In the wine and spirits industry, we aim to please our customers with high quality beverages. Why not go further and show that you can relate to consumers on multiple levels? Your take on public relations during current events, such as the Black Lives Matter protests and the COVID-19 pandemic, matters. Taking a stance on these important issues reminds customers that there are real people, who make socially conscious decisions, behind their favorite businesses. Here, we explain the importance of appropriate public relations during these trying and sometimes tense times.
Maintaining Genuine Connections
Brand loyalty is built not just by provision of consistently excellent products and services, but also by a company’s public image. Being aware and making an effort to improve the situations surrounding BLM and the pandemic can simultaneously improve relationships with clients and customers. Many people find typical marketing strategies to be ineffective and insensitive at this time. To avoid seeming tone deaf, remember that things aren’t the same as they used to be, and in response your PR strategies must also adjust. No matter the message, be sure it aligns with your company’s beliefs and practices. Staying true to your promises is more important than simply getting the word out about them.
For example, if you want to make a statement about your commitment to diversity, first consider the steps your company has already taken to diversity, equity, and inclusivity. What more can you do to show your dedication to empowering minorities? How can leadership address systemic racism in your organization? Get the message out about any relevant initiatives your company is taking, such as donating a percentage of profits to charity, or pledging to make your workforce more diverse. The key here is to actually make the changes, and continue to stand by your practices, even after the media attention has quieted around the movement.
As the pandemic continues, so does the increase in COVID-19-related discussion. Just like your views on BLM, your customers want to know how you are protecting your employees from the risks associated with COVID-19. Likewise, they may find your suggestions for coping with the current environment to be helpful. If one of your employees tests positive for COVID-19, publicize that fact as well as any additional steps you are taking to prevent the spread of the virus amongst employees.
Tailoring Customer Experiences
Marketing associated with the alcohol industry as a whole often involves in-person gatherings and a presence at special events. While we are under a shelter-in-place order, these approaches are obsolete. Instead, look towards the power of digital marketing. Offering promotions like free shipping may benefit you in the end if it means more people discover and choose to buy your beverage. If you haven’t started offering your products online, now is the time to start. Virtual tastings are another (free) option for suitable advertising. Similarly, you might upload videos of wine pairings or cocktail recipes.
A great way to pinpoint what alterations customers want to see is by simply asking them. Do market research on the way preferences are changing and make changes accordingly. Polls are a feature available on many social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and are a simple method for gathering opinions. Staying cognizant of consumer desires is equally as important as good communication in building a following.
Hopefully, we have helped guide you as you make PR decisions in a new way. Current events shape behavior and you should be sure to always stay on top of what’s going on, for the sake of your organization and your customers!