The Booze Bin

3 lessons learned from a PR wine newbie

wineAs a virtual stranger to wine PR (but definitely not to wine), getting tossed into the ring was a teensy bit stressful, to say the least. But hey, I don’t mind conducting my research at the liquor store. Definitely beats a library.

After spending 2014 knee-deep in the industry, I’ve taken away a few glassfuls (get it?) of knowledge to fortify myself for the year to come. While there’s definitely a great deal of knowledge I have yet to gain, here are the top three things I learned:

1) Making sure a wine brand’s voice is heard in a saturated wine media landscape is a bit tricky. Well, that’s an understatement. Let’s just say it’s tear-inducing.

Though there are hundreds of wine blogs, columns, magazines, etc., when everyone in the industry is vying for a mention, things get competitive. Though it’s difficult, it’s important to identify the aspects of a wine brand’s identity that make it niche enough to stand out to media, but appealing enough to consumers.

2) Events are huge in the wine PR industry. Walk-around tastings, wine seminars, press lunches with winemakers… The thing is, there are usually three million of…

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Digital Marketing

5 booze trends to ban from predictions

People in booze have been scouring the internet for upcoming trends and predictions in 2015. The only list that caught my attention was Kara Newman’s post on Liquor.com. Everything else was the same old boring stuff. It was as though the majority of predictions were just rehashes of previous years. Are people getting lazy? Or is there nothing new?

Rather than give my predictions, I’m doing something a little different. Here are my top five trends that you ALWAYS see in year-start predictions that need to be banned as they’re NOT trends…

The Mad Men Effect – OK, old school cocktails are cool. They never really went away, so stop saying they’re back! Since the show’s last season is this year, we also need a better name for this movement.

Small Batches are Big – People go ga-ga over artisanal, small batch producers. It makes you feel special that you’re having something so unique. And now that more and more distilleries are popping up around the country, this isn’t going away.

The Death of the 3-tier System – This is not happening. This will…

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The Booze Bin

Parker’s Predictions, A Decade Later

saved my points

 

 

 

 

 

It’s January and that can only mean two things. One, I’m trying to figure out whether to eat a sensible dinner or spend my points on a few glasses of wine instead, and, two, the annual ritual of booze trend forecasts are flooding the interwebs.

This is nothing new, but it got me thinking. How many of these predictions actually come true? Foreseeing next year’s trends is a challenge, but what about those from a decade from now? Woo-wee! Who would be bold enough to put themselves on the line like that? Robert Parker, that’s who.

So, let’s see how the “Million-Dollar Nose” fared. Just over a decade ago, Parker put forward a prediction in Food & Wine magazine:

fw200410_120Robert M. Parker, Jr., the world’s foremost wine guru, makes 12 bold predictions about seismic changes that will influence how we’ll shop, what we’ll buy and how much we’ll pay.

TWELVE!? That is so crazy, Bob, it’s Italian television crazy. More importantly, it’s way too long for me to prove or disprove in a single blog post and…

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Digital Marketing

Beyond impressions – key PR metrics for 2015

The New Year provides new opportunities to do great work for your clients.  In the wine industry, success is measured by the number of cases sold and marketing, sales and PR are ultimately evaluated by how much they contribute to the “bottom line.” At the end of the day, the main question is: How much was sold?

As communication professionals, we appreciate a good challenge. How PR contributes to sales and how to measure that connection is an evergreen challenge.  A recent PR Newswire survey proved that the most common PR goals are (still) outputs, not outcomes. Who doesn’t want media coverage (an “output” goal), but how do media hits translate to very real outcomes, like web traffic, conversions, sales leads, etc.? PR measurement guru Katie Paine is known for her opinion that “HITS are How Idiots Track Success.” While I wouldn’t go that far, there are great metrics to complement your target number of impressions when creating 2015 goals for your client.

Earned Media

A media placement is the result of hard work, but don’t stop at reporting the number of impressions. Observe…

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The Booze Bin

The perfect Gifts to Give to people in Booze PR

Every year, people struggle with what to get me for the holidays. Personally, I think it’s a no brainer. I work in PR. I enjoy Booze. BOOM. Done. Easy, right? Apparently not. If you know someone or have a loved one who’s into booze and not sure what to get for Hanukkah, Kwanza or Christmas, check this out…

DIY and Liquor – Gin is a great gift, majority of people love it and like to experiment – why not get a DIY gin kit?! gin kitCold Wine and Other Gadgets - I love the Corksicle – it’s a genius idea I wish I had invented. And, what’s even cooler, the company has come up with tons of additional ways to chill your libation.corksicle

Fancy Beer Drinkers – Spiegelau is a wonderful glass company, part of Riedel Crystal, and as someone who used to work with them, I can vouch for the quality glassware. Spiegelau has now come out with some awesome Craft Beer Glasses that allow for optimum enjoyment. glasses

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The Booze Bin

Top Wine Blog Posts of 2014

The year is coming to a close, bringing on that wild urge to come up with another ‘Best Of’ wine blog list. I just can’t help myself.

Below are some recommendations from my favorite, go-to wine blogger buddies (read: nerds) of their favorite blog posts of the year, and a few of my own. Hopefully, you have a little downtime around the holidays to catch up on these goodies from the past year.

Happy reading!

Thea Dwelle, Luscious Lushes

Long-time wine blogger (7 ½ years) and funny gal pal, Thea had this to say when asked which blog she loved from 2014:

                  Bill Eyer’s recent post on “Are Wine Blogs Dead?” really resonated with me as one of the few people that have been blogging for 6+ years. He hit the nail on the head with reasons that we step away, or take a break, and had fresh ideas to re-inspire – all because of his own struggles.

Paul Mabray, VinTank

Clearly Paul of VinTank, Napa’s wine think tank, follows a solid lineup of blogs, as his favorite list was LONG. A few of note:

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PR Industry Trends

Top 3 Beverage Alcohol Trends for 2015

It’s not even December, yet the web is already buzzing with predictions on what’s hot in the wine and spirits industry in 2015. Maybe someone took their cue from Walmart, which started selling Holiday decorations the day after Halloween.

Like it or not, trend reports, much like holiday decorations, no longer wait for sweater weather. Jumping on the band wagon, here are three emerging beverage trends for 2015.

The Boilermaker Celebrates a Comeback

In 2015, craft cocktails will share the spotlight with simpler, more straight-forward drinks, such as a shot and a beer, known as a “boilermaker.” Case in point, The New York Times recently published a full-page feature on the classic pairing. Some of these pairings are the usual cheap-whiskey-and-cheaper-beer marriages one expects, but more sophisticated duos are making their way into bars across the country.

Wine Pairings Go East

Asian food will continue to be a huge trend next year, so think about how to educate your audience on clever pairings for your alcohol beverage brands. For the best pairings with Ramen noodles, Vietnamese Pho and Korean street food-inspired grub, Wine…

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Digital Marketing

Top 7 Signs the “PR” Holidays Are Approaching

It’s still, technically, early November. In the normal world, holiday madness starts after Thanksgiving, but alas, in the PR world, the holidays have already arrived. But come on. Year after year, the harassment comes sooner and sooner, and we PR peeps are partly responsible. But we’re definitely NOT the only ones!

Here are the top signs that the “PR” holidays are fast approaching…

7) The wine pubs have begun their top 100 countdown. Dun dun dunnnnnnnn

6) PRNewswire has lowered their rate, JUST FOR YOU 

5) The SMT emails are hitting more frequently than normal with amazing, reduced rates, JUST FOR YOU 

4) Magazine writers are suddenly your best friends. They can’t write about your brand, but donate product to their holiday party and they’ll tweet it out 

3) 2014 year end recap reports

2) 2015 budgets and scopes of work 

1) You get an email from the Today Show producer, begging you to stop hanging around her kids’ school and no, they will…

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The Booze Bin

Eat, Drink and Be Merry on the Craft Beer Train (Food Pairing INFOGRAPHIC)

I admit it. As a beer lover, I have hopped on the craft beer train. (Whoot, whoot!) This train is movin’ at lightning speed, and it’s going places we’ve never been before. It’s a pretty exciting time for those of us who appreciate all the goodness of beer, and an even more exciting time for those of us marketers who work with the beverage industry. I saw it with the announcement of Stone Brewing coming to the East Coast…the momentum, the support, the excitement! I mean, this train can go anywhere, right? The industry is bursting with breweries, meet-up groups, clubs, websites, festivals, awards and more…so, what’s the next stop?

signsI’m calling it. Beer and food pairings will be all the rage nationwide. From five-course dinners to seasonal menus to custom created events, beer-food pairings will be popping up in restaurants, bars, breweries and festivals all over the country. Wine pairings have been around forever, so it’s only natural that craft beer follow in those well-tread footsteps. And while I have seen some beer pairing dinners here and there, I think as the concept explodes, the job…

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The Booze Bin

Vodka vs Whisky: Top 3 Reasons for the Shift in U.S. Sales

Sometimes, I feel I am the only advocate of vodka left. I’ve had some backup with U.S. sales and with the recent book by Victorino Matus, I didn’t feel so alone in the world.

Or so I thought.

That all changed this week when it was released that whisky has overtaken vodka in U.S. sales. Which makes this little tidbit all that more interesting: Vodka has overtaken whisky sales in the UK.

While Whisky usually costs more than vodka and is driving the sales price up, the biggest volume drivers are large brands that cost less. If pricing isn’t the issue, what caused this shift of power?

1) Flavors. The vodka category has been counting on new flavors to drive sales. Everyone and their vodka brother had a flavor, some good*, some bad. Whisky has jumped on the bandwagon, creating varying flavors, some good, some bad. But that has allowed for the category to increase space on shelves.

2) Women. Females are the main purchaser of alcohol in the home. There is the…

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