At the EWBC, I was excited to help push the discussion about the social wine brand, and take a different look at what we understand as a ‘wine brand’ itself, but also the role of bloggers.
I was therefore struck by one of Gary’s most interesting points (and I paraphrase liberally):
Tell your own (winery’s) story, with passion. Don’t be lazy and wait until others tell it for you, take ownership and speak to your consumers
At first, this seems to contradict the EWBC message as this is exactly what many of the EWBC bloggers want to do. Should it only be wineries that blog and talk to consumers? Is every other blog a waste of time and space? Are we actually hurting the wineries we are trying to help?
In fact, it is not a contradiction, but it does raise important issues that were discussed at the EWBC and reminds me of a model I have become part of in the UK called “Amplified“.
Amplified is a ‘network of networks’, it is about making contacts with other players in the social media sphere who can not just learn about you and your brand (or your particular network), but if they like it, they’ll find a way to share it with their own audiences. The role of these players is to take a message and give it a boost to a new audience.
…sometimes it requires other intermediaries to filter and share that message, get it to new people, give it some credibility and start the process of building the brand
It IS up to the wineries to tell their stories, as was discussed and debated in the EWBC session “Winery & Wine Blog Relations“. Wineries need to do their bit to communicate their story, and make it easy for others (such as bloggers) to share the story, but wine bloggers are not being delegated the task of talking about wines, as arguably used to be the case with journalists in wine magazines. Instead, they have a role in amplifying the message that wineries put out. As Ken Payton said, “wineries tell their own story .. they always do it better than a writer could”, but sometimes it requires other intermediaries to filter and share that message, get it to new people, give it some credibility and start the process of building the brand. This is very much the role of the participants at the EWBC.
Not all wineries have, or will want to have, blogs of their own, but they are still telling their stories at tastings, in their cellar door shop, with their press releases and many other media. It means that there is a major role for wine writers of many different styles and backgrounds to learn the stories and wines they like and then bring them to a new audience.
One of the most important things achieved at the EWBC did not come from an individual speaker or exhibitor, but was the fact that all the participants have become a stronger network. There is now a means for sharing ideas, collaborating on projects and identifying opportunities. In short, we are ready to amplify each others’ stories.
Pass the megaphone!