The term “generating good press” is often as stress inducing as sitting for the SAT all over again. With the hyper-competitiveness of the restaurant industry, the difference between being noticed by the press and not is akin to success and failure in many instances. Just one bad review in a local newspaper, or on Yelp, can have catastrophic consequences.
This stress can be compounded if your restaurant doesn’t have a cohesive Public Relations (PR) strategy to guide your media endeavors. Having a cohesive PR strategy is far less expensive and more effective than just engaging with the media for its own sake. Your story has a greater chance of reaching a wider audience if there is a strategy behind it.
Below are some ways to concoct a succinct PR strategy and use the media to your restaurant’s advantage.
Help Local Media Do Its Job
Members of the media are always on the hunt for the next big scoop, the next juicy 1A story that will engage their readers. In order to help them do their job, feed them stories on a strategic basis.
Thinking of expanding your benefits or compensation packages for your employees? Tell the media. Considering expanding your sustainable restaurant into a poorer neighborhood? Tell the media.
Be sure to keep your pitches concise and personal. Think bullet points and a catchy header. Explain to them why the story matters and who will be affected most. This is an easy way to get your local media to engage with your business positively.
Know the Preferred Method of Contact
Once you’ve crafted your pitch, you need to get it into the right hands. Oftentimes, the pitches that get ignored are the ones that are delivered through the wrong medium. Does your newspaper editor answer phone calls or would they rather receive an email? You need to be able to answer this question in order to effectively sell your story.
Tailor Your Content
Are you approaching a newspaper editor, a blogger, social media influencer, or journalist with your story? Your answer to that question will determine how to tailor your content. For example, journalists typically write food stories with a human interest scope. This means they want to know who will be impacted by your story. A social media influencer, on the other hand, would want to know how your story aligns with their brand.
Focus on Your Customers
No story is complete without excavating how it will benefit your customers. The end goal of feeding your story to the media is to attract new customers, after all. Show off how green your restaurant operation is, how sustainably sourced your menu is, and most importantly, how well served your customers are because of your business choices.