For those working in restaurant PR, the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day are likely a whirlwind of décor selection, menu creation and developing a promotion that will get guests in the door and falling in love with your restaurant clients. As an agency that has had years of experience working with restaurants, we have put together some of our best tips for making a restaurant stand out among the others as the romantic hot-spot for the for all the local love birds.
Know your audience
Every journalist caters to a different demographic and has a thorough understanding of what their audience responds to. It is your job to figure out what that focus is and craft your message accordingly when reaching out, whether it’s an offer for an in-depth look at the menu creation process, an exclusive recipe offer or a focus on the restaurant’s atmosphere.
Pitch an interactive cooking demo
Culinary segments on local TV stations are a fun way to show what kind of fare will be served on Valentine’s Day while intriguing viewers to pick up the phone and make a reservation. Don’t forget to bring props to the TV station to add interesting visuals — a loaf of fresh bread served at the beginning of each meal, or a bottle of wine from the restaurant’s Valentine’s Day menu is likely to leave a mouth-watering mark on a viewer.
Invite journalists in ahead of time
Readers are more likely to check out a restaurant that has been raved about by their favorite magazine or website. That is why it is always a good idea to invite journalists and bloggers to the restaurant ahead of time so they can write an authentic review on the experience that customers can expect. This will help set the restaurant apart from other options that are written about.
Make the journalist’s life easier
Journalists who are known for posting roundups of the best places to go on specific holidays will most likely be a reader’s go-to place when searching for the best deals before making their reservation. Therefore, it is very important to reach out to these journalists and personalize your pitch to help increase your chances for an editorial spot.
Look at how each reporter formats their roundups – is it bulleted, in paragraph form, or summed up in one or two sentences? Try to mirror the information that you are pitching to how the writer would include it. When you’ve already done the hard work for them, your client has a better chance of making the cut.
We also suggest giving the journalist as many supplemental materials as possible. Things like a copy of the special Valentine’s Day menu, media kits and/or high-res images are all incredibly helpful when trying to make sure your client stands out among the rest.
Valentine’s Day can feel like a stressful and competitive time for a restaurant PR representative, but doing your research and knowing what stands out to your audience and to journalists will help result in a very successful Valentine’s Day at the restaurant. In light of the upcoming holiday, just remember this – Roses are red, violets are blue, if you follow our tips, your client will LOVE you!