When Should a Wine Company Issue a Press Release?

ImmediateReleaseIn today’s social world, everything seems to be worth reporting. Certainly, the way that kitten rolled over and meowed as well as the decision to wrap something in bacon are two of the best reasons to offer detailed reports (with pictures) to the audiences we’ve built.

But what about an official announcement in the form of a press release? What about the announcement that the reporting media needs (or ought) to receive? In particular, what circumstances merit the issuance of a press release to the media that reports and writes on wine?

To answer this question, allow me to let you in on a little secret. If you (your brand or winery or business) have information or news that it is absolutely critical be communicated to a certain readership via the media, this is NOT necessarily a reason for sending out a press release. Rather, it’s a reason for picking up the phone and calling the writer or editor you know is most likely to want the information and to report the information the readers needing it most. The reason for this is simple: a direct communication with a writer or editor is a much more effective means of relaying information than a press release.

For example, suppose your winery is forced, for whatever reason, to shut down operations for an extended period of time. Suppose this shut down will impact local members of he hospitality community as well as a number of other businesses in the region. This is important information that requires careful explanation. Suppose there are significant false rumors swirling that your winery is on the verge of sale or even bankruptcy. This is reason to reach out the media personally, not via press release, at least not initially.

So, what circumstances do warrant the issuance of a press release to the wine media? There are a number of circumstances:

1. When an important facet of your business or winery changes such as:
-with an acquisition of a piece of land or an affiliated business
-when you add a significant new member of management
In each of these and other cases you are getting out news that further defines your brand and business, but is not earth-shattering news.

2. When your company is hosting or taking part in a significant public event such as:
-A festival of some kind at your winery
-A performance by a significant person
-An address given by management at an important industry event
In each of these cases you have timely information to disseminate that will be of some interest to the general public, but it’s not earth shattering news.

3. When your winery or company is marking a significant milestone such as:
-A significant anniversary since founding like 20 or 25 or 50 years
-The launch of a business altering product or service (though not necessarily a new wine)
-A generational turnover in management or ownershipIn these and similar cases we are talking about a real branding and positioning event that might also have news value.

4. When your company has produced a product or information of significance to the industry or public such as:
-A report speaking to the nature or trends in your industry
-A new product that alters the way your industry does business
-A new means by which your product is sold, such as the opening of a new tasting room
In this case you have genuine information of import to deliver.

What’s really important for wine-related businesses to appreciate is whether or not the information you want to announce is something that really should only be delivered to your customers, in which case an email or direct mail piece will do the trick far better than a press release. Too often companies issue press releases when they should merely be communicating directly with their customers.

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