How Bloggers Can Work with Wine Brands on Sponsored Content

How Bloggers Can Work with Wine Brands on Sponsored Content

Literally grab your rosé because today we are opening up the world of wine PR.

This is a guest post/interview coming at you from Hannah, the creator of My Pour Decisions and an Account Executive at Folsom and Associates PR in San Francisco.

Hannah and I connected on Instagram because of our mutual PR work (duh) and I instantly LOVED her wine blog, My Pour Decisions.

She had me at that pun AND I loved her writing style – so funny and SO real. If you ever want a great example of blogging like you talk, check out her posts.

Without further ado.

 

You know that delicious rosé that everyone keeps talking about? Or that new subscription wine club you’ve seen featured on a Buzzfeed article? Yeah, it’s my job to make sure you know about it because – you guessed it- I work in wine public relations.

It can probably go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway – I LOVE my job. In fact, I’m so passionate about my job, my clients and wine in general that I started my own blog, mypourdecisions.com, that focuses on wine and food education for the novice drinkers. Some could say it’s like bringing my work home with me, but because I include memes frequently in my posts, I would have to disagree. That doesn’t feel very work-like to me 😉

Through the blog and the posts on my own personal pages, I get asked all the time about my work and how to go about breaking into the wine PR world.

Not surprisingly, most of these questions come from other bloggers and public relations professionals in different industries.

To be honest, that’s a hard question to answer because luxury PR, especially wine PR, is a very competitive industry.

For instance, when I applied to my current job I had to beat out over 120 candidates for the position. Though I will go to my grave that my winning personality alone got me the job (you can roll your eyes here), I know that’s (sadly) not the case.

photo via My Pour Decisions Instagram

How to Get Involved in Luxury Wine PR Industry

Get involved in the wine industry first.

A tidbit of information worth sharing is that I did have experience in wine prior to transitioning to PR – I was a tasting room associate. I decided while working in tech PR (my old gig) that I wanted a fun, part-time job to add a little passion and extra cash to my life.

So I applied to local wineries and eventually became a weekend-working tasting room associate.

This was a HUGE benefit to me while applying to wine PR jobs because it showed that I was hardworking (I worked seven days a week for four months!), passionate about wine and knew what working in a winery is like first hand- which is important because the wineries are my actual clients.

There are lots of ways to get involved in the wine industry early on.

Tasting room associates or hostesses at wine bars make excellent part time jobs and if you’re a college student looking to go into wine, I highly recommend it. Smaller wineries also offer a lot of other part-time jobs, including social media managers or even helping with harvest.

 

Do not try wine PR if you only like the wine aspect of it.

PR, in any industry, is a ton of work. Crazy hours, stressful deadlines, etc.- none of that goes away in luxury PR. Though there are lots of fun perks for working in wine PR, it is by no means easy.

You’ve got to be prepared to get a little dirty and get up with reporters at 3 a.m. during harvest.

 

Know your wine basics.

Do some studying. Know more wines than just Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Writers in the wine industry will ask you tough questions on this, I promise you.

This is probably a good time to shameless plug my blog, which can help you with that technical stuff.

 

photo via My Pour Decisions Instagram

How Bloggers Can Pitch and Partner with the Wine World

For bloggers reading this that maybe aren’t interested in working in PR, but more like working with PR, I’m all too happy to share some tips that I’ve learned, both on the publicist and blogging side.

Let PR people know what your purpose is for reaching out.

The WORST thing I get from bloggers are those who just say “I’m writing an article about sparkling wine, can you send me a few bottles?”

Vague much? What about sparkling wine? Are you developing a mixed drink recipe that uses sparkling wine? Are you making a gift guide?

GIVE ME DETAILS. Because my clients will ask, and I’ll have to answer.

 

Contact the right person – marketing department, not the sales team

When contacting a winery, first go check their website for the right contact. Not all wineries handle their own social media and respond to DM’s. You’re going to want to look for the media or PR representative- NOT the sales rep. Those go to a whole different department and often times get lost in the abyss.

 

Know that we PR people do our research.

We’ll check your social media numbers, your monthly readership and read your articles. If you’re a blog that focuses on fashion, with no mention of wine whatsoever, we’re going to wonder why you’re contacting us in the first place (referring to rule one is important here).

While we won’t necessarily decline any opportunity to work with you based on numbers, it’s our job to make sure we’re getting placements in target publications for our clients. Your job is to convince me that you are, in fact, one of those target publications.

Hopefully I’ve shed some insight into the wine PR world! Good luck and happy pour decision making!

photo via My Pour Decisions Instagram

So, some pitching specifics I learned from Hannah…

We all love bullet points, so here’s some of the main takeaways on pitching + partnering with wine brands that I took away from Hannah’s advice.

  • Numbers aren’t everything – but if yours are on the lower end, PROVE WHY a brand should be partnering with you over a larger blogger.
  • Say no to the pitch through Instagram DM – it’s going to get lost in the shuffle.
  • Wine subscription boxes are both trendy + use influencer marketing – try your hand at pitching to those and see how it goes.

Keep in touch with Hannah on Instagram

So guys, questions for Hannah on how to get involved with some wine brands??

Ask in the comments below, and I’m sure she’s more than happy to answer them.

I highly recommend checking out her wine blog if you like sarcasm AND need to learn more about wine to seem like a real adult.

If you want more insider tips on pitching to brands, join the totally free Mini Camp on Breaking Down the Myths of Pitching to Brands. It’s super fun, informative, and perfect to tweak your pitching strategy before the holidays.

Drop your email below.

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  • Amy Pawlukiewicz

    What a great idea! I’m going to have to think about how to partner with the wine industry.

    • Hannah Perkins

      Glad it was helpful 🙂

  • Dee ☕️

    This is awesome! So different than anything I’ve seen before. I would love to work with wine PR in the future but I definitely need to increase my technical knowledge of wine first. I’m also really happy to discover Hannah’s blog through this post! Thank you both for putting this together.

    Dee // http://www.morningcoffeewithdee.com

    • Hannah Perkins

      Thanks for reading and for checking out the blog! If you have any technical wine questions, let me know!

  • Thank you so much for the tips… it would be a dream to work with the wine industry. Thanks also for the reality check about the amount of work involved!

    • Hannah Perkins

      It certainly is a dream- but trust me it can get nightmare-ish sometimes! Glad you enjoyed 🙂

  • Crystal Santoria

    This is awesome! I wonder could you partner with a wine company to do a gift duo with your own product?

    • Hannah Perkins

      This entirely depends on the wine company/winery you’re dealing with. Remember, a lot of the larger wineries are corporate now, so they don’t really want their product included with a gift basket without explicit permission. If you’re talking to smaller wineries, it’s entirely possible. It’s also dependent on what your product is. If it’s a wine related product, maybe. If you make soap and want to pair it with a wine, odds are they’ll say no. Just keepin’ it real.

  • You seriously have like the best series on pitching brands! I loved your email series too. It’s something I’m starting to dip into and after reading one of your posts I took the plunge (and of course signed up for your newsletter).

  • This is such a good idea! I’m definitely going to have to consider this 🙂