Effective Wine PR = Counting the Cash

Measuring the success of your publicity efforts is a difficult task. There are various tools. If a winery is looking for coverage in the media the it might be as simple as county the number of times your winery shows up in the media then counting the circulation of each of those media outlets. This is the traditional way of quantifying the effect of your efforts.

But winery publicity is not always about getting your winery name in the paper. It is often about slowly building an image or reputation for your efforts. This is particularly true for a new, small winery focusing on making high quality wines. Suppose you are a small, say 2,500 case winery producing Monterey Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. And suppose you are new to the game. With so much competition in this category the aim of your publicity efforts may be simply to get the right members of the wine trade to recognize you as doing something worthy and unique, either I the way you make your wines, the vineyards you use or some other seemingly minute differentiation. In this case, you might measure your publicity efforts by the way the trade reacts to your message.

But there is another way to measure the success of your publicity efforts: Count your money in the bank.

This method of measuring publicity results was driven home recently when we at Wark Communications saw the results of our publicity efforts on a client’s behalf payoff with significant coverage in the Wall Street Journal and other publications more proximate to the client’s main market.

This particular client opened a new tasting room that is entirely unique: offering seven reserve wines, each served at a table with seven chef-prepared food pairings. And we aren’t talking Mozzarella sticks with Viognier. We are talking Viognier served with Panchetta and bee pollen-crusted grilled scallop lollipop with mango-honey coulis. And each pairing is just as unique. All for $20.

Once the impact of the publicity efforts took affect, business at this client’s tasting room increased 100%. Quantifying the effect of the clients’ and our efforts became simple: Count the cash.

The point is not, “gosh, what a great job we’ve done.” Clearly this is a case of having a client with a great idea and simply riding that brilliance. The point is a winery reading this should take away is that you can’t ALWAYS count the cash to measure the effects of your publicity efforts. Often times the publicity work done takes time to build and pay off. However, it does pay off. As long as you understand what you are aiming for in your publicity efforts, you can in fact set benchmarks and measure your effectiveness.


One Response

  1. Mike Duffy - September 20, 2005

    Well, the press coverage of their tasting menu certainly has made me want to go and visit the Mayo Family Winery (you coy devil you). Sam Wannamaker said it a long time ago – I know that half of my advertising spend works, I just don’t know *which half*.
    As always, it’s all about selling more of your wines. Otherwise why seek media coverage or build a web site?
    Congrats to you and Jeff on the WSJ coverage.

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