Archive for the 'Wine PR' Category

Punch Drunk PR

January 20, 2008

With Alan Hansen signed up at Morrison’s, Jamie Oliver representing chicken giants Sainsbury’s, and ‘food porn’ in the shape of M&S advertising, high street supermarkets are busy fighting for consumer footfall. PR’s role in all this is interesting; just like a high profile interview with a CEO from a big corporate, PRs can also impress journalists with access to tomorrow’s ‘must have’ items before they hit the shelves. This week I encountered one High Street supermarket who in PR = ROI terms, are making expensive mistakes.

In the February edition of Decanter magazine, M&S were awarded three gold stars for a wine from the Pomerol region of Bordeaux, produced by Châteaux Moulinet. This is no small feat and the wine (priced reasonably at £18) is surrounded by expensive wines stocked by famous wine merchants. That a high street supermarket can compete with the quality of Corney and Barrow etc on the pages of specialist wine magazine, is a real coup.

Imagine my disappointment then when taking a copy of my trusty magazine I headed to the M&S on Oxford Street only to find the wine missing from their shelves. An enquiry to a sales assistant was met with a blank start and I soon had the M&S wine ordering sheet in front of me and was told to look for it myself. Still no luck. “ok”, I said to myself, “ this is the February edition and we are still in January, I’ll ring the head office.”

M&S head office claimed never to have heard of the wine, and also hadn’t seen Decanter magazine (despite the fact it’s been out for half a month). They tried to sell me a case of Champagne before telling me that I should try my local store.

Exasperated, I give up.

What is the point of your PR team building a relationship with a key consumer magazine, if your sales team and CRM system isn’t sophisticated enough able to capitalise and close the sale?

All in all, a wasted opportunity.