Awatere River Wine Company

The brief

Marlborough's Awatere River Wine Company (ARWC) wanted to announce an investment in the business from KiwiSaver fund Booster, which included the purchase of an already established Nelson winery, Waimea Estates. The investment marked the establishment of a new umbrella company to be headed by ARWC CEO and winemaker Louis Vavasour, with the view to continuing the momentum in New Zealand and export markets.

Wright Communications was approached to proactively manage the news in a way that generated positive exposure for ARWC and Louis Vavasour and would ultimately drive sales of the Awatere River (flagship) brand and other sub-brands. Key audiences included the existing staff of both wineries, customers and suppliers.

The Wright approach

Wright Communications' approach, in partnership with ARWC, was to develop a business story to clearly communicate this significant milestone to a wide range of business journalists, wine writers and trade media, and subsequently their audiences. With experience in corporate PR and the wine industry, we interviewed Louis Vavasour, prepared a media release and a media distribution list, designed to maximise the cut through of the story.

When the media release was signed off by both ARWC and Booster, and while information was being provided to staff, customers and suppliers, Wright Communications personally pitched the story to key media.

Client satisfaction

The result, described by ARWC as exactly what they were after, was positive coverage in both Nelson and Marlborough regional media (Marlborough Express, Nelson Mail, Blenheim Sun) as well as business stories in the likes of the New Zealand Herald, Sunday Star Times, Good Returns, and further coverage in regional media throughout the country.

"Wright Communications has a sound understanding of corporate and marketing communications that is grounded in commercial acumen. We value Nikki and the team's input into our strategic thinking and communications execution."

- Louis Vavasour, CEO - Awatere River // Waimea Estates

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