How to Shine Online


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Whether you’re a blogger or brand manager, a journalist or comms consultant, wine producer or content creator, we all need to look in the mirror regularly and ask: am I looking good? Is my brand image all that it should be? This group will examine PR and how it can help or hinder. We are all brand managers. Because everything you do is part of building Brand You.

This presentation is owned and copywritten by Alastair Bathgate, Justin Howard-Sneyd, Louise Hurren, Paul Mabray and Richard Siddle, 2013

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  • Necessary evil? Remove one of those words.
    Part of business for centuries. Part of marketing mix.
    Grapes grow on bushes but money doesn’t and whilst wine might make your head spin, it’s money that makes the world go around.
    Once you’ve made a good product, you have to let people know about it. That involves making some noise and invariably that involves finding a medium or two to distribute your message. The internet is making it possible to talk to your customers directly, but to build a brand you will need some independent opinion to support you – who do you target?
  • Whilst I write about wine and receive hundreds of emails a month from wino PRs, my day job is running a software company. In that role, I BUY PR and maybe that gives me a balanced perspective? Let’s see.
    Here are some of the traditional media titles we target. Let’s do a quick straw poll – how many people have heard of the BBC? How many have heard of the New York Times?
    Anyway, the common theme here is that we target these titles because they offer genuinely independent well researched opinion. So it is highly valued by the reader.
  • We also target “new” media. Let’s try that straw poll again – who has heard of Mashable? How many people can pronounce GigaOm? How many have ever read Horses for Sources.
    Horses for sources is a super-niche blog targetted at the business process outsourcing sector and yet has 110, 000 subscribers.
    We target these titles because they are well read. The message carries a long way and to a highly relevant audience. Perhaps without the total rigour of the Financial Times but nonetheless, highly influential.
  • I do have some view on ethics – you can read about them on my blog. But, I also think it is time to move on from the obsessive ethical introspective neurosis that seems to be flooding the blogsphere recently. All anyone can expect is honesty.
    Tell people why you write and who your intended audience is. What is your interest. How do you fund your activities? What are the commercial relationships you have with advertisers, suppliers and PRs.
    And be honest about what you write. Whatever your take, if a friend asked you privately, would you say the same as you wrote?
    You have a responsibility to be open and honest and in return this will attract the attention of the right type of PRs – but also the wrong ones.
    As both a buyer and a seller of PR, I should point out that there are good PR people and bad PR people.
  • Louise asked me to leave the audience with one thought and here it is. The word is integrity. For me, this applies to all aspects of business.
    You do have to look at yourself in the mirror every day and be comfortable that you have been fair to your suppliers, your readers, your customers, your partners and yes, even your PR contacts.
    If you feel guilty enough that you don’t feel able to discuss your activities openly, then you are acting without integrity.
    In which case, perhaps I ought to disclose that this image is not mine. I did a Google images search and stole it from a blog called Source Metrics. See, none if us are squeaky clean.
  • Long term shareholder value
    Meeting short-term sales and profit targets
    Investing in the future
    Building and maintaining a reputation
    Doing things sustainably (environmentally, financially, socially)
  • 3 definitions of PR –
    This represents the cynical view……!
  • A colourful illustration of the difference between advertising and PR
  • A more formal definition
  • Consumers
    Trade customers
    The ‘influencers’ themselves are not the audience, but they can be very helpful in influencing the audience you are targeting
  • Journalists – TV / Radio / Print / online
    News / features / lifestyle / specialist
    Trade journalists
    Opinion-leaders (buyers, sommeliers)
    Whether or not you target a particular ‘influencer’ depends on the audience you are trying to reach
  • 35-55 year-old – used to be very male-dominated – now much more even
    £7-£12 per bottle everyday spend
    Happy to buy by the case.
    Able to receive case deliveries
    Wine ‘enjoyers’, rather than wine ‘connoisseurs’
  • What they see in the supermarket
    Direct marketing communication
    Friend or family recommendation
    Word of mouth
    Read about it in a newspaper? NOT REALLY
    Read about it in a blog - NO
  • If PR is to be worth doing, it needs to contribute, in synergy with advertising and other marketing, to moving customers towards the more profitable end of this scale
    Much of our PR effort has surrounded our other activities
    The journey of the Irene
    Sponsorship of the England cricket team
    The Affordable Art Fair
    Customer Events
    Classic FM Live
  • When you have the attention of an audience, you have to tell them a good story.
    We often go back to Tony’s story to remind ourselves of how we got here.
    There are LOTS of stories to tell at Laithwaite’s, whether it is about how we find our wines, or how we look after our customers.
    We specialise in telling the story of our own wines
  • How bloggers can help:
    Keep in touch.
    Let us know who is reading your blog
    Understand what we are up to, and how it is relevant to your readers
    Come along to one of our tastings
    Tell us (honestly) what you think.
  • How to Shine Online

