The number one question for many wineries is how to establish a solid communications calendar for their customers. “We don’t want to bug our customers, so we need to make sure we don’t send too many emails.” is the number one thing new clients say to me. My response is: the customer has given you their contact information, thereby stating they WANT to hear from you. But a good communications calendar can be invaluable in managing information so there is no redundancy, the message is relevant and you are always on the customer’s mind.
Elements of a solid internal communications calendar include:
Release schedule. This is the number one thing that your calendar should include. Sit down with the owners, winemakers, decision-makers and establish at least a rough outline of what the releases will be this year. Wine Club member always want to know what they are getting and this insures that you can promote and inform your most valuable customers.
Blog posts. What topics are you going to share with your followers this year? Outline 12 key topics and assign them to the calendar so you are blogging at least once a month. Is your barrel program integral to your wines? Are you vineyards special in some way? Talk about it! This doesn’t mean you can’t change or add topics as you go along but it will give you a base upon which to build a solid blogging program.
Email campaigns. Put some dates on the calendar for email creation and launch, built around your wine releases, newsletter schedule, blogs, special events, etc. This will help you stick to execution – even if you need to adjust a bit throughout the year, you know it has to be done sometime and it gets on your to-do list.
Social media. You now have some content for your social media outlets. While you are getting information about your barrel program to write about, take some pictures that will help promote your blog posts on Facebook or send a link to the blog page from Twitter.
The most important thing about a Communications Calendar is creating one that works for you. There are many templates out there you can make your own or simply create one that works for you. Taking time to create content is important – but disseminating that content to your audience is just as important.