Grant Opportunities Help Expand PR, Marketing Efforts

Bucks County Wine Trail branding ad.

Bucks County Wine Trail ad designed for AAA World magazine.
Credit: Mark Hubman

In the fall of 2017, I wrote two grant applications that together yielded $33,000 in 2018 funding for public relations, marketing and social media support for my nonprofit client, the Bucks County Wine Trail.

Since 2015, Katalinas Communications has led the wine trail’s PR, graphic design, email marketing and overall event promotions for the eight family-owned and operated wineries that make up this Bucks County tourist attraction.

I’ve worked hard to draw visitors to these scenic Bucks County vineyards, encouraging travelers to taste the wineries’ award-winning wines and gain a better appreciation and understanding of how these suburban Philadelphia communities are top-notch wine-growing regions.

In the summer and fall of 2016, I heavily marketed the wine trail’s first-ever Passport to Bucks wine-tasting card.

Passport to Bucks allows cardholders to have one wine tasting at each of the 8 wineries.

Passport to Bucks wine-tasting card
Credit: Mark Hubman

Unsure of how this campaign would fare, we printed 1,000 copies of this credit card-sized plastic card, which provided the bearer with a complimentary wine tasting at each of the Bucks County Wine Trail wineries during the campaign period of Nov. 1, 2016 through April 30, 2017. As the wineries were visited, the card was punched. Once all wineries were visited, cards were entered into a drawing for one of several prizes.

The only downside to Passport to Bucks? We underestimated the demand for self-guided wine-tasting tours and sold out of the cards that first year. For the 2017-2018 Passport to Bucks, we increased the number of cards by 50 percent and have so far sold Passports to people living as far away as Texas and California, as well as folks from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A $15,000 grant from the Bucks County Visitor Center funded some additional promotional fervor, allowing us to market to even more wine-lovers, both near and far.

Bucks County Wine Month is throughout the month of June.

Bucks County Wine Month marketing image
Credit: Mark Hubman

As we wrapped up the first successful Passport to Bucks effort in the spring of 2017, we looked collectively for another trail-wide event that we could pull together – and fast. With practically a blink of an eye, Bucks County Wine Month was launched for the month of June. I coordinated with the Bucks County Board of Commissioners to receive an official commendation. At the wineries throughout the month, guests enjoyed food truck fare, live music, unique pairings, tastings from local breweries, in addition to sampling some of the area’s finest wines.

I targeted the Lehigh Valley and New Jersey for many of these social media advertising campaigns, reaching more than 30,000 people and drawing an increased amount of foot traffic into the wineries’ tasting rooms in June 2017.

We have even higher expectations for the 2018 Bucks County Wine Month. A recently awarded $18,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Winery Association will help to keep the marketing momentum going for our second annual month-long event in June.

To learn more about the public relations, marketing, graphic design, social media management and email marketing services of Katalinas Communications, email Theresa at Theresa@Katalinascommunications.com or call 215-519-8833.

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