Intro to marketing and the Oregon wine industry – Interview 2

Today I was able to meet with Dana Dooley, owner of Honest Chocolates. Dooley does marketing for her business and earned her MBA with an emphasis in marketing from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Here are some things I learned (and keep in mind, these are incredibly rough notes. You could sharpen a knife on them).

  • A few years ago the face of PR was completely different. People typically contracted an outside PR consultant and had them take care of mentions, tactics, etc. However, social media and in-house PR departments completely changed it, and people who had gotten used to the old system needed to adapt to the times.
  • For example, Facebook is more consumer oriented, but more media is on Twitter.
  • Interestingly enough, I don’t even remember a time when social media wasn’t a factor in life. I am lucky, for now, to be young in a field that favors youth and fresh ideas. I believe Dooley used the word “Marcom” has changed so much with the times that people who are just getting in to the field have an advantage. They jump in to what is most effective at that time. They didn’t have to learn information and tactics that became obsolete long ago.
  • Now, with in-house PR, we can develop organic relationships ourselves, within the company. Dooley stressed that these relationships must be created naturally and organically, not forced. We need to be genuine in the connections we make, especially since the media wants to see and interact with a real person.
  • If you build the relationships, have good wine and a story to tell, you will go far.
  • In order to be in wine marketing, you need to be in the business of both wine and marketing. It sounds simple, but you cannot market something you aren’t passionate about.
  • Plug in to the community. Know your target audience, know which events to tie yourself to. Understand that there are no official requirements to be a blogger, so it will likely be a less professional display of information than that of a reporter.
  • Reporters don’t like to cover a winery for something more than once, make every story count. For example, reporters probably won’t do a feature story on a winery twice. It has been done and their readers will notice.
  • Dooley also suggested that I read a book by Robert Cialdini titled Influence, about how to guard against the many ways you can be manipulated by media.
  • Finally, Dooley commented on the habit of only looking at certain aspects of wine, instead of the big picture, and to guard against doing it. For example, if you only look at the color of a wine, and won’t drink a lighter colored wine, there’s a good chance you are missing out on some yummy wine. It is a “position of ignorance” to base a wine on one aspect or quality of it, such as alcohol level, oak, etc. However, there are some logical reasons that certain people don’t like high alcohol wines. High alcohol doesn’t mean bad wine, but if you are tasting numerous wines because you write about them, or because it’s part of your job description, your palate will be able to handle more wine if there is less alcohol (even if you spit).
  • In terms of press releases, Dooley stresses repetition. Get your name out there numerous times, for various different reasons. And don’t post-date press releases.
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