Building Brand Awareness by Brewing Up Media Attention

How this Case Study may be relevant to you: 

  • Through press releases and story pitches, the 2019 public relations program for the New York State Brewer’s Association (NYSBA) successfully drove awareness of New York as a craft beer state, encouraging visitation to New York’s 460+ craft breweries. Earned media placements highlighted the state’s craft beer industry as a whole, NYSBA member breweries, specific beers, brewers and brewery owners and engages stories illustrating the state’s craft beer.
  • A rising tide lifts all boats: By building awareness of New York State’s craft beer industry, all of the craft breweries in New York State benefitted. Earned media placements that feature specific tourism partners or the destination as a whole, help to grow awareness and visitation across all partners.

We earned 162 media placements that garnered over one billion media impressions in regional, national and niche publications.

Photo Credit: New York State Brewer's Association
Photo Credit: New York State Brewer's Association

Situational Analysis

The New York State Brewers Association (NYSBA) promotes, protects and educates about the culture and business of New York State’s 460+ breweries. NYSBA was tasked with an overall goal of increasing the consumption of New York State craft beer. To help, they coined the phrase “Think NY, Drink NY” for consumers to choose NYS craft beer over other beer options.

The Challenge

As a not-for-profit with a small staff, NYSBA needed their budget to work hard to reach and influence many.


  • Increase awareness of New York State beer
  • Encourage consumers to Think NY, Drink NY when it comes to beer consumption
  • Increase recognition of New York as a craft beer state

Strategic Insight

Craft beer enthusiasts are willing to travel to breweries they feel connected to.

It’s more than good beer to craft beer drinkers. This audience is looking to feel a connection with breweries – whether it’s the entertaining atmosphere of a taproom or the emotional story behind a new beer – and they’re interested in traveling for it.

Photo Credit: New York State Brewer's Association

Strategic Approach

  • Develop an editorial calendar outlining story angles for media outreach
  • Highlight experiences at craft breweries, unique beer releases, beers tied to specific causes, the people behind the breweries and NYSBA’s craft beer app with passport program. Each topic aligned with target media outlets such as:
    • regional print and broadcast publications
    • national and/or business-focused publications
    • trade publications
    • niche publications that focus on lifestyle, food/beverage and/or travel
Photo Credit: New York State Brewer's Association
Photo Credit: New York State Brewer's Association


  • Press release distribution for key announcements
  • Direct outreach for story pitches
  • Reactive responses to media inquiries
  • Attendance at I Love NY’s fall media marketplace with beer samples


The PR program secured 162 earned media placements that garnered over one billion media impressions.

Over 100 of these placements were in regional print and broadcast publications across New York State, directly informing residents and potential craft beer consumers. Placements within national and niche publications, such as Forbes, Vinepair & Uproxx, highlighted the beers, brewers and breweries within NYS to broader audiences. These articles informed readers of the NYS craft beer scene and encouraged them to seek it out.

In correlation with the earned media results, NYSBA’s craft beer app saw 6,000 app downloads in 2019.


Photo Credit: Wagner Valley Brewing Co

Result Highlights

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