It should come as no surprise that food and beverage public relations has seen a complete transformation over the past ten years as our world has been transformed by social and digital media.
The perception: Traditional media have taken the backseat to influencers, a brand’s website is second to a brand’s Instagram page, and the once-coveted star reviews from top publications have been supplanted by user-generated review sites.
So, of course we regularly field the question, “Is there still value in traditional media relations?"
The short answer? Yes.
But, any savvy PR professional will tell you that the true value of traditional media relations is now part of a greater, holistic communications strategy. As the lines between PR and other marketing tactics continue to blur, it is a nimble, proactive and well-rounded approach to communications that will amplify your brand and set it apart in the increasingly competitive media landscape.
Are you ready to build your strategy? Here are some basics to consider:
1. Do you know who you are?
Storytelling, always a key component within successful PR strategy, is now more important than ever. But you can’t tell your brand’s story without knowing what your brand stands for. With this in mind, you must define and be able to explain your business beyond the most basic terms. What makes your concept worth talking about? Why are you different, unique or noteworthy? Understanding and defining what sets your business apart is what brings your concept to life.
2. Did we say holistic?
Earned, owned and paid – it’s a mix of these medias that come together to create a successful communications strategy. This integrated approach ensures your thoughtfully defined story is being broadcast through the right channels and is reaching your audience. Working with a limited budget? Start with the earned and owned components and supplement with paid tactics when you can.
3. Are you newsworthy?
News cycles move at the speed of light and new restaurants open every day. If you’re not doing something to set your brand or concept apart from the competition, you’re not going to get press. It’s that simple. So, get creative and have fun. Build your events and promotions calendar around hashtag holidays. Stay up-to-date on food and beverage trends. Or better yet, make your own trends! Seek out inspiration outside of your industry, be culturally curious and apply that inspiration to your brand in an authentic way. It’s these things that will keep your concept fresh and pitch-worthy.
4. How do you define "influencer"?
Traditional media are the original influencers. Diners have always – and still do – depend upon media's third-party endorsement to inform them of the new and best places to have a good time. And while working with bloggers and social media personalities has become a powerful vehicle for amplifying brands, traditional media shouldn’t be removed from the equation. There’s room for everyone at the table, because the basic principles apply for all: Cultivate relationships with key players to engage with your brand and pitch the stories or partnerships that create mutually beneficial, long lasting engagement.
5. Are you ready to PR your PR?
The job of the publicist is not done when the great story or content is published – that is just the beginning. Part of the opportunity of the holistic strategy is being able to leverage earned media (eg: great press) by sharing it across your social channels, your website and through your email marketing. You earned it, now own it!
Do you need help putting together a public relations strategy for your restaurant or company? We would love to help!