More importantly, non-paid advertising (publicity) carries an implied “third party endorsement”. If your pub is featured in a local, regional or national publication, consumers tend to think it must be news and it must be important. It is not you saying how great you are (in a paid advertisement), it is an objective, respected third party.
Public relations activities expand the reach of your marketing and advertising efforts and image at the fraction of the cost for paid advertising:
It is difficult to communicate a complete message or establish credibility within the confines of an advertisement. An article featured in a reputable publication provides the opportunity to do both.
All establishments have a public image, whether they manage it or not. This image may be perceived as good, bad, or neutral. With a well-structured public relations program you can manage your image with the general public that comprises your total marketplace, not just current and potential customers, but other influential audiences as well including vendors and competitors.
Publicity, special events, and sponsorships
Special activities such as scholarship and charitable programs position your establishment as a community leader.
Generation of Literature
This a valuable by-product of publicity. After an article has appeared, it can be reprinted, with permission, for use in mailings or wall hangings or on your website. This is a low cost way to general literature and, the implied third party endorsement of the publication provides additional credibility among customers.
The Public Relations Agency
Successful public relations take planning, research and stamina. You have to make it happen and implementation of a successful program can be a full-time effort. Therefore, it may be advantageous for the pub owner or manager to hire the services of a qualified public relations agency to provide those services exclusively. The firm you select should be familiar with the restaurant and bar industry. They would have the appropriate media contacts to obtain placement for news releases regarding your pub.
News Releases / Articles
There are many types of articles that can be written; restaurant profile, management and staff profiles, community and charitable event activities, etc.
When developing an article story you must focus on how the story betters the industry, benefits the community, or informs the reader. Focus on how the story benefits the general public and think community/good citizen.
Elements of a News Release
- Tailor the release to meet the editorial content of the publication.
- Make sure you can answer the question, “Who cares?” Your news must be news. If you are the only one interested, your release will not be published.
- Keep it short and simple. The maximum headline is 72 characters per line and two lines at the most. Editors only scan the headline and the first one or two paragraphs. When you are mailing a release, include photos if applicable.
- Format your news release. For every release there are formatting basic which editors and reporters use. A contact name and number is imperative. Date it. Editors want to know when your news was released. After the dateline, make sure all body copy is double-spaced. Do not use all capital letters in body copy.
- Good releases areascribed, meaning statements and facts are substantiated and referenced to a credible source. This can be a person, an institution, or a report. Provide quotes only when they contribute to the story.
- A boilerplate paragraph about your establishment should be included with each release. This short paragraph is a statement of who your establishment is and what it specializes in.
Many occasions arise or can be arranged in your community where the pub is presented favorably to its consumer. Take an active part in your community and participate in the sponsorship of worthy neighborhood activities. Every city has its own traditions and social or sporting events. Dining out goes along with these festivities.
Build charity into your business. Philanthropic companies enjoy high productivity, low turnover, and loyal customers. There are a variety of approaches to take from sponsorship of an event to charity dinner fund-raiser. Socially responsible businesses get good press without seeking it. In addition, above all, it is the right thing to do.