According to recent studies by Merrill Research & Associates on consumer wine-drinking attitudes and behaviors, Americans are perplexed about wine. According to these studies, Americans love wine, but misperceptions about wine keep many people from enjoying it more often. In fact, Americans are almost as frightened about ordering a bottle of wine at dinner as they are of asking for a raise at work.  The results of five years of research were the catalyst for, a 24-hour-a-day resource for answering the most commonly asked questions about wine. With the internet being arguably the most popular and efficient way for people to gather information, creating the web site and marketing it to the public seemed to be the best method for educating Americans about wine.


With hundreds of Web sites launching each day, Weber Shandwick was challenged to convince media and consumers that brings something new and exciting to the Internet and is a great resource to get free information about wine.


Address the key consumer information issue that consumers, particularly women, have a fear of wine

Garner media attention about, a new resource created to help people get the straightforward information and provide a unique solution to America’s wine fears


Setting up the Problem - Used recent Merrill data to set up the problem that 4 out of 10 people are actually afraid of wine; they love wine, but they’re just a little intimidated by it.

Bringing the Story to Life - Worked with contributor and author of Fear of Wine, Leslie Brenner to deliver the program’s key messages: There’s really nothing to be afraid of; a starting point is to trust your own taste, but if you have questions visit

Tying into a hot news topic - Took advantage of the Super Bowl to feature wine over beer/soda for casual entertaining. For example: potato chips and Pinot Gris, popcorn with Chardonnay. The matches were posted on and included in press kits.

Execution Tactics

Print (magazines and newspapers): Weber Shandwick distributed a “Official Press Pass” to key food/wine/web editors at magazines to peek interest in meeting with Leslie Brenner and Wine Market Council President John Gillespie for deskside interviews.  Press kits were sent to editors at mainstream consumer magazines at food/wine/web editors at the top 1000 newspapers. Weber Shandwick conducted extensive follow-up throughout January.

Television (local and national):  Weber Shandwick pitched Leslie Brenner for national and key local in-studio interviews. Leslie Brenner was positioned as a wine expert who could help simplify wine for American consumers eager to enjoy it.  A Super Bowl Snack Matcher was also sent to television producers, which outlined easy wine pairings for popular Super Bowl foods.

Radio (audio news release and radio media tour): Weber Shandwick coordinated a Radio Media Tour to highlight as a solution for America’s wine fears and a source for quick Super Bowl party pairing ideas. Brenner communicated program key messages—that wine isn’t complicated and is okay to enjoy everyday. She also served as the voice of an ANR which highlighted survey statistics and referred listeners to

Cyber PR: Weber Shandwick contacted content editors at online media encouraging them to cover on their site as a free and user-friendly resource for learning about wine. Other pertinent sites including food and entertainment portals were approached to post links on their sites to

Measurement of Success

· Over 73 million media impressions
· Over 3 million television impressions from markets including: ABC’s nationally syndicated program, The View, Seattle and Minneapolis
· Placements in top newspapers including: USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Detroit News and Free Press
· Magazine placements included: Good Housekeeping, Bon Appetit and Cosmopolitan
· 475 radio placements in top markets including: New York, San Francisco and Chicago
· Online placements and honors including USA Today Online’s “Site of the Day” and Yahoo