Simple and Useful Rules for Wine Media Events

There is a good, general rule in wine media relations: Try not to send generic press releases or story pitches to those members of the media who are highly unlikely to have any interest in them.

It’s a good rule because when your Virginia winery sends a press release to San Francisco Chronicle Wine, Beer and Spirits Write Esther Mobley about your inclusion in Food & Wine Magazine’s  “Top Ten Best Wineries To Visit in Virginia” story, you are likely to engender ill will with Esther, establish yourself or your winery as a time waster, and demonstrate that you give very little thought to your media and marketing efforts.

All those things are bad.

I’m writing today to remind wine marketers that the same discipline you demonstrate when you don’t send irrelevant material to wine writers ought to apply to wine event marketers. I was persuaded to offer this reminder to my readers after I received an invitation in my email box today to attend an event celebrating the launch of two new “lighter” New Zealand wines that don’t use alcohol extraction techniques to get the alcohol in their wines to lower levels.

I get quite a few invitations to events and really appreciate being included in invitations to wine media events. I don’t generally go to the pure tasting events I’m invited to since I don’t review wines. Some I’ll attend. But not very many. I’m more likely to attend wine media events that touch on the business of wine or trends in the wine industry.

The event to which I received an invitation today is happening the day after tomorrow at a lovely venue called The New Zealand House located just off Trafalgar Square in London, England.

My reason for not attending what sounds like a lovely and interesting event is not that I’m busy that day or that I received the invitation on such short notice. In fact, my Wednesday is theoretically open. My primary reason for not attending is that the venue is roughly 5,000 miles from my home.

So, here is the general rule for sending event invitations to members of the media:

  1. Send it well in advance so prospective attendees can plan for it. 
  2. Send the invitation only to media that are likely to be interested in the event
  3. It’s OK to contact editors and invite them to send someone to the event
  4. Send invitations to those for whom the journey to the event won’t take a 12-hour flight and cost $1,000+


2 Responses

  1. Patricia - April 30, 2018

    I love this post! ‘No way, Sherlock’ might apply.

    I happen to live approximately 35 minutes walk from New Zealand House, which is at the west end of Trafalgar beyond the National Gallery or at the bottom of Haymarket-take your pick.

    Wild guess, but perhaps they thought you would be over to judge IWSC, Decanter Wine Awards, or another competition, or for the London Wine Trade Fair in a fortnight’s time?

    I’m so supportive of trying to ask marketing executives to focus on the journalists, buyers, influencers, etc. whom they want/need to support their brands. Blanket emails are a waste of everyone’s time.

    Thanks for the post. Perfectly apt!

  2. nimabi - December 2, 2023

    Thank you very much for sharing, I learned a lot from your article. Very cool. Thanks. nimabi

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