April's Featured Speaker: Taryn Scher, TK PR
Taryn spoke at the 2017 International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York on the topic "Facebook is NOT a PR Strategy".
10 Ways to Increase Your Odds of Getting Media Coverage
1. Be prepared: Don’t start reaching out to the media until you have a website that clearly represents your brand, beautiful photography and a digital media kit. (This should include bios, company information, menus, etc.) Remember, a journalist might never set foot in your restaurant so your website and photos need to be enough to persuade them to feature you. Everything else can follow with time, but before you even think about picking up the phone to call a journalist, have all of these ready to send.
2. Know who your spokesperson will be. Is your chef soft-spoken or camera shy? Does the owner freeze on interviews or fumble with words? In a perfect world, the chef, sommelier, or restaurateur is the spokesperson but in certain circumstances you might want to think about someone else who is more camera-friendly and who has the authority to speak without permission.
3. Drop everything when the phone rings. If a reporter calls you, you need to call them back within hours -- minutes if possible. The same goes for answering email. Do not expect a journalist to sit around and wait for your call back for days. They are always on immediate deadlines, and if you don’t call back immediately, they will find someone else (probably a competitor) who will return their call and include them in their story instead.
4. Position yourself as an expert in your industry. You know the insides and out of the food industry; you live it every day! Try to be quoted whenever possible. Start on the local level -- send the reporters your bio/areas of expertise and make yourself available to them whenever they need someone to comment. Next thing you know you’ll be a national expert getting calls from the top networks.
5. Don’t ever try to sell the media. You aren’t trying to get them to buy a meal at your restaurant, you simply want to inform them about what makes your establishment special so they will consider featuring you. Avoid flashy sales-like buzz words and stick to the facts. If your chef/menu/bar program is that exceptional, they’ll be able to see that based on the information alone.
6. Pay attention to the news. Watch what’s happening out there; what are the big trends (cauliflower is the new kale!) and what is your restaurant already doing that might be relevant to fit into a story?
7. Find something newsworthy. Every once in a while you might need to be creative and create something to generate some buzz (think cronut). Look and see if there’s a national holiday coming up (by that I mean National Margarita Day, National Pasta Day, National Cheeseburger Day) and see if you can land yourself a TV spot or recipe feature.
8. Know who you are pitching. The best thing you can do is familiarize yourself with the publications or TV programs you are trying to pitch. Be smart about who at that outlet you are pitching and what you are pitching! The person who writes chef profiles might not be the same person who features recipes. It takes time to do this research, but a little effort goes a long way.
9. Choose quality not quantity. Where are your customers hanging out? What magazines are they reading? What TV shows are they watching? Don’t say all of them. Make a Top 20 wish list and pitch each one a different idea that is specifically targeted to their readership/viewership. What good are 50 media placements if no one is reading those magazines who you are trying to reach? You’re much better off with one major story that is read by thousands of potential customers.
10. Know how to pitch a journalist. Keep your pitch short and to the point (3 to 4 sentences should be enough) and be sure to include a link to your website. If you get a bite, the reporter will definitely ask for more information.
More about Taryn:
Taryn Scher, “The Sparkle Boss”, started TK PR (www.tkpublicrelations.com) in 2008, and has spent the past 9+ years building the Public Relations firm, representing clients in the travel & hospitality industries.
Taryn has orchestrated appearances for her clients on Fox and Friends, The Today Show, and Good Morning America, as well as features in Travel + Leisure, O the Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Esquire, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and thousands more.
Taryn was selected as one of PR News’ People to Watch in PR and in 2016, TK PR received a gold Adrian Award from HSMAI, the largest and most prestigious global travel marketing competition which honors excellence in hospitality, travel, tourism and media.
Follow Taryn on Facebook and Twitter.