Food for thought-ful PR

A lot has been written about what makes food businesses successful. Quality, creativity and consistency certainly rank high as contributing factors.

But another significant contributing factor to the success of your food business is the BUZZ you create about it through coverage in the media.

Consider what a single article in Bon Appetit did for Franklin Barbecue in 2011. The magazine’s food editor, Andrew Knowlton, prophetically pronounced the heretofore unknown East Austin eatery as the best BBQ restaurant in the nation. The article has since helped put the upstart BBQ joint at the top of not just the barbecue world but also the more rarified world of high-end restaurants. People travel from around the country to eat at Franklin’s now.

Also, consider that entire TV channels are dedicated to food, while others devote significant programming time to it, and even the Networks get in on the action from time to time. Only sports commands that kind of pop culture attention.

Finally, consider that local and national magazines, syndicated radio shows like the Splendid Table, newspapers and cultural blogs – all exist to feed our appetite for more stories about innovative food entrepreneurs.

Is your food business doing what it can to get the media’s attention? Have you added PR to the list of ingredients needed to get your food business ready for prime-time?

One of the best ways to do that is to get a food writer, blogger or TV show to cover your business.

Not sure how to get into Diners Drive-ins and Dive yet? Don’t worry. Start local, with a daily newspaper, cultural magazine or TV news station. If you can get their interest, then chances are good you may have what it takes to get on Food Network.

Remember the old expression about the tree falling in a forest and whether or not it actually makes a sound? Well, the food version of that expression is a great taste in the forest won’t make any mouths salivate.

You have to generate BUZZ about your creative concoctions to get the attention and accolades you so richly deserve!

1 Comment

  1. Cindy Deng says:

    I couldn’t agree more! Restaurants need to reach out to relevant and prominent media outlets in order to create buzz about themselves. Just posting on social media doesn’t get anyone very far, but it’s a start. I can’t say that every restaurant in the world wants public attention, but I think it’s still necessary to target those who’re thinking about traveling to or near your shop and see what kind of publications they read.

    In the PR realm, it’s necessary for us to create and maintain relationships with the media or relevant sources. When you’ve made a solid relationship, those sources are more willing to work to put your news in their publications. Restaurants, with or without a PR team, should consider doing the same with writers from Bon Appetit, Splendid Table or Food & Wine Magazine. Like you said, if that restaurant owner isn’t ready to make it big, it’s ok to start small and work their way up. It takes time.

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