Promoting the Wines of a Country
Working with an association of wineries is a notoriously difficult task for wine publicists and marketers. There tends to be a lot of decision by committee as well as indecision by committee. You also tend to have a lot of complaining about some members getting more attention than other members. It can be a minefield.
Yet, we find ourselves here at Wark Communications actively working on a proposal for representing a group of wineries…a proposal for creating a promotional organization to represent a country’s wines that, amazingly, have little or no representation here in America.
The marketing of an entire country’s wines is in some ways an easier task than representing a single winery if your goal is to raise visibility for your client. It’s easy to ignore one winery if you are a member of the press. It’s more difficult to ignore an entire country’s wines. On the other hand, it’s more difficult to effectively deliver a marketing message for a country than for a single winery.
Some organizations have done amazingly good work. Napa Valley Vintners comes to mind. Also, Russian River Valley Winegrowers are another promotional organization that has done a very effective job of promoting their region.
Budgetary constraints are always a huge issue with associations. They tend to be notoriously small. This means that most of the work is done in the trenches, interacting personally with the media, standing behind lots of tables at wine events, and making your printed materials go a long way, while relying on electronic communications quite heavily. The proposal we’ve developed for this potential client reflects these realities.
Yet, with all the obstacles that come with association PR, I must admit, the idea of promoting the wines of an entire country through a group of member wineries really is exciting. It’s the opportunity to do some real education that gets the blood flowing. It’s the opportunity to introduce not just the wine trade and media, but consumers also to a whole universe of wines they’ve never tried before. And it’s the opportunity to participate in the growth on an important part of a country’s export economy.