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Bettie Bomb / PR & Marketing  / 5 Reasons Restaurants Should Hire a PR Agency

5 Reasons Restaurants Should Hire a PR Agency

Understanding Public Relations

Public Relations (PR)…storytelling, building awareness and shaping a brand’s image through different forms of communication. Fun, right? As Veteran Chicago Publicists, we connect with the ultimate gatekeepers, our media friends, to target audiences across the globe and craft newsworthy story angles. We love what we do because it’s about promoting other entrepreneurs like ourselves and we take pride in helping businesses organically grow. We also love it because The Value of PR For Restaurants is immense.

Why Should a Business Invest in PR? Because Investing in PR produces its earned communication, meaning “not paid” like advertising or sponsored content. It’s the most unbiased, honest depiction a brand can receive, making it the most credible type of coverage! Everybody wants it, but no one has control over it because it is through the eyes of the media. As Experienced Chicago Publicists, we provide as much information as possible, connect the media with our clients and craft the message. But after we’ve delivered and the media personally experiences the service or tries the product, it’s their words. And that’s when the excitement & roller coaster ride begins!

How Can PR Help Restaurants?

Wondering Why Restaurants Should Invest in PR? Working with chefs & restaurants is exciting, fast-paced and ever-changing making the hospitality industry always in need of PR! And during a pandemic where they’re facing closures every single day, they need our help more than ever. Publicizing specials, menu changes, promotions, new chefs, events and everything in between is key to restaurants and keeps them in the limelight. From small independent restaurants to larger, hospitality groups, every business needs a different approach, but the same outcome…exposure, exposure, EXPOSURE. As a PR Agency That Specializes in Working With Restaurants, we work to create programming that not only resonates with the guests but that generates media interest. 

Bettie Bomb is an experienced Chicago-based PR Agency having worked alongside the country’s hottest chefs, independent restaurants, cutting-edge fast casual concepts and more, so this is definitely our jam. Our first Restaurant PR clients were restaurants and some of the top names in Chicago. Le Colonial, Shaw’s Crab House, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, Mon Ami Gabi and more. We cut our teeth on these restaurants and are happy to see them still thriving in Chicago’s restaurant scene today.

5 Reasons Restaurants Should HIre a PR Agency

Restaurants have taken one of the biggest hits in 2020 due to Covid-19 and millions of people in the hospitality industry lost their jobs overnight. For restaurant owners, it’s been a constant pivot and adaption of their business model. Opening, then closing, then opening again. It’s been an uphill battle and the sad reality is many have lost. But overall, we have a lot of restaurants who are continuing to push forward and are looking at 2021 with positivity and hopes for a better year. Below we’ll discuss some of the Top Reasons Restaurants Should Hire a PR Agency and why it’s so important.

The main need of restaurants is “more butts in seats.” But how do we do that? Is it internal, meaning what the restaurant needs to do with expanding it’s menu choices, creating a better experience, offering more engaging events, changing it’s hours, etc? Or is it external, which is PR, marketing, social media, positioning to support what they are already doing internally? It’s both actually…below we delve into why restaurants need PR agencies in a Covid-19 world.

Reason #1: To Garner Earned Media

The Best Restaurant PR Agencies are constantly trying to generate earned media by giving reporters, producers and editors the tools they need to create relevant stories that pertain to their readers, viewers and listeners. It’s their job to maintain a client’s exposure by creating new, different and interesting ways to tell their story. How do you want the public to see your brand or business? What are you doing to support your community? Are you an expert in your field? These are all questions a publicist will ask when creating a narrative that positions you as a leader to the media. 

Earned media helps businesses because it establishes credibility and trust with consumers. People know when they are reading an advertisement, which is touting a business being the best, top or #1. That’s what the business is trying to convey and isn’t necessarily the opinion of consumers. When consumers read a review or story in a credible media outlet about a business, it makes them pay attention and they remember. 

Reason #2: To Position You as an Expert/Leader

Media want people they can trust, who are responsive and people they can contact when they have breaking news. Restaurant PR Agencies can offer you to be a source they can count on and deliver every time so they keep contacting you. You need to work hard to become a trusted source so take advantage of different strategies to pitch and get you to that first opportunity of earned media. Then, make sure you take full advantage of the opportunity so you can solidify having more in the future. When the media are calling you directly and you don’t have to pitch an idea, you have done your job! For example, years ago when Actress Angelina Jolie announced she was getting a preventative double mastectomy it was top local and national news. As soon as we heard this, we pitched our OB/GYN and garnered many broadcast interviews. These opportunities established her as a trusted, knowledgeable source.

Reason #3: To Develop New & Different Angles

Top Restaurant PR Agencies are constantly brainstorming with clients to come up with new and different angles they can provide to the media. Publicists use their relationships with the media to offer up these pitch angles and story ideas in hopes that they will want to write about them or tell their story. Media are hungry for content, but won’t cover the same thing twice. If they do bite, sometimes it’s a full feature, other times a quote or mention, but a lot of the time, nothing. This is why publicists have to constantly come up with new ideas to pitch the media. The key to earned media though is that these ideas need to be newsworthy. What do we mean by newsworthy? Are you offering something new or different? Those are the number one ways to generate earned media. Media do not want to write about something that’s done before or that they’ve recently covered. New product launches, a new business opening or service being offered are all great ways. How about different? Perhaps you are creating the largest hamburger and anyone who finishes receives free hamburgers for one year? That’s fun, different and the media love it.

Reason #4: To Strategize & Plan Organized Exposure

Restaurants must know that working with a Restaurant Publicist takes time. You need to invest the time and energy to send the information they need in a timely fashion and keep them updated. No one knows your business better than you do, so they will be looking to you for the information or as they call it, ammunition to do their job effectively. When working with restaurants