    2. 2. Richard Siddle Justin Howard-Sneyd Alastair Bathgate Paul Mabray
    3. 3. Alastair Bathgate
    4. 4. Public Relations NECESSA EVIL RY
    5. 5. Traditional Media
    6. 6. “New” media
    7. 7. Ethics in writing Nobody is squeaky clean Build a brand, not just a voice Be honest about your objectives Do you stand by everything you’ve said? Someone will take your opinion as fact
    8. 8. Integrity m
    9. 9. By the Numbers Jancis Robinson – 29,808 Robert Parker - 20,082 Alder Yarrow – 18,675 Joe Roberts – 13,451 Catavino – 5,343 Steve Heimoff – 4,140
    10. 10. Blurred Lines
    11. 11. The Math Disconnect The actual number for 2012 was over 200K. Only approximately 40K are professionally rated. Far less are rated by the super-critics (25 w/ an audience over 100K).
    12. 12. The New Wine Communicators “It is a bull market for free content,” Tyler Coleman
    13. 13. The New Wine Communicators
    14. 14. The New Wine Communicators
    15. 15. The New Wine Communicators
    16. 16. If all that fails . . .
    17. 17. Filler between Speeches
    18. 18. How to Shine Online
    19. 19. The Decline of PR
    20. 20. Social Media has Reinvented PR
    21. 21. PR is Everyone’s Job in the New World of Social Media
    22. 22. Distribution, Distribution, Distribution
    23. 23. Content is Still King “Content will be the future of advertising, people distributing and creating content for your brand will be the barometer of your advertising success.” Barry Schuler – former CEO AOL/Time Warner/CEO Meteor Vineyards
    24. 24. Spray and Pray is Toxic
    25. 25. Writer/Publication Accessibility
    26. 26. Gasoline or a Fire Extinguisher
    27. 27. How To Shine Online (and why PR is a necessary evil) Justin Howard-Sneyd MW Global Wine Consultant – Laithwaite’s Wine
    28. 28. What are businesses interested in?
    29. 29. What is PR? “PR and corporate communications is marketing, except, you’re selling an intangible to an audience with no interest.” Richard Reavey
    30. 30. What is PR? “Advertising: I walk into a bar and tell the first hot girl I see how amazing I am in bed. The hot girl doesn’t go home with me. “PR: I walk into a bar and a friend of the hot girl sees me and tells her friend how great I am in bed. The hot girl goes home with me” Peter Shankman
    31. 31. What is PR? “Public relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.” Chartered Institute of Public Relations
    32. 32. Who are the ‘publics’?
    33. 33. Who are the ‘influencers’?
    34. 34. Who are Laithwaite’s target audience?
    35. 35. How do these people choose their wines?
    36. 36. The brand journey
    37. 37. Storytelling
    38. 38. How can wine bloggers contribute?
    39. 39. Readers: no longer just an audience
    40. 40. Join in…take part…set the agenda
    41. 41. Audience now tells the news
    42. 42. It is not as easy as A…B…C…
    43. 43. A master in wine, but not in writing Just because you know about wine does not mean you can communicate about it World of wine does not need any more wine specialists It needs people who can communicate about it It needs people who know about PR PR can help you tell the story you have
    44. 44. Have you the right skills to be heard?
    45. 45. Mirror, mirror on the wall…
    46. 46. How to stand out from the crowd “SHOW US A SIGN…ANY SIGN!?”
    47. 47. How to stand out from the crowd You have to know how to “sell” your story. How to use PR 80% of stories in press are from press releases/wires/ Only 12% is original research But majority of press releases are deleted. No story. Not what you say but how you say it Winery invests in a new water plant. Not a story
    48. 48. What makes you special? One thing being a specialist How you tell your story Analyse your user traffic/ Google analytics Go where your audience wants you to go To be heard you have to be a DIGITAL SPECIALIST
    49. 49. Digital Future: Old and New Worlds working together Journalism working with audience/users/blogs “Audience” using journalism to tell their story Blogs yes. But live blogging from events Video yes. Video diary from wine trip/vintage Vintage news. Live data feed of harvest WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
    50. 50. Have your say on HARPERS Join in with Harpers online Start your own blog on You just have got to have something to say Contact me @richardsiddle