While at a conference, I sat in on a panel of media people, reporters both for radio and newspapers and a blogger talking about what they want and need from the wineries.
All of the media people wanted stories that are authentic, interesting and unusual. Now interesting is one of those words that has a variety of meanings and definitely depends on the audience. If you are talking to a trade publication for the wine industry an interesting story will most likely include a fair amount of technical information including words like “terroir”, talk about the way the vineyard is managed and a lot about the wine making process.
When sending information to media outlets that deal with the general public, who may or may not know much about wine, it’s better to stay away from most of the technical information and to concentrate on things that the general public will find interesting. For these consumer journalists and reporters it’s not all about the products (or the terroir) but about what will be interesting to a broader audience. Do you have an unusual story about your winery dog or a narrative with people, rather than wine, at the center?
One thing the panel was in agreement on was their need for stories. They are always looking for stories and are interested in the ideas you may send them. The key is to take the time to find out who the journalists and reporters are, who their audiences are and what they are interested in. Get to know them and become a resource for them. If they ask you for a quote, tell them you will get back to them within 30 minutes and spend the time creating a concise and well thought out couple of sentences that they can use. Be sure to call them back within the time frame you specified as media people are usually on a deadline.
Creating a relationship with local journalists is always a good way to get the ball rolling. So start thinking of unusual things about your winery that may interest and amuse.
A tip of the glass from me to you!