Wine Communication: reaching tomorrow’s audiences
During the 8th Symposium MW I was an official speaker of the first session entitled “Wine Communication: reaching tomorrow’s audiences”. This is what I said.
I’ll simply tell my story.
I’m not a mass-media researcher; I’m only an Italian communicator trying to shift his “family magazine” (since Civiltà del bere was founded by my grandfather) from the old media to the modern times. This is the way I’m going to speak about “the new audience”, because this is of main importance for my company. So, first of all, I think that we should imagine something for the new readers, convince them to follow us, but never forget the old ones, which are still many for what concerns the specialized media.
Is the idea of a magazine old itself, while so many new independent writers are arising and while statistics tell us that people are fed up with guides and gurus telling them what to drink? What I think is that in a few years, or maybe it is already happening, so many stars will be shining, among the wine bloggers, wine-critics, wine-event-organizers, wine-I-know-it-all that the readers who want to understand something, to go in depth, will look for an authoritative source. That is: the way to find a place in the future media market, if you write about wine, is to be honest, transparent, independent, professional, in a word authoritative.
A help has come from the so called – and for the media so true – crisis. Why do I say “a help”? Because I see the glass half-full, the bright side of this Dark Age. We have lost all the big clients, the “big spenders” who used to influence a bit too much our editorial plans… Now we have the chance to tell honestly things how they really are, because if someone doesn’t like them, and will not invest money on our magazine anymore, well another one will come. You’ll say: “This should have always been like this”, but in fact we all know most magazines were (and some still are) ADV-driven.
Now readers can be our real patrimony, more then ever.
And if this session was meant to give some advice to the wineries, on how they should communicate to the new audience, now that they have more means to maintain a direct relationship with their consumers, well, I’d say the answer is always the same: honesty, transparency. Someone tends to make things up, adjusting the messages to the mood of the “consumer”. Well, the consumer doesn’t exist. “People” don’t exist. The single man or woman who chooses our wine exists: the one who sometimes reads a paper, sometimes reads a post on Facebook, on twitter, on a website… and sometimes doesn’t find in the wine what he or she is looking for. Why?
Do we really believe that sooner or later our buyer will not unveil this cover of marketing mermaids? Do you see? Nowadays all wines are made of old barriques or big barrels, indigenous on natural yeasts, local varieties, old vines, single vineyards. It will be a surprise when an honest man, an important buyer will ask, please, my clients want a good wine, possibly they would also know how it is made, really. No matter how old were the barriques, the vines, and the winery.
I think that the next audience will be happy to know honestly how this product is really made. The risk is not the crisis, the risk are people, especially the new generation, who stay far from wine because it is too complicated to understand, too sophisticated, a thing that only the “masters of wine” can joyfully drink.
Facts & Numbers
- Wine Magazines in Italy: 15
- Wine & Food Magazines: 40
- Significant Wine Columns on National Dalily Newspapers: 9
- Significant Wine Columns on Regional Dalily Newspapers: 41
- Important Wine Bloggers: 15