 94559 • PHONE: 800.605.8265 • WEB: vintank.com • EMAIL: info@vintank.com
TWITTER: twitter.com/vintank • FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/14R1mf

Or comment on the Tasting Room blog at pressdemocrat.com http://tastingroom.pressdemocrat.com/default.asp?item=2375378

A special thank you to the VinTank team for mentions of myself, my client Andrew Kamphuis at Vin65 and senior strategist and wine blogger friend, Michael Wangbickler, on their thank you page.

UPDATE (5/12/09)

If you would like to listen to Paul Mabray discuss some of the key findings of the report, check this out http://www.newwineconsumer.com/2009/05/vintank/

Report: American Association of Wine Economists-“Modeling Perceptions Of Locally Produced Wine Among Restauranteurs In New York City”

Manhattan's BAR VELOCE uploaded from BAR VELOCE's flickr stream

Manhattan's BAR VELOCE uploaded from BAR VELOCE's flickr stream

I was just alerted to this paper by Twitter friend Tish of WineForAll.com. The abstract summary of the paper written by Trent Preszler and Todd M. Schmit for American Association of Wine Economists reads,

“Poor perceived product quality, an inadequate sales force, and intense competition from wines produced elsewhere are common reasons cited for why New York wines have not achieved broad acceptance in the New York City (NYC) market. NYC restaurant owners, sommeliers, and chefs were surveyed regarding their perceptions and purchasing decisions of wines grown and bottled in New York State. Factor analysis was applied to examine the structure of interrelationships among key indicators of product perception, and an ordinal logistic regression model was used to identify the characteristics of restaurants that show a strong propensity to adopt local wines. The results indicate that a NYC restaurant’s type of cuisine does not affect its propensity to adopt local wine, nor does a restaurant’s desire to offer a large, geographically diverse wine list. The perceived collective reputation for a wine region’s excellence in one particular grape varietal was found to be the most significant factor in the probability of adoption of local wines in NYC. An important implication of these results is that being local is not enough, and New York winery stakeholders could establish a more prominent presence in NYC by emphasizing their collective reputation for particular grape varietals.”

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Wines produced in New York (NY) have traditionally been shut out of the upscale New York City (NYC) market. Nearly 75 percent of gross revenue at small independent NY wineries is earned directly from consumers in the winery tasting room
  • Market impediments for premium NY wines could be underscored by the long-standing association of NY with high-volume jug wines made using native and French-hybrid grapes.
  • Price is another factor, with lingering doubts by consumers that local wines can justify the same prices as imports.
  • Sommeliers experience wine differently, using intrinsic cues such as flavor, aroma, and color to guide buying decisions, and are driven by different economic motivations.
  • The most important factor influencing wine purchase decisions from this sample of upscale NYC restaurants was the wine’s “Quality for Price Point.”
  • Factors of relatively less importance included “Personal Relationships” that related to personal relationships with wholesalers/distributors or the winery/winemaker , as well as wholesaler/distributor wine recommendations.
  • The absence of strong NY wine sales in NYC is not necessarily due to a predominantly negative image of the product quality, nor to high prices. Instead, low sales in NYC can likely be attributed to the lack of any specific image at all. The regional brand identity of NY wine is not strongly defined because it is not explicitly communicated, and therefore is not universally understood by those who set trends in the culinary industry. A coalescence of marketing goals and principles among NY winery stakeholders could make a difference in this regard.

But wait, with all of the acclaim that Finger Lakes wine, especially Riesling, has garnered this past year, will we see an increase in the adoption of local wines in New York City in the coming years?   A strong, focused effort to communicate a world-class wine message is being made by Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association and the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance. (Disclosure:  both are clients of Melissa Dobson PR & Marketing)  Although I have mentioned the locavore trend as one that may help to gain a foothold in the trendy, upscale NYC market, this paper states that “it is simply not enough to base a marketing platform on being local unless it is accompanied by strong associations with excellence and focused production priorities.”

Communicating with sommeliers requires a separate, focused strategy.  This article in Sommelier Journal was a nice one to begin educating them about the region.  Perhaps some follow up with NYC sommeliers is in order, and may be on the agenda already.

It seems clear that the wheels are in motion with communication strategies being executed to elevate the image of the Finger Lakes wine industry and Finger Lakes Wine Country.  As my friend, Michael Wangbickler at Cave Man Wines Blog recently stated while we were speaking about communications strategies, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”