Last month, the Padilla team, working alongside our client Ribera del Duero and Rueda, successfully executed a happy hour on a Friday afternoon with wine, travel and lifestyle media. It was a risk to do this event so close to the weekend, but we felt it was enticing enough for attendees to want to stop by. After all, who can resist an abundance of paninis, sushi, cookies and great wine to kick off the weekend? It turns out not many people can turn down such an offer, as seven out of eight confirmed media showed up, which is a rarity for a Friday afternoon event in New York.

The happy hour was a way to “unwine” after a long week, and that’s exactly what happened. The team had the opportunity to meet with writers we’ve been emailing for months and got to know one another in person in a casual and laid-back setting. Ribera y Rueda Field Manager, Sarah Howard, was also there to help answer any questions about the regions, producers, and specific wines.

It was a perfect balance of having a helpful resource on-site without being too formal, which is a common occurrence with wine tastings.

After the weekend, the team discussed what made the event so successful from an attendance, relationship building, and resulting coverage standpoint.

Below are some helpful tactics we implemented that could be used to ensure the success of any media event:

  • Give attendees flexible timing when asking them to come/leave your event
  • Get to know them on a personal level first, especially if this is the first time meeting them
  • Send a casual follow-up with some ideas discussed during the event (samples never hurt either!)
  • Offer to be a resource for future stories, even if it means more work and little benefit to you (it’ll go a long way)

As a result of the happy hour, the team is now on a texting basis with a few of the writers, has confirmed interest/coverage with a few attendees, and has lined up interest with other clients as well.

Building important media relationships is sometimes hard work, but it can also be a blast! You just have to be willing to put in the work to get the right people in the room with you.

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