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by Beverage Trade Network



How do you get editors interested in your wine, beer or spirits brand story?

Photo for: How do you get editors interested in your wine, beer or spirits brand story?

Here are 7 Tips From The Leading Beverage Magazine Editors On Crafting Your Pitch To Industry Publications.

BTN gets insight from some of the leading editors in the beverage industry on what editor's look for when selecting their next story. Here's what they had to say:

Nathan Gogoll

Magazine Editor at The Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker Don't pay a marketing agency to blast your latest news to every single journalist on their contact list. Instead, just target publications you think the story has the best fit with. (Journalists and editors love an exclusive, so consider just sending the news to one publication) Keep your release short and make yourself available for follow-up interviews. Have a selection of high-resolution current photos on offer.

Sarah Lewis

Managing Editor at Hardie Grant Media The key to securing coverage is tailoring your pitch to the specific title/editor - do your research to ensure you're connecting with the right person and that the concept is relevant to their audience. We receive so many pitches on a daily basis and the ones that stand out are well conceived and personally written (not a cut-and-paste job that you've sent to 10 other editors). And if you are going to cut and paste, be sure to change the salutation and title! I can't tell you the number of times I've received pitches with the competitor's name in the body of the email... "We think such and such would be a great fit for." Instant delete. Where possible, include links to previous articles or posts that best demonstrate your skills and point of view. Finally, follow up with a phone call. This can be as simple as saying you just wanted to check they received your pitch and asking if you can provide any extra info at this stage. Don't be pushy or presumptuous, but do put a voice to the name.

Annette Shailer

Editor at Beer & Brewer In this day and age high-quality images are vital to gaining coverage in the print and online, so it's important to invest in these. In regards to the content, it's nice to hear about the people behind the brews as well as the flavor profile. A human interest angle usually resonates well with the audience and don't forget images of the people are just as important as the brewery and bottle shots are. Finally, a couple of killer quotes from the brewer or owner go a long way, especially if they're talking about something they are passionate about that's a bit different and quirky.

Keith Wallace

Author and 'Wine Blog Awards' Winner for “Best Wine Reviews 2014”I take interest in stories that have a narrative beyond the usual press release. For real traction, the story has to be newsworthy outside of the beverage trade. Compelling human-interest stories attract a larger audience, especially if they include a degree of conflict. Be willing to get dangerous! For instance, the Wine School of Philadelphia got significant national attention a few years ago for “Sommelier Smackdown" after the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) sued for trademark violation. " It was a scary situation, but it also was a funny story. It ended up landing the school in every major newspaper in the country, and a few magazines, too. The willingness to turn a dark chapter in the school's interest into the humorous "wrestlers versus sommeliers" storyline actually solidified the school's reputation and nearly doubled enrollment.

Anna Warwick

Currently Asia Pacific Freelance Editor Be aware that media are constantly looking for new material so if you can make a contact and make it easy for them to access your ideas, that's the way forward. Put some thought into the point of difference of your angle and really sell - as input some real heart into your idea or suggestion. If you have facts to put across make them dot points. If you have a personality to interview give a brief bio and an interesting quote. Make your emails short and to the point. Send quality emails over quantity. Send a few punchy ideas rather than stacks of emails. If you have the advertising schedules for that publication you will get an idea of how far ahead of print times you need to get material to editors. Make your ideas seasonal and relevant to current events/topics.

Meridith May

Publisher/Editorial Director at The Tasting Panel Magazine & The SOMM Journal Got an interesting pitch? Instead of a page-long email which no one wants to read, start with a phone call - yes, a phone call. I may not have time to hear the whole thing, but a personal touch is still appreciated. Let me know you're taking the time because you want that story in MY magazine, not just throwing it out anywhere to see who'll respond.

Tips from Beverage Trade Network Education is one of the best ways to inspire great columns. Giving editors a story that actually provides insightful content to their readers is to truly show them that you have something special to offer to their publication. There are millions of brands around the world who claim that they are the next big story. They assert that they are unique, that they are on the leading edge of innovation, or that their story is simply too exciting to pass up. Whatever the reason, they seem to think that media companies should actually consider their self-absorbed stories for their next piece. Instead, talk about how you have triumphed over your latest setback and give tips on how you did it. Let down your guard and be honest about what it means to be in business.

For example, instead of talking about how great your latest PR stunt was, give your readers a behind-the-scenes look at what you went through to get it done. Talk about your employees and how they had to work day in and day out even though you know they've been going through personal struggles of their own. Don't exclaim your brilliance, explain your method. Find what truly makes your company (or your brand) special and examine the parts as you dissect it piece by piece. Once you have all the pieces of the puzzle in front of you, touch on the brilliance of each brush stroke of the painting as you narrate the practice of putting it all back together again. The above article will help you establish a strong overview on how you can plan your PR strategy and send your story to press and media.

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