4 PR lessons learned from wine


Truth be told, I’m not a big drinker. Especially of wine. In fact, I have yet to meet a red that I like. However, in the hopes of becoming more comfortable at business dinners and events, I’ve started to delve into the world of wine.

By doing so, I’ve discovered how numerous lessons from the vineyard can be applied daily to promoting your business.

In honor of National Wine Day on May 25, here are four PR lessons from wine, regardless of whether you drinking preference is red or white.

What is your varietal character?

A grape’s distinct varietal character is assessed by wine enthusiasts in a language that borders on insane babble to me. Buttery, chewy, smoky, nutty, and full-bodied, are just a few examples of descriptors of a good Chardonnay.

One might say, the varietal character of a wine is like a brand’s key messages.

Do you know what the varietal character of your brand is? The descriptors your customers use to describe your brand is important.

Why? Key messages are the most important and impactful messages that tell your brand’s or business’ story.

Key messages are the takeaways you want anyone who encounters your brand to quickly understand. They can be used on your website, social media updates, and in pitches to the media.

To be useful, key messages should be:

  • Few, usually no more than three to five.
  • Concise, generally no more than a sentence or two delivered in seven to eight seconds.
  • Free of jargon, devoid of technical language, and relevant.
  • Written down and shared internally across the brand or business.
  • Consistent, so they can be repeated if they are to sink in.

If you have too many key messages, you won’t have focus. If your key messages are a paragraph each, you will not be effective.

Writing your messages down makes sure they are short, concise, and understandable.

Do you bring people together?

Plain and simple, wine brings people together.

Wine lubricates conversation, provides a shared experience, unites different cultures, preserves landscapes, and helps us unwind. At its best, wine has a beauty equal to music, art, literature, and stands alongside the greatest of human creations.

Wine is a force for good. Is your brand?

Does your brand fulfill its mission? Are your daily promotional activities true to your brand’s values? Are you bringing customers, both existing and potential, together in a community-like environment?

Being a force that brings people together will ensure your brand goes the distance. Spend some time working on it.

Are you integrated?

When a wine’s acidity, tannin structure, alcohol content, and fruitiness, are so impeccably woven so that no one characteristic stands out, it is said to be integrated.

A brand becomes integrated when all its PR content, SEO optimization, and digital and social sharing creates a seamless and cohesive promotional campaign that produces great results.

Each component is strong on its own. However, integrating them together makes each stronger than it would be solo and maximizes your budget.

These days, the customer journey is a multi-channel experience from awareness to final purchase. People access information about a brand using print media, digital, broadcast, word of mouth, and, if applicable, in-store.

To succeed, a brand must perfect the marriage of the above channels with consistent messaging.

How do you finish?

The longer a wine’s flavors and aromas linger in your mouth and nose, the better the wine. Wine aficionados call this a wine’s finish.

The same can be asked of your PR activities. How well does your brand finish?

Not sure? Ask yourself these three questions:

  • How long and favorably do press announcements and news stories about your brand linger after their initial appearance?
  • How well-received are your efforts on social media?
  • What is the status of your brand as it applies to word-of-mouth advertising?

With various tools like Google Analytics at your disposal, there is no excuse for not delivering actionable intelligence based on the coverage you’re receiving from your PR efforts.

There also is no excuse for failing to provide a clear recap around who cares about your brand, why they care, and how they are showing they care.

Before, after, and during any PR activities, remember to make note of your metrics, including reach, clicks, indirect traffic, social engagement, and conversations.


What PR lessons from wine can you apply to your PR practices?

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