Over the past two years running PR over Coffee, I have learned a few things about what reporters, bloggers and TV anchors look for in a story. One subject that never seems to get old is food!
The challenge, however, is always how to find the right time and story message (or “news hook”) to get a media professional interested in your food business.
In this blog post, I have come up with 15 pretty reliable ways to get your food business on the local morning and noon TV news shows.
Don’t get me wrong. Not one of the 15 ideas below can guarantee you’ll get news coverage. But, if you do the work, if you keep communicating your timely message to your local TV news, then eventually your PR efforts will pay off.
1. Get to know the producer or anchor for the early morning and noon news shows.
Watch the early morning and noon news shows to get a look at the types of restaurants they cover. Reach out to the producers or anchors via email or Twitter and try to plan a time to meet.
2. Hold a special dinner at your restaurant benefitting a local charity.
Figure out which local charity best suits the image and message of your restaurant. Hold a special dinner for them.
3. Collaborate with a specialty foods retailer to put on a one-of-a-kind dinner tasting.
Beer inspired menu collaboration with local brewery; Extra Virgin Olive Oil inspired menu; local ice cream shop creates a really unique flavor for your dessert menu. The possibilities are endless.
4. Emphasize your healthy menu or food products for Cholesterol Awareness or Heart Health Month
Healthy food can go a long way. During these months, add special healthy options to the menu. Offer them at a discounted rate or include them in a Happy Hour special.
5. Invite a well-known food author to your restaurant or store for a special reading, book signing, or product tasting.
Pairing your restaurant with an author event will bring a crowd. The experience will be personal for fans of the author, while tying your restaurant in with something they love.
6. Launch a new seasonal menu featuring local farm-to-market produce.
Authentic, garden-fresh food goes a long way with both fans and critics.
7. Offer a special Mother’s Day brunch with free tableside neck massages, mimosas, and chocolates for dessert.
Serve up the motherly love with your unique Mother’s Day options. The moms will love it, and it may just land you on TV.
8. Get on a reality TV show – cooking competitions, Restaurant Impossible, Bachelorette, Survivor…any one works.
You want an easy way to get your restaurant’s name out there? Be on TV. There is no easier way to advertise.
9. Write a cookbook based on recipes from your restaurant, grandmother, products you sell – you name it!
Giving everyone the option to eat your amazing recipes whenever they want will gain you a lot of fans. People will share the recipes, and maybe you will be invited to cook one on a local TV news show.
10. Invite Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives or any famous food critic to your restaurant.
Inviting one of these influential and massive names in the food industry could be the best idea you could have. If a famous food critic/chef says he loves the food, it gets people’s attention.
11. Break a Guinness Book of Record for largest…anything you can imagine with food!
There’s nothing more interesting than being somewhere where someone broke a word record, and TV shows love to cover those stories because they are fun and highly visual.
12. War veterans who own a restaurant can talk about their journey from the battlefield to owning a food business.
People love a heartwarming, feel good story. If you are a combat veteran of Afghanistan or Iraq, tell your story – people want to hear it.
13. Start a food festival with other food entrepreneurs.
Set up a weekend where your restaurant and local restaurants set up booths and give samples of your food.
14. Hire the hottest chef to redesign the whole menu.
If you hire a famous chef to redo your menu, it’s possible a local news channel will want you to talk about it on air.
15. Invite the Mayor or Congressman to your grand opening and tell the news about it.
Have the Mayor or an influential Congressman cut the ribbon to enter your restaurant. Work with the politician’s chief of staff to invite the local news to the event – after all, most politicians can’t resist the limelight!