Phipps has been working with the World’s Best Vineyards, a global listing exploring the visitor experience offered by unique wineries from across the world, since its inception in 2019. Phipps is responsible for the global PR and for the last four years also ran the global social channels setting up the Instagram channel which to date has 27k followers.
For its fourth year, in October 2022, the Top 100 vineyards were announced at the culmination of a three-day long event in Mendoza, Argentina attended by over 200 people including media from all over the world.
This was the list’s first edition post-pandemic, and it needed to have a big impact not only in the wine tourism space, but also travel more generally.
As the world slowly opened up for travel post-pandemic, and consumers were desperately looking for holiday inspiration after months of isolation, World’s Best Vineyards wanted to position itself as the source of information for wine tourists and holiday planners alike. With locations to visit that combine stunning views, delicious wine and food, unique experiences and local culture, a vineyard has it all.
We also needed to support the longevity of the list, creating impact for Mendoza (the sponsor region in 2022) and reaching potential sponsors for future editions of the World’s Best Vineyards Top 50 list.
This was a global campaign, but Phipps identified key markets where coverage would be key. These countries were all wine producing countries and key tourist destinations (who could potentially become sponsors in future years) that would benefit directly from awareness and media exposure. The key markets were USA, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, UK, Italy, Spain, France, Australia and New Zealand so efforts were concentrated in these regions.
We also knew that although the list announcement was a one day only event, if we could create longevity pre and post announcement, we could give consumers the opportunity to engage with our content several times.
Strategy and Approach
It was imperative that our strategy supported the aim of reaching both potential sponsors and holiday planners. Therefore, our activities needed to double down on the inspiring vineyards to visit, featured in the Top 100 list, while also showcasing the destinations in the current edition’s sponsor region. Coverage of this sort would then prove the value of participation to future sponsors.
Also key, was creating a campaign of several different phases to give consumers time to engage. The channel strategy was to use social to create longevity and PR to drive coverage of the results on announcement day in Mendoza.
The social team got to work quickly and created a robust social media calendar supporting three key phases:
Pre-event, content across all social channels was tailored to build hype and wanderlust by exploring vineyards on the current Top 50 list. Two weeks before the event, social shifted to focus solely on the countdown to the reveal.
The second phase covered digital activity during the event. A countdown on the day of the event created excitement as the list reveal approached and drove traffic to the YouTube channel, where a video would outline the Top 50 vineyards.
The final stage was essential to maintaining momentum post-event. Key media coverage announcing the top 50 vineyards was shared across all social channels. Social coverage was re-shared on all channels and saved to highlights. Pictures of the winners celebrating in their vineyards brought the destinations to life. The top 20 vineyards were posted about in detail, including exciting facts about the vineyard to promote wine tourism. Phipps commissioned influencer content to promote the list and tease the 2023 edition of World’s Best Vineyards. This also helped keep the momentum of the 2022 campaign while reaching a new audience.
The global press office team focused on communicating the live link so that media and consumers could watch the reveal event in Mendoza live and also driving coverage in our key markets following the list announcement.
In the six-week period following the 2022 list announcement in October, the PR campaign achieved a reach figure of 770,486,296 (up from 711,796,018 in 2021) and 43,578,902 on social media (up from 39,430,352 in 2021). Importantly, 90% of coverage was for our key 11 countries.
Phipps has developed a quantitative and qualitative scoring matrix for coverage that takes into account the use of images, links, sentiment, quotations and use of the brand name with the aim of scoring over 70% for each piece. For this campaign 98% of pieces scored over 70% and 69% of pieces included mentions for the sponsor region – a key deliverable for our client.
On social, we saw over a 250% increase in reach on Twitter compared to the previous year and Facebook proved as an increasingly useful tool in driving users to the YouTube video and results list where we saw a huge increase in link clicks up from 83,205 in 2021 to 146,101 in 2022. Instagram had excellent engagement results increasing twofold from 11,939 in 2021 to 23,232 in 2022 driven by strong calls to action and a boosting campaign.
As a result of the successful campaign in Mendoza, a new sponsor signed up quickly for the 2023 list delivering commercial results for our client.