We know that winning the search engine game helps your craft beverage brand get discovered, but what if consumers aren't actively searching for you? Having your brand show up in relevant news outlets is a highly-effective (and FREE) way to attract new audiences. Today we discuss all you need to create press releases for sharing newsworthy events with craft beverage publications.
- the basics – knowing what's newsworthy
- getting crafty – press release template
- behind-the-curtain – list of media contacts
- November 2019 content calendar
Ever wonder how peers and competitors secure space in your favorite industry daily email or news feed? What makes their seasonal release, sponsorship or recent hire so newsworthy for your favorite beverage publication? Fact is, journalists everywhere are looking for relevant craft beverage content to fill their pages. Paid advertising is of course one source of content. But the vast majority of editorial ideas comes from timely, topical press releases sent to the publication directly or posted on a national, regional or local newswire. Knowing when and how to ask for press gives your brand the greatest chance for story pickup and exposure to an engaged audience.
the basics – knowing what's newsworthy
There's always something exciting happening at your facility, from packaging to events to installs and everything in-between. From the inside looking out, ALL of that seems noteworthy to you, so why not share it with the world?
You can. But remember who you're talking to when deciding how and where to tell your story. To your fans and followers on social media, perhaps the installation of new, refrigerated storage on-site may be an exciting indication that you're further investing in the brand and paving the way for new products and points of distribution. But to those unfamiliar with the brand, it will take a lot more to get their attention. When going after press, share stories that will attract new audiences first. You're trying to cast a wider net than your current customer base. With that in mind, ask yourself whether your news:
- Disrupts the norm: when everyone else is headed left and you turn right. Examples include introducing a new product line, partnerships, sponsorships and outside investments.
- Supports local/community: smaller regional and local news outlets like to pick up stories about volunteerism, charitable contributions and giving back to the community.
- Highlights craft beverage success: achieving volume milestones and winning awards at notable competitions are indicators of a strong position in the craft beverage industry.
- Notifies of business changes: appointments and restructuring within the company, opening additional locations and distribution changes are all noteworthy. Also, product recalls and crisis management often require a press release for legal/liability reasons.
If news doesn't check at least one of those boxes, chances are it will be overlooked by editors and never make it to publication. The point is not to be critical of your noteworthy accomplishments; moreso to look at the news from a consumer perspective and ask, "why should I care?"
Below is a list of ideas your brand may consider covering in a press release:
- Launching your craft beverage business
- Introducing a new craft beverage
- Celebrating your business anniversary
- Adding a new beverage to your lineup
- Opening a second tasting room
- Regional or national event sponsorship
- Purchasing an existing production facility
- Winning a competition medal
- Donating a portion of proceeds to a local charity
- Volunteering for a local service organization
- Hiring an industry veteran
- Moving to a new location
- Collaborations, partnerships and alliances
- Rebranding a core beverage
- Holding office for the craft beverage association or guild
- Launching a new website or mobile app
- Adding or removing points of distribution (state or notable customers only)
- Facility renovations or production capacity increase
- Speaking at an industry event
getting crafty – press release template
Sharing meaningful news on a regular schedule can help your craft beverage brand stand out and build mindshare with relevant craft beverage publications over time. A press release – or "news release" or "press statement" or "media release" as it is sometimes called – is the format for sharing the who, what, where and why with journalists to help them quickly determine whether your announcement is worthy of their readers. Most press releases follow the format illustrated below, with an attention-grabbing headline and typically one page of content (keep it concise):
| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
Smith Family Beverages
Lakewood, CO: Today, Smith Family Beverages, makers of craft and artisanal beverages for health-conscious drinkers, announced they are opening a second tasting room in Lakewood's Old Towne area. Following two years of record growth, the Smith Family purchased the retail space formerly occupied by The Tavern, located at 35 Van Gordon Street.
"We are humbled by the community support we've received since opening Smith Family Beverages 10 years ago," says John Smith Sr., Co-Founder and Lead Brewer. "Since winning a competition medal two years ago, our craft beverage brand has been in high demand. To continue to provide our guests with a second-to-none experience, we're adding a second location in the heart of Old Towne's entertainment district."
The 3,000 square foot Smith Family Beverages' Tasting Room and Social House will offer the full lineup of craft beverages available at the original location, plus local guest pours. Visitors will enjoy beverage and food pairing classes throughout the week in addition to a full schedule of bands and support for the local artists' community.
About Smith Family Beverages
Smith Family Beverages is a fictitious brand based in Lakewood, CO. Founded in 2009, they produce and distribute award-winning craft beverages to restaurants and beverage outlets in addition to serving customers of legal drinking age at their two tasting room locations. They were recognized as Small Business of the Year in 2018 by the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce. Learn more at smithfamilybeverages.com.
While the template is fairly standard, it's the preferred means for communicating potential stories to journalists. Make sure your headline grabs their attention and the first paragraph conveys the newsworthy event for consideration (why they should care). Offering a quote from an owner or key stakeholder is valuable for the press because they don't have to schedule an interview. Adding the right amount of background information on the event adds color and depth to the story where needed to strengthen the narrative. And the boilerplate – the "About Company" at the end – summarizes what the company does and links to your homepage for more information. And if you feel like adding photos, don't – press releases are text-only for a reason!
behind-the-curtain – list of media contacts
Now that you have a newsworthy announcement for the craft beverage industry, where do you send it? Your media list represents the desirable news outlets where you'd like to see your story published and their key contacts. No two media lists will be the same, and having one doesn't guarantee that your story will be picked up. It's just the reality of reporting news – what's notable to you might not register with journalists. Even news that is undeniably important sometimes gets overlooked because other events take priority.
There are paid services like Newswire and BusinessWire that will distribute your press release for your craft beverage brand. Depending on your news event and the desired audience reach, that may be an option for you. We recommend starting with a list of 20 local, regional and national outlets that you respect for craft beverage news. Outlets include newspapers and alt-weeklies, radio and television stations, NPR and enthusiast groups. Your Associated Press Bureau often accepts and reposts press releases as a service to local and regional publications. Send a note to your media contact first, asking if they're the right person/if it's okay to send your announcements. Then send your press releases on a regular schedule – journalists and editors are always looking for lead stories, if not fillers when things are quiet.
The team at Market Your Craft has assembled a list of more than 50 national publications and contacts to help get you started.
November 2019 content calendar
Your customers require more engagement from social, but who has the time or the creativity to keep up? Ditch the whiteboard and start the month of November with more than 60 attention-grabbing ideas to help design a content calendar that delivers traffic, clicks and sales. Available for purchase from Market Your Craft, our Social Setting Calendar gives you confidence you're getting the most out of social each month. In it you'll find timely and topical talking points; lesser-known craft holidays worth messaging; and recos on ways to share your brand story, culture and energy with followers and fans.
November, 2019 | 1.7 MB, 37 pages – Available for purchase and immediate download >