Food and beverage PR, F&B public relations, or simply food PR is a mechanism that shapes event and (social) media management in the culinary industry.
Even a diverse industry such as F&B doesn’t pose a challenge to an experienced PR firm. The trick is to know the right outlets for a specific client.
Restaurants, cocktail bars, food events and festivals, and wineries; all brands have the same goal.
And that goal is to become attractive, reliable, and popular. And this is where public relations come into play.
Why is food PR important for F&B companies and brands?
The job of PR is to make the right connections and advance your brand’s communication with the relevant parties. The same applies to public relations in the F&B industry.
As a part of a good marketing strategy, food PR is highly beneficial because:
It allows you to discover and tell your story
Communication is the heart and soul of public relations. But even the most compelling exchange of information is worth little if that information doesn’t truly resonate with your brand. Dig dip if you must, but your company needs to stay true to its story.
It gives voice to your brand and magnifies its message
Food PR goes beyond the simple delivery of your press release. The message is given credibility through the number, variety, and reputation of your media contacts.
It launches and reshapes brands
You can employ the best chefs, learn all about the transport of the food you prepare or culinary techniques, and even create mouth-watering dishes – all for nothing if your customers are not aware your business exists.
The larger the number of established media contacts, the easier PR.
It provides validation to your brand
Other people’s validation is deeply rooted in our psyche ever since childhood. Small wonder that the need to be recognized and validated is transferred to our business environment. Focus on food influencers.
It acts as a defense mechanism and protects your brand image
PR is the first line of defense and often a sufficient one.
Why is it so?
Investing in a relationship always pays off. Building a strong relationship with the media over time makes for a good foundation in the time of crisis.
How to stand out from the crowd with the help of food PR
Competition is always good. It makes businesses better and more inventive.
The challenges it offers to the businesses in the F&B industry are no less serious than in any other industry.
Also note that all the above-mentioned benefits of food PR can’t come to fruition if you don’t choose a correct PR strategy for your brand, organization, or F&B company.
Hence, food PR has the rewarding task of discerning what makes each brand unique and promoting it. And this is how you should do it.
Create you-centric content instead of web-centric content
If you speak to your potential customers solely about your company, they will quickly lose interest. Through your food PR, focus your attention on them instead.
Create personalized experience for your guests, treat loyal customers with great care, and go that extra mile to make their visit memorable.
Build your campaign around local events with high traffic
Take advantage of local events that gather large audiences. Wherever people gather, they expect to find something to eat. Why shouldn’t they find your brand?
Build your advertising at the event and offer promotions to inspire people to visit you there.
Make use of cross-promotion with the help of local businesses
Offer local businesses to scratch your back if you scratch theirs. In other words, involve your brand in a mutually beneficial cross-promotion.
By supporting other local businesses, you are getting exposure and access to their pool of customers which may or may not have heard about your brand before.
Involve the brand in socially responsible events and promote it
Millennials appreciate social responsibility and represent the majority of your current customers.
Involving yourself and the brand you represent with the community speaks to your target customers and creates a bond. Shared values produce loyal customers.
Inspire the customers who like your brand to promote it
You have certainly noticed that your customers divide into critics, passives, and supporters.
While the first and the last take the liberty to express their (dis)satisfaction about your brand or service online, passives do not.
Your goal in food PR is to inspire this biggest group to do the marketing for you even by offering tasteful incentives.
Dedicate time to reply to both good and bad reviews and comments
Once again, it is time to build relationships. Both your content and dissatisfied customer deserve attention and polite response.
Critics are often a good sign that an area of service can and should be improved.
Keep your answers polite and post updates on any improvements. It is not rare that some of the biggest critics and detractors become equally fervent supporters.
Set yourself apart with a story and then create an experience
You are already unique but showing that to your audience is not always an easy task. Sometimes a story needs some embellishment to appeal to the majority.
Once you create an attractive background story, create an experience for your guests. They must get involved with your brand.
Still not sure how to start?
There are many good PR examples to learn from that can inspire you to develop a plan for your brand. New ideas often emerge as a synthesis of a few good strategies.
Customize your message to fit the media outlet you are reaching out to
Food PR professionals worth their salt will have a wide network of media connections. Variety in media outlets is welcome but it requires customized messages that correspond to each outlet.
Customized messages will show the audience you know their preferences, and will show your media connections you respect their time and work.