SANTA ROSA, CA: Jackson Family Wines has launched a corporate PR initiative around the implementation of a new water recycling technology. The company, which recently began a large-scale rollout of the technology at its wineries, aims to position itself as a leader in introducing the wine industry to winery water recycling and energy-use reduction.
It is targeting distributers, retailers, and consumers with its message, and plans to eventually reach out to other wineries as well.
Though it's not the company's first CSR effort, the initiative will kick off what the company hopes to be an ongoing corporate branding strategy, explained Mark Osmun, PR director at the company.
“We have a corporate responsibility and sustainability program which involves a lot of initiatives,” he said. “This one, however, is a good one to kick everything off in terms of communications.”
He added that the sustainability angle could provide a competitive edge in b-to-b communication.
“We found that being environmentally responsible is very important to the people who buy the wines for retail outlets. They feel their customers believe it's important.”
In December, the team conducted a staggered announcement effort via traditional outreach, beginning with long-lead wine- and environment-themed media outlets this December. This week, the team issued another release targeting more general consumer outlets. And in a third wave, upon the completion of the sustainability survey, it will send a condensed version of the report to retailers and distributers.
By this summer, the company plans to have launched a corporate Web site promoting the brand and initiative, including video footage and animation of the machinery. The team also plans to launch a sustainability report this summer, and post it online with the water recycler content.
Once the company integrates the technology on a larger scale at its wineries, including the Kendall-Jackson winery in Sonoma County, Osmun said the team will focus on promoting the process in the overall wine industry.
“We want people to know we're good citizens, but the second part [of this] is we want to help and inspire the rest of the wine industry where we can to encourage them to adopt similar practices.”