Okay, what the hell is that heading about?

Well, to give you some context, John McDonnell, who runs Wine Australia here in Ireland, is on a cycling tour around Munster to raise urgently needed funds for Down Syndrome Ireland (you should donate here - particularly in light of the awful weather we’re having, it can’t be fun, but it’s worth it!).

John and fellow cyclists (including Séan Kelly) are aiming to raise €100,000 – not an easy task in the CEC (current economic climate). 400 miles in 4 days. Ouch.

Anyhoo, after you’ve donated you’ll be entered into a prize draw for some Australian wine related prizes (see the end of this post and skip the next bit).

What’s happening on the Tour de Munster

With that in mind, here are some of the latest updates from the Tour de Munster’s John McDonnell, via text message…

  1. That’s a long day, 185kms, 6.45 hours in the saddle, even Sean Kelly had enough. But now overlooking the Shannon from Ballina to Gods own country, dinner on the way so all well with the world. Tempered by the thought of a longer day to Tralee and nasty weather on the way. But that’s tomorrow, Tonight we party. Best, John mc D – August 11th, 8:14pm
  2. Morning everyone, calm (misty and flat) before todays Met predicted storm here this morning. Another 4 counties today, and about 200 ks, another long one. Making a guest appearance on Clare FM at 9.45am ish, tune in. Talk to you then, John – August 12th, 8:35am
  3. 14.35, lunch in Limerick. 60 miles done, yet still only 15 kms from our start, doesn’t seem fair. Your fellow sponsors Leo Mannion and John Nilan will vouch that I made it to Ennis (and am not texting from poolside in Killaloe!). Head Wind building, could be a cruel afternoon, j – August 12th, 2:31pm
  4. Welcome to Tralee, a mere 197 kms today in just under 8 hours. Met prediction wrong again and weather Gods smiled. But didn’t help, my worst day in 4 Tour de M’s. Suffered, Need harder training with the Burren CC. DSI collectors in every town so great to support their bucket shaking. Best, j - August 12th, 8:51pm

Australian wine prizes you could win, but only if you donate

  1. Two nights self catering accommodation in Ballyvaughan, with tickets to both the Allwee Caves and Birds of Prey Centre, and dinner on one evening at Wine Australia HQ in Ballyvaughan. Estimated value €300  (I would have said priceless, having spent and evening in Ballyvaughan with a certain Tim Adams, Craig Smith and of course, Wine Australia Ireland supremo, John McDonnell).
  2. A Wolf Blass Wines Gift Pack. Estimated value €80
  3. A Penfolds Wines Gift Pack. Estimated value €80
  4. €100 voucher for Ely Wine Bar.
  5. A 6 pack of a selection of Australian wine. Estimated value €100
  6. Yet another 6 pack of delicious Australian Wine. Estimated value €80
  7. An “In your home” Australian tasting for 12 people hosted by John Mc Donnell from Wine Australia. The estimated value of wine €300 (sources tell me that no Penfolds Grange is included with that).
  8. Two tickets to celebrate International Grenache Day on Saturday 24th September in ely Bar and Bistro, IFSC, worth €130.
  9. 2 tickets for Wine Australia’s warm up tasting and supper before Ireland’s legendary, historical and heroical triumph over Australia in the rugby world cup or #rwc as they’ll be calling it on Twitter. Takes place in Donnybrook Fair, Thursday 15th September. Worth €60.
  10. Finally, 2 tickets for Wine Australia’s warm up tasting before the Ireland v Italy match in the Rugby World Cup. Dunne and Crescenzi, Sandymount, Thursday 29th September. There’ll probably be some Australian wines made from Italian grapes there – worth €30

So, a pretty decent chance of winning something, but only if you donate to John’s Tour de Munster in aid of Down Syndrome, Ireland.

Permission-based marketing > social media?

The side point I was alluding to from the title was that despite all the hype around social media, you can’t beat permission-based marketing.

What do I mean by that? If someone gives over their guarded email address or phone number they are saying that they want to hear from you about stuff you are marketing/selling in the future. It’s far more direct and targetted for the marketeer, far more relevant for the recipient. That, to me, is absolute  gold and, I’d argue, far more valuable than a Facebook Like or Twitter follower.

And as the subscriber, when you do hear from that marketeer, it feels a little bit more personal and relevant than a Twitter or Facebook update. I’d predict that email and SMS will remain more effective than social media for a good time to come.


  • John’s fundraising page on mycharity.ie
  • Tour de Munster website
  • Down Syndrome Ireland
  • Wine Australia, Ireland