Laura Kittmer, Communications Director
Communications Director Report
Signaling the beginning of a new year, WGBC kicked off the fourth quarter with the exciting announcement of our organizations’ new name, now officially known as Wine Growers British Columbia, which garnered positive media attention across the country. As Q4 closes out FY21, WGBC communications initiatives would bring industry, members and stakeholders together laying the groundwork for a successful COVID-19 recovery for the BC wine industry in the year ahead.
On March 18, 173 industry associations and stakeholders came together virtually for the fourth annual BC Wine Industry Insight Conference themed, Navigating the Future – Together, marking one year since the last time we were physically together as an industry.
Fiscal 2022 Advocacy, Communications and Marketing Plan
Utilizing WineBC 2030 Long-Term Strategic Plan as a visionary roadmap and under the strategic direction of the WGBC Board of Directors, WGBC developed its Fiscal Year 2022 Advocacy, Communications and Marketing Operational Plan with input from the WGBC Marketing and Communications Committee. We look forward to continued stakeholder collaboration and partnerships as we embark on the future of WineBC 2030.
BRAND BC: BUILD AND PROMOTE A WORLD-CLASS BRAND
Establish key performance benchmarks for stakeholder awareness, perception and usage of the Wines of British Columbia brand that will materially increase over the fiscal.
Wine Intelligence Proprietary WGBC Research
WGBC was thrilled to invite Wine Intelligence co-founder and CEO, Lulie Halstead, to present findings from the first wave of WGBC’s proprietary consumer and trade region tracking survey at the BC Wine Industry Insight Conference. Looking at wine origin and how Wines of British Columbia are perceived and positioned in the Canadian market, this first wave of region tracking surveys resulted in 1,000 regular wine drinker respondents and 382 wine trade respondents in Canada.
According to key BC consumer findings from the survey:
- British Columbia wines rank 8th in terms of awareness amongst all Canadian wine drinkers and 3rd amongst BC wine drinkers
- 69% perceive Wines of British Columbia high to very high quality
- 53% associate BC wine with good value for money
- 42% associate BC wine with being sustainably produced
According to key BC and Alberta trade findings from the survey:
- 78% perceive Wines of British Columbia as high to very high quality
- 66% associate Wines of British Columbia with Wines they are proud to serve
- 60% associate BC wine with being welcoming and diverse
These surveys will be conducted by Wine Intelligence over a three-year period, and findings will be used to establish key performance benchmarks for driving trade and consumer perception change as a measurable objective in the WGBC annual operational plan in support of our Wine BC 2030 strategic pillar, Building Brand BC. Read the full report here.
New certified Wines of British Columbia Ambassador Program Level 1 and 2 launched!
Vinica’s Aspiring BIPOC Wine Professionals become certified BC Wine Ambassadors
Wine Growers BC was thrilled to deliver the new, revised and certified Wines of British Columbia Ambassador Program to Vinica Education Society’s AgriDiversity Leadership program on March 17, 2021. Vinicia is a not-for-profit society focused on diversifying the wine industry through innovative education and professional mentorship. Supported by the Province of British Columbia, Wine Growers BC and the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, Vinica’s nine-week AgriDiversity Leadership program provided aspiring BIPOC wine professionals with education, mentorship and experience, to emerge as leaders in the wine industry. The 21 program participants graduated April 9, 2021 with BC Wine Ambassador Levels 1 and 2 certification, as well as WSET Levels 2 and 3, mentorship from top global BIPOC wine professionals and a two-week internship in the BC wine industry.
WGBC conducted two virtual media training sessions for WGBC member wineries, facilitated by PR expert Leeann Froese, co-owner of Townhall Brands. Utilizing the Wines of British Columbia Living the Brand materials, these webinars focused on providing winery spokespersons with the storytelling tools and information needed to effectively communicate with media and present their stories on behalf of their wineries and the industry.
WGBC is always looking for a diversity of winery spokespeople to participate in our media initiatives, whether it be on a panel, a FAM tour, an interview or a winemakers’ dinner. Webinar recordings, presentations and handouts are available at WineBC.com.
MEDIA REPORT | Q4 SUMMARY OF COVERAGE
Direct and indirect media coverage of Wine Growers British Columbia, its members and the Wines of British Columbia reached 126.6 million readers and viewers from January 1 through March 31. Value for media coverage totalled $1,171,286.
WGBC Name Change
BC Wine Industry Insight Conference
HIGHLIGHTS IN THE NEWS
Highlights in the news from January 1 through March 31:
Decanter Premium | Canadian Riesling: British Columbia’s best buys
USA Today | How to Navigate British Columbia’s Nearly 300 Wineries like a Pro
Vancouver Sun | B.C. wineries look to improve market share as restaurant sales plummet
Calgary Herald | Oleksyn: Raise a glass to the women of wine
Global News | Indoor wine tastings still permitted amid new B.C. COVID-19 restrictions
Vancouver Sun | Salut: Vancouver restaurants proudly pour B.C. wines amid tough times for all
Kelowna Daily Courier | A perfect week for icewine
Vancouver Sun | Anthony Gismondi: Organic ideas are growing in B.C.’s wine industry
Global News | B.C. Wine Institute rebrands to better reflect industry
BCLiving | What You Loved in 2020: Our Most Popular Stories
For the full Q4 Media Report, click here.
PRESS RELEASE ROUND-UP
To ensure the Wines of British Columbia stay top of mind in key markets and to make sure consumers and industry remain informed on issues affecting the wine industry, Wine Growers British Columbia regularly issues press releases to a group of more than 300 national and international media.
You can find all press releases issued in Q4 in the Media section of WineBC.com