Why Breweries Hire Out for Public Relations

Even the largest breweries in the country need a vice from outside their own walls when it comes to connecting the beer to the consumers via the media or other avenues. That’s why many breweries use public relations agencies to conduct such business.

While agencies juggle a number of clients and accounts, their experts are able to operate within their area of expertise and collaborate with additional departments on projects such as interactive, design, strategy, media planning, social media and other avenues.

For Ninkasi Brewing‘s Ali AAsum, who formerly worked for a PR agency before joining the brewery to be its full-time in-house communications director, there are two sides to the coin. One that usually means keeping marketing in house while exporting public relations to an agency.

“The best agencies stay up-to-date with current trends and technologies and can elevate the level of marketing or PR strategies offered,” she said. “With the right agency, this can be a cohesive and collaborative experience that can easily up a brand’s game.”

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Firestone Walker‘s public relations is conducted by a very small, local company who has a long standing and close working relationship with Jamie Smith’s team.

“This relationship makes them essentially in-house as well,” said Firestone Walker’s Head of Marketing & Brand.

Over the past decade, the conversation around beer in media has greatly changed as well, noted AAsum.

“At one point it was newsworthy to make a certain style of beer,” she said. “Now that there are so many breweries in the U.S., simply having good quality and consistent beer is the baseline. How a brewery uses that beer to engage with its community, social media following, events or nonprofits is now the deeper stories attracting media.”

Plus, said Terrapin Brewing‘s Julia Weckback, it’s good to get some outside perspective and fresh ideas.

“I think right now we get that from collaborative project and the rest of the building,” she said. “Also, I think the speed that an agency can bring to a project in enviable compared to what we like to call ‘Turtle Time.'”

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