How to Improve Your Restaurant Communication: Press Releases
This week on ‘The Clear Guide Light’, Andrea guides you on how to create strong press releases so you stand out from the crowd.
In today’s crowded market, it’s important you stand out. And to get a customer to walk through your door, it’s crucial they trust your restaurant - trust that they’ll have a good time, the food will be great, the service will be on point etc. If they haven’t dined at your restaurant before, the most effective way to build that trust is through press coverage: a review, mention or article from a food writer, blogger, critic or influencer offers unbiased third-party validation. In addition, press coverage will create brand awareness, if it appears online it will improve your SEO and subsequently will bring you more business – whether that’s more bums on seats or people ordering deliveries or food kits online.
The best way to send your story to press contacts is with a strong press release. A press release follows a particular structure: as a minimum, you need to try to communicate the "who," "what," "why," and "where" in easily understandable language.
How to – the basics:
The layout of a press release is fairly simple and can be used for any release you are writing:
- Find your angle – Start with what’s unique and interesting about your restaurant RIGHT NOW. It could be that you’re opening a new location—your first or an expansion. Potentially you’ve launched a meal kit or introduced a new menu. Your story needs to be interesting to the broader community—not just your staff or friends and family. Remember: journalists, bloggers and other influencers will ask “What’s in it for ME and my audience?” In other words, put yourself in their shoes and ask: IS there a story here? Why should I care? Why should I care NOW? Is it new or unusual? And how is it different to anything that my competitors are offering?
- Write your headline – make it informative and irresistible. It should cover the main angle of your story. Keep it simple and informative, any additional detail will be added into the body of the release anyway.
- Outline the core detail of the activity you are promoting in the first two lines of the release (who, what, why, when, where). Write 2-5 concise paragraphs with additional details on the campaign.
- It’s very common to include quotes too. If you are opening a restaurant or have got some exciting trade news, then the quote should come from the owner of the restaurant. If you are launching a new menu, cocktail etc, the quote can come from your head chef or mixologist.
- Contact details – make sure to include your contact details (or of whoever will be in charge to follow up and answer journalists’ questions).
- Notes to Editors – a simple overview of your restaurant that includes as a short background, opening times, address, your website and social media handles.
There are some clear rules when it comes to writing press releases - covering everything from angles to structure. This is your opportunity to sell your product - follow these ‘rules’ and you’ll give yourself a decent chance of being featured.
Join me next time to learn about how to put together effective press lists and how to pitch to press.
Andrea Klar-Nathan is MD of Clear Communications. With over 15 years of hospitality communications experience; she co-owned her first agency by 2011 which she then sold 7 years later. Her experience includes everything that’s connected to hospitality: Michelin starred restaurants, pop-ups, venues, events, even wine storage solutions. You name it, she’s done it.
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