3 lessons learned from a PR wine newbie

wineAs a virtual stranger to wine PR (but definitely not to wine), getting tossed into the ring was a teensy bit stressful, to say the least. But hey, I don’t mind conducting my research at the liquor store. Definitely beats a library.

After spending 2014 knee-deep in the industry, I’ve taken away a few glassfuls (get it?) of knowledge to fortify myself for the year to come. While there’s definitely a great deal of knowledge I have yet to gain, here are the top three things I learned:

1) Making sure a wine brand’s voice is heard in a saturated wine media landscape is a bit tricky. Well, that’s an understatement. Let’s just say it’s tear-inducing.

Though there are hundreds of wine blogs, columns, magazines, etc., when everyone in the industry is vying for a mention, things get competitive. Though it’s difficult, it’s important to identify the aspects of a wine brand’s identity that make it niche enough to stand out to media, but appealing enough to consumers.

2) Events are huge in the wine PR industry. Walk-around tastings, wine seminars, press lunches with winemakers… The thing is, there are usually three million of them happening at once. Each day. All year. It’s hard not to feel sorry for a wine journalist’s inbox.

Once again, differentiating your client from the rest is key. What about your wine event stands out from the others and how will it drive attendance? Which aspects will leave an impression with media? Which won’t? Contemplating the answers to these questions and then planning your event in accordance can help you infiltrate the wine media market in new ways.

3) The wine world is full of passionate, knowledgeable people. I thought I was passionate about wine because I loved the way it tastes (cue quiet chuckles and head shaking). Before last year, I didn’t know many people who could dissect the tasting notes of a bottle and ruminate over the differences between vintages. I’ve since spoken to plenty (I even work with a few who saved my sanity last year).

So that’s what I’ve learned about the wine world thus far. It’s crazy, a bit crowded and at times inebriated. As we kick off 2015, I’ll work my way into it a bit more. One glass at a time.

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