We all know about lies, damn lies and statistics. The latter, however, do have a role to play when it comes to substantiating statements of the PR nature.
Thus, when receiving a press release breathlessly announcing the success of a specific wine or brand, said success would be so much more believable ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ and newsworthy ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ if backed up by a few figures that could just make this progressive state of events more believable.
Certain wine brands are however seemingly not concerned with backing up statements with facts or figures.
A while back there was that howler of a media release from Durbanville Hills informing news rooms that South African Sauvignon Blancs were making major strides in the New Zealand market. The pants-wetting enthusiasm with which the media release was written was, unfortunately, not backed up by any proof of this South African onslaught on the Land of the Long Cloud, or whatever they prefer to call themselves.
Needless to say, the release received hardly any coverage.
Shortly after, the following release is mailed courtesy of OBIKWA wines.
I quote verbatim:
OBIKWA wines make major strides
OBIKWA, the fun loving range of palate pleasing wines that stuck its neck out earlier this year by launching five wines in South Africa after its runaway success overseas, has made major strides on home turf in less than a year.
“OBIKWA has exceeded all our expectations which just goes to show that even in tough economic times, there is always a place for quality varietal wines at a pocket-friendly price,” says winemaker….
Had this been written by a journalist, any news editor worth his or her salt would have been guilty of physical abuse in the workplace, with sexual harassment an optional extra.
Why? Because nowhere in the release is there any fact or figure to back-up the “runaway success” and “major strides”.
(Further on the missive talks on the wine’s “ethnic charm”, ridiculous descriptions are so part-and-parcel or the wine industry’s communications set-up that this comes as no surprise.)
Should there be concern at this poor level of wine industry communications?
Yes. Analytical wine writing is disappearing from the dead tree media at an alarming rate as the frequency and length of wine columns has been slashed over the past few years. Could the poor state of wine communication not be reason for this?
– Darien Morgan
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