Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Use Wine To Get Your Message Out

Yesterday I attended a regional networking event hosted for the Reach Interpretive Center to be located in Richland, Washington.

What actually impressed me most about the presentation was the new, private label wine crafted by Pete Hedges of Hedges Cellars. At $15 for a bottle of merlot, I’m sure that when I open it the angels are not going to sing. I know that the wine isn’t going to be fantastic. But, it will be good. And, I am supporting the purpose and message of the interpretive center by giving this special label out as gifts.

At a time when people are concerned about the economy, and worried that their businesses and foundations are not thriving as well as they should, people still will continue to drink wine. Wine offers an excuse to step away from the troubles of the day, relax, and have fun with friends and family. That is why wine is a great medium for getting your message out.

There are several ways to promote your message with wine. The first is, of course, private labels. Did you know that you can get a private label wine for your organization or event without very much expense or trouble?

The biggest issues lie in labeling. There are very strict laws governing the labeling of wine, and breaking those laws can get you into a lot of trouble. Anyone can soak the label off of a bottle of Crane Lake, re-label it, and serve it at a private dinner in their home. But, don’t even try to do this in bulk, without facing fines or imprisonment.

Several local wineries are now making wines with something called “back-labeling”. This is a wine that has all of the legal information on the back label of the wine, but an empty space on the front of the bottle where you can install your own fantastic design.

Two wineries that have been doing this very successfully in the region are Eola Hills, and Claar Cellars. Claar Cellars even makes it possible to pick up just a few bottles at a time from the winery.

Another method for using wine to get your message out has been invented by my good friend Dan McCool. Dan has started a video blog called . If you go to you will find what I am talking about. For a very reasonable price, plus a bottle of wine, Dan will create a video blog spreading your message, and post it to his site.

This is “viral” marketing at its best. The blog gets posted through YouTube, Facebook, and several other social networking sites as well, which means that a lot of people are seeing your message. Dan shared with me that his site, which has been on line for only a few days is trending for over 10,000 hits a day within the next few weeks.

I recently did this myself just for the experience. I was featured on April 6th, talking about my own blog at , and this weekly article at East Oregonian. I encourage you to go to and watch it.

If you are trying to get your message out, I suggest you try using wine. People just seem to listen better when you are buying and they are drinking.


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