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

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

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:

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

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

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

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

Media Relations

How to Get Media to Attend a Boring Event

In public relations, face time between your clients and editors is crucial. It’s especially important in food and beverage PR when you represent a foreign client who visits the U.S. once, maybe twice, a year. Your only opportunity to make a lasting impression with the media and impress the client is by filling every last seat at your event. When your client is in town for 36 hours, there is no room for empty seats.

Yes, sometimes, when the client is in town, there is not necessarily news to report on other than, “Hey, so-and-so is here so let’s get some press out of it!” So the money question is: How do you get media to attend a potentially boring event? 

The short answer: Make it worth their while. Here are three easy tips:

–          Pick a new venue: Host the event at a new restaurant or bar that journalists are dying to go to. Food and beverage editors won’t turn down a free meal at a hot new venue (unless you work for The New York Times), especially if you can schedule your event before

The Booze Bin

From Tampa to Big Bear – Prost!

The Munchen Oktoberfest may have wrapped up last week, but Americans will be channeling their inner German all month long. And can you blame us? Oktoberfest began as a modest Bavarian agricultural show at the turn of the 19th century, and has transformed into a festival of attractions, from amusement rides and beer halls to bratwürst and giant pretzels. The traditional festival has come a long way, and now serves a whopping 7 million liters of beer to 6 million thirsty people.prost

The German Oktoberfest is of course more culturally legitimate than anything we can conjure up in the States, but we are always happy for an excuse to drink heaps of delicious beer. Whether we’re reconnecting with our Germanic roots or simply jumping on the würst wagon, there is no shame in raising a stein (or two) to those old Bavarian farmers.

If you haven’t already been involved in the festivities, here are 5 ways you can still celebrate Oktoberfest in the States:

1. The best in the Midwest – The New Ulm Oktoberfest (October 10th – 11th)

2. Bring your steins to the South – Tampa Oktoberfest (October

The Booze Bin

How to Win a Silver Anvil (while Holding a Glass of Wine)

Shh there's wine in hereI have a confession to make. After more than a decade in booze PR, I have never attended a PRSA conference. I KNOW. It is so crazy, it’s Italian television crazy. But allow me to redeem myself.

I have helped to write, edit and submit more PR award entries than I care to remember. Ok, they were submitted at 11:59pm on the late entry date north of 99% of the time. But that’s not the point. The point is, I have been fortunate enough to learn from some of the best in the industry (I’m looking at you, Patrice Tanaka), and whipped, kicking and screaming, into PR award shape.

With the annual PRSA International Conference in DC only a few days away, I am working feverishly with the (ahem, no big deal) SILVER ANVIL award-winning Rioja team to prep our PRSA session, “Pairing Rioja Wine Producers with the U.S. Market.” Truly a team effort, this winning entry was led by the Rioja Trade Campaign Manager, Lauren Ray, assisted by Pablo Olay (Campaign Director), Rebekah Polster (Media Team Supervisor), Daniel Walsh (Trade Team Consultant) and the PR award…