When You Hear It Through the Grapevine…

September 11, 2013 // By: // 1 Comment

Food & Beverage     

Influencer engagement has long been an effective strategy in the ongoing construction of brand affinity, but as words are being catapulted across the globe via digital communication efforts, the impact of a smaller network of tastemakers has grown. This rings especially true in the world of food and beverage influencers.

We recently held a very successful blogger dinner for one of our wine brands where we focused on a limited and diverse group of bloggers with varied areas of focus to serve up a customized experience pairing our wines with unexpected dishes. The conversation was dynamic, the atmosphere engaging and before we knew it, lasting relationships were formed with local influencers who glowingly reported on their meaningful experience with the brand.

There is certainly a time and place for the epic party showcasing a new varietal, however consumers and media alike increasingly value a small-scale memorable experience in an intimate setting. More and more, the wine at the party is a centerpiece vs. an accompanying beverage. Making our activations reflective of this shift and providing opportunity for exponential sharing of these experiences is critical in impacting brand engagement.

As PR professionals, we live in a perpetual state of numeric concentration – how many attendees did we secure for this event? How many followers does this influencer have? How many impressions will this coverage receive? I encourage you to consider lowering the bar on a quantifiable expectation and double down on intimate engagement within a brand-centric experience. Some considerations for your next influencer event:

  1. Be where they want to be – Identify a coveted locale where influencers want to be, like an up and coming restaurant, cultural event or unique urban food experience
  2. Birds of a feather… – Align the brand with tastemakers who are driving trends, such as risk-taking chefs who are invested in the community
  3. Shake it up – Think variation and don’t just invite the typical players to an influencer event.  Oenophiles and foodies aren’t the only ones who care about wine.  From travel bloggers to LGBT advocates – the possibilities for brand ambassadors with a far reaching community are endless
  4. Give them ammo – Always create opportunities for dynamic image sharing, pithy content and valuable recommendations for their followers

About the Author

Ariana Tirri

Ariana is a Senior Vice President at Hunter PR specializing in food and beverage.