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How to Pitch Articles

Wine Industry Advisor Pitch Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in contributing to Wine Industry Network’s Advisor. The Wine Industry Advisor is an online industry publication dedicated to editorial content relevant to the wine industry.

Wine Industry Advisor Mission Statement

Our mission is to be the go-to resource for wine businesses and wine professionals by providing free access to our articles, industry press releases, and daily news coverage.

We aim to produce content that is most relevant to our industry in an easy and convenient format for our readers: monitoring marketing trends, identifying opportunities for and threats to our industry, and evaluating new products and technology that advances grape growing, wine production, as well as sales and marketing efforts.

Our goal is to speak to and connect with North American wine professionals across the country, foster constructive conversation, and feature fresh innovation and the people and personalities beyond the bottle.

Who’s Reading the Wine Industry Advisor

The Wine Industry Advisor receives 100,000+ pageviews/month. The Afternoon Brief currently has 33,000 subscribers while our Social Media following is 75,000+ across LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

The top reader locations come from California, Texas, New York, and Florida. Top positions held by our readers are winery or wine business owners and winemakers.

Additional subscribers by job title are:

  • Owner/Partner/Proprietor/Principal: 15.9%
  • President/GM/CEO: 12%
  • Winemaker/Assistant Winemaker: 11.6%
  • VP/Director/COO: 11.6%
  • Manager: 20.1%
  • Marketing: 20.1%
  • Sales: 10.8%

What We Are Looking For

Look through our content, including press releases and videos in addition to our original articles, and familiarize yourself with the topics and content we cover. Our target audience is anyone and everyone in the wine industry—from grape growers and winemakers, to suppliers and distributors, all the way up to the top CEOs of major wine brands and companies.

We get excited about:

  • Original story ideas and fresh angles that will catch the attention of our wine industry audience.
  • Event coverage that goes above and beyond a simple recap and includes original reporting and fresh quotes.
  • A non-Californian perspective. If your wine business beat is one of the other 49 states, we want to hear from you.
  • New products and innovative technology. Not a round-up—we want to hear about the science behind these innovations, learn from the experts who pioneered them, and read the experienced opinions of the wine industry professionals who are successfully utilizing this new product or tech.
  • Data analytics—and not just the numbers. We want to know what the numbers mean and how our wine industry audience can use data to advance their business.

What We’re Not Looking For

Many times, we receive interesting pitches that are just not relevant to our industry-facing publication. It is important that you are experienced and comfortable with speaking to our wine business readers.

We are not looking for:

  • Consumer-oriented prose. For example: best-of lists or round ups, personal tasting notes, tasting room experiences (unless new, innovative, and relevant to the above stated goals).
  • Press trip recaps or regional overviews that are a result of a press trip
  • Travel- or lifestyle-themed articles
  • Blog-style writing. If writing in the first person, the tone should be professional and business-oriented; topics should be in-keeping with the above requirements.
  • Recycled content—if it’s been covered by multiple publications already, we’re not interested unless there is a fresh, new angle.
  • Do not pitch stories involving health claims unless your research includes expert sources that provides scientific data. This includes citing relevant texts (scientific or medical journals) as well as direct original quotes from science or medical experts.

General Tips

  • We publish a mix of shorter (400-600 words) and longer (~1,000 word) stories. If this is your first pitch, we are more likely to assign shorter stories.
  • We stress that we’re looking for timely, relevant stories with a hook. Tell us why your pitch is important now and how it affects our target audience at this time.
  • Remember, the US wine industry isn’t just big-box producers nor are they only located on the east and west coast. Provide us with story ideas that will appeal to our entire industry.
  • We are a US-based publication, but are interested in international stories that affect or are relevant to our US wine industry. (For example: barrel market, cork production, viticulture or winemaking technology pioneered abroad, etc.)
  • We are looking for new voices and fresh perspectives. You do not have to be a wine expert, so long as you are comfortable writing for an audience of wine professionals.
  • You’re welcome to pitch multiple ideas at once.
  • Please include links to recent work when you pitch.

Pitching

Please pitch your ideas via email to the editor you’re working with. If this is your first pitch, we ask that you send it to [email protected]. We highly recommend creating an eye-catching subject line that includes your topic pitch. (ie: Pitch—Innovative Organic Spray Guarantees Smoke Taint Protection)

Your pitch should be concise, clear, and specific. Describe your idea, why it is a good story for Wine Industry Advisor, and how it appeals to our target audience. Please include the angle and narrative approach you plan to take with this piece. Suggested headlines are appreciated, but not necessary.

Please note, unless explicitly discussed with your editor, our articles are objectively reported and written in the third-person. We may feature some first-person narratives, but these are the exception, and at the discretion of your assigning editor.

Practice patience: We receive a lot of emails, including several pitches daily. We will do our best to follow up with you in a timely manner. If you’ve not heard back from us in one month, please follow up with another email.

Ethics

When you pitch to Wine Industry Advisor, please let us know if you have any financial affiliation with the wine industry, even if it’s not relevant to the pitch you’re making. If you do public relations work, copywriting, strategic communications, branding, consulting, winemaking or any other type of work for the wine industry, we need to know. We also need to know if your story idea arises from any kind of industry sponsorship.

This will not necessarily preclude you from writing for us, but we will not assign stories where there is a conflict of interest.

We are not against press trips or media events, but want to avoid running the same stories as other publications where writers attended the same experiences and/or received the same samples.

If you are going on a press trip or attending a media event and want to pitch a story, discuss it with us before you go, rather than trying to sell it afterwards. If your story idea stems from a press trip or event, please let us know. We will want to see evidence of independent reporting conducted outside the trip or event and that you are able to find sources outside those supplied by the organizers.

Please note, contributors may not solicit trips, hospitality, or samples on behalf of Wine Industry Advisor.

Sources

Stories should include multiple sources with direct quotes from the sources interviewed for the assigned piece. (Please do not recycle quotes from other publications, whether you’ve conducted the reporting yourself or not.)

It’s always important to interview more than one source—a shorter story should include a minimum of 3 sources; longer stories, a minimum of 5 sources.

Always cite your sources. Links to online sources should be included inside the article. Any non-web-based sources should be included as footnotes at the end of the article.

We do require writers to include relevant photography, charts, tables, or other visuals along with their completed article. We also request writers provide an appropriate caption and photographer/artist credit. This can be discussed further with your assigning editor once your pitch is accepted.

We are a small team and appreciate our writers help when it comes to copyediting: Please ensure before turning in an article that all names of people, places, products, and businesses are spelled correctly.

Wine Industry Network prides itself in equal representation of all voices within the wine industry. We ask that writers uphold the same ethics and do their best to include sources from a range of voices including women, people of color, those with diverse social and cultural backgrounds, and those from the LGBTQ community.

Rates

Wine Industry Network has a base, per-word rate for all writers. Once your pitch has been accepted, your assigning editor will disclose payment details. The rate is fixed at the time of commission and is based on your assigned word count. If you submit a story that’s longer than was assigned, we cannot change the rate, so please respect your assigned word count.

Your article will go through at least one round of edits; it may go through more if necessary. You may send your invoice to your assigning editor once the final version has been accepted. We pay within 30 days of receiving the invoice.

Questions

Please direct all questions to [email protected] or your specific assigning editor.