Every restaurant brand has a story to tell but without a strong public relations strategy, that story may never reach your audience. PR helps the brand authentically connect with your audience, increase your visibility and elevate your credibility, keeping your brand out of the advertising abyss.
If you haven’t given any serious thought to your PR efforts, or you aren’t seeing any positive results from your current efforts, here are six PR strategies your restaurant can implement right now.
In the age of social media, influencer marketing can be your PR secret weapon—especially for a restaurant. This tactic allows you to reach a large yet targeted audience through an authentic personality that your consumers already trust. By partnering with an influencer, you can engage users with creative content through various social media platforms. It’s worth spending the time to identify the right influencer—one whose demographic and style align with those of your brand—and build a relationship with them. Keep in mind that there is some crossover between PR and advertising with influencer marketing, as many influencers require compensation or at the very least, compensated meals.
Every restaurant, from massive chains to mom-and-pop shops, will encounter some kind of crisis sooner or later. A crisis can be something as seemingly small as a negative social media comment that goes viral, or as major as a food poisoning outbreak. What’s important is how you react, how you respond and how you get the world to move on as quickly as possible. Preparing a strategy before the crisis hits is vital. When disaster strikes, no matter what shape or form, you need to have a proven process in place that will keep you focused and help you bounce back quicker. Importantly, make sure your crisis strategy includes step-by-step actions for how social media is handled. Many times, brands keep posting pre-planned content through a crisis, which sets off consumers even more. Remember to unschedule all content when a crisis hits, and make sure you have one designated team to handle all social media through the crisis.
With proposed changes to Facebook’s timeline algorithm currently underway, video content reigns supreme on social media, but you don’t have to invest in costly, high-production videos in order to make a splash. Take advantage of organic, live video tools on Facebook and Instagram. Live videos allow you to engage directly with your audience increasing your transparency and authenticity. This is an excellent tool for chefs or restaurateurs to connect with their customers on a personal level. Share what your cooking that day in the kitchen, or take fans on a trip with you to the local farm or fish market. This will build an amazingly loyal fan base that you can’t replicate through other mediums.
In the end, remember that PR takes time, patience, and persistence. It’s a heart-wrenching, stressful process that is not for the weak but if you are smart, have a plan, and pursue it tirelessly, you will succeed.
Melissa DiGianfilippo is the co-owner and president of public relations at Serendipit Consulting, where she leads the firm’s clients’ public relations and communications efforts including traditional media relations, crisis communications, internal communications, community outreach and more. Serendipit Consulting is a full-service creative agency that takes a boutique approach that generate big agency results to marketing, public relations, branding and event.