Public Relations or PR is an integral part of restaurant marketing that must never be ignored. PR for restaurants is essential since it helps create awareness about your restaurant on a mass scale, and also builds goodwill among the people. A lot of restaurant and food outlets use public relations as a tool to create the right buzz among media publications, which in turn write a piece or an article about the restaurant’s uniqueness, concept and food. But, hiring a PR agency can be an expensive affair if you are already working on a tight budget.
How to do the PR for Restaurants
In this article, we discuss how to get PR for restaurants for little or no cost. Let us first discuss the different media options available.
1. Paid Media
The medium or a platform that allows you to advertise about your restaurant stating your USP is called Paid Media. For example, Advertisements, Paid SEM/SEO, paid influences; paid content in different influential news dailies and magazines is called the paid media.
2. Owned Media
Owned media is the platforms and channels owned by the restaurant. These include the restaurant’s website, social media handles such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, and the restaurant blog. You can create a lot of engagement and awareness among your target audience by working on these channels. Read how to do Social Media Marketing for your restaurant here.
3. Earned Media
This type of media is particularly related to the articles, blog post, Instagram photos, an online review or word of mouth. Basically, if a third party is talking about your restaurant, then it is known as earned media.
How to Get a Third Party to Talk About Your Restaurant Business
PR for restaurants or PR for any business essentially requires the media as well as the public to talk about a particular brand. You can get your restaurant covered in the media by following these tactics.
1. Keep a Tap on the Influencers
Follow the big influencers who can help you to attract the right audience to your restaurant. Some of them might charge a fee for the post, while there may be some who do not charge at all. But largely, those who have a high number of followers charge a good fare. But here, we advise you to follow the ones who have comparatively less number of followers but not less than 10,000, with a niche audience. They can be reached through Facebook, or through a direct invitation message for a sponsored lunch or a dinner. This will give you good visibility with respect to the ones who have a large number of followers with the mass audience which might not be relevant to your business. Ideally, one should be careful about the selection of influencers with proper research and understanding. Target food bloggers and influencers, who have a niche following.
2. Pitch Yourself
In a tight budget hiring a PR agency would be a costly affair or even hiring a freelancer can cost you somewhere around Rs 15k-20k. Therefore, we advise you to create your own media list or set of journalists whom you want to write about your restaurant business and pitch the story idea related to the interest and expertise of the journalist. However, the story ideas and ‘PR pitches’ usually see the archive folder unless there is a pre-existing relationship or the idea is too strong which hits the journalist’s mind.
The key here is to pitch right person with the right story idea and the best is to invite them to a family dinner by meeting them personally.
3. “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” Strategy
In this, you need to find the right business which is not your competition but caters to your target audience. For example, if you are new takeaway joint in the newly developed market where there are different types of stores like bakeries, grocery shops, etc, you can partner with the bakery shop and offer a complimentary dessert and in return, the bakery can distribute discount coupons on your behalf. You can also tie up together, and run combo offers. This will help in leveraging each others’ assets, which can help in expanding the customer base.
Public relations is nothing but relationship building exercise and most of the restaurant owners have a natural talent to build those bonds.