For many businesses, especially the smaller ones, public/press relations tend to spend a lot of time on the backburner. It’s always something that is going to get done, but if you don’t have someone tasked with creating press releases and stories, it’s rare that the press releases and promotional pieces are written with any regularity.
Put Yourself Out There
Take advantage of local, regional and national press by being organized and up-to-date with the information you send to the press, through email and put on your website. You never know who is going to see it and become a life-long customer.
Time to get organized. If you don’t already have one, start with a Press section on your website for the press. Rather like the old printed press kit but without the cost of printing. This gives reporters who may have heard about your winery an easy way to get the information they need about your vineyards, winery, wines, staff, history, owners, winemaker, dog or whatever. You should also include products photos, videos and, most importantly, contact information.
Note: If someone from the press or electronic media calls you with questions speak to them immediately or call them back as quickly as you can as they are usually on deadline. If the reporter can’t get a hold of you s/he will find someone at another company like yours to talk to.
Be a Resource
When something happens in your industry, journalists are often times looking for someone who can give them a salient quote. If you want to be that person, rather than it being one of your competitors, get to know these journalists, reporters and bloggers. If there is bad weather during harvest, take a few minutes to call your local newspaper and let them know how it’s affecting your crop.
Whenever anything newsworthy is happening at your winery (and you should make sure that the story is really newsworthy) contact everyone you think might be interested. The more you send out good information, the more the press will get to know who you are and start counting on you when they need information.