Promoting Restaurants Using Press Release
Let’s be honest, most people are skeptical about ads and advertisements. After all, you’re only trying to tell them what you think they want to hear. What people do love, however, are genuine articles and stories about restaurants and other businesses. Simply put, a genuine story is more credible than an advertisement. For example, if a local news reporter is in search of the “best pizza in town” and your restaurant happens to come out as one of the top contenders in his or her story, you can be certain you’ll see increased business. On the other hand if you publish an advertisement claiming the “best pizza” many people will probably ignore it.
So how can you get a good press release published regarding your establishment? Well, one option is to take the money you were planning to spend on ad space and use it to put on an event. For example, you can help fund a charity drive to help support the local soup kitchen. Then you can go to the following mediums to get some press attentions:
– Newspapers and local magazines
– Community newsletters
– Business and trade journals
– Local radio & TV stations,
– Blogs and niche websites
And many more! You can contact all of these parties and tell them about your upcoming event. There’s a good chance that they will report on it!
Despite the old saying, however, not all publicity is good publicity. What if a journalist is in search of the best pancakes in town but upon trying your pancakes criticizes them? Even if other customers like the pancakes you will be in a tough spot. And given how fickle tastes are from person to person there is always a risk that some critic will reject your cooking. One thing you can do is make sure that your food is always well prepared and your restaurant is well managed. This will at least reduce risks of bad publicity.
Is your restaurant having its grand opening? If so, contact everyone on the aforementioned list! Make it a grand event with discounts and invite important community leaders, such as the mayor, over for lunch. You can also give away food, such as a free dessert, and try other methods to make your grand opening more interesting.
-Sponsor and Host Events-
You should hold events at your restaurant, such as open mic nights. At the very least you will get advertising in the event sections of newspapers and on local entertainment blogs. If you hold a major event you might even score a story covering it!
Another way to gain the attention of the local media is to donate money to a local charity or sponsor a fund-raiser. This way your restaurant will be seen as a positive force in the local community. You may find your way into local newspapers or at least the newsletter of the charity itself. You might also find your way onto local blogs and other local news sources. Besides, goodwill in-and-of itself will make your restaurant more attractive.
Why not create an absolutely wild flavor of cake or ice cream? For example, you could make Cheddar Cheese Ice cream or Jalapeno Cake. If you don’t feel like exploring new bounds of taste buds you could also try something like “going green.” For example, you could install solar and wind power. Anything that makes your restaurant really stand out might get you space in the local media!
-Use a Publicity Stunt-
Holding a publicity stunt, such as paying a motorcycle stunt rider to jump some cars in your parking lot, is a great way to draw in spectators and the local media. You can also make a “bet” with the community, for example, if you the local sport team wins a big match you can promise everyone a free dessert.
-Write on Your Own-
You can offer to share recipes or insights into starting a business by writing an article for your local newspaper or other media source. Or if your restaurant happens to have a cultural theme you could offer to write an article on a cultural holiday. For example, if you manage a Mexican restaurant, you can write on Cinco De Mayo and explain to readers the importance of the holiday.
-Cook To Impress-
Make sure you invite every critic you can find to come and test your food! This is especially true if you offer some unique dishes (remember that Cheddar Cheese Ice Cream) that no one else has ever even heard of. Even if you can’t pull in a major critic, there’s a great chance you can find a local blogger who judges local food. Invite him or her over to sample some food!
Drumming up media coverage for promoting your restaurant is no easy task! Still, the rewards will be well worth the effort so make sure you put in a solid try. At the end of the day media coverage is often far more effective than paid advertising and if you are newsworthy you are also most likely a worthy place to grab lunch or dinner at!