In this episode, Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung interview Paul Yanon, Vice President of Wine, for Colangelo & Partners, a New York-based PR agency focused on wine, food, and spirits. We discuss the differences between working with European vs. American w
XChateau is a podcast about all things wine, from vine to your glass. We tackle the business of wine and keep you up to date with new and exciting developments in the wine industry.
In this episode, Robert Vernick and Peter Yeung interview Paul Yanon, Vice President of Wine, for Colangelo & Partners, a New York-based PR agency focused on wine, food, and spirits. We discuss the differences between working with European vs. American wineries, how the return on investment (“ROI”) is changing in the PR space, and how Justin Timberlake and ‘N SYNC have parallels with wine PR.
Other topics covered in this episode include:
- Paul is Australian and grew up around wine. His move to the US provided more insight into European and South American wines.
- Colangelo & Partners - founded in 2006, the largest fine wine agency in the US with ~55 people
- PR scope:
- Media relations (traditional)
- Digital (e.g., TikTok, Twitch, Instagram, Facebook)
- Writers need good content, and PR people need conversations to get content out there.
- PR can bridge what’s in the bottle with the how and why of the wine - important for critics to have a full understanding.
- Publications are moving to a younger audience - includes connecting on digital platforms.
- Digital helps track ROI - final conversion to sale is the “holy grail,”; historically measured by “page space,” now using more robust metrics, including “share of voice.”
- Geographic differences in working with clients
- Europeans - more trust that agency knows the US market
- Americans - debate using a PR firm in NYC vs. locally, want PR agency to be an extension of the team
- Criteria for a wine brand to be a good fit for PR - need volume, access, and availability
- Direct-to-consumer (“DTC”) channels can be more cost-efficient than trade - don’t require as much face to face interaction.
- Trade requires messaging for both consumers and trade, need to be in front of trade, and need a reason to displace another brand off their list.
- Campaign Examples:
- Portuguese Cork Association - found historic (Hamilton era) Madeira bottles - had them resealed with cork and auctioned off. The effort was filmed, and a museum exhibit was created; showcased how cork has performed over the centuries.
- Napa Valley Vintners - had Shake Shack participate in a promotion.
- Wine PR agencies are a good place for sommeliers to work - good storytellers who have a passion for the product.
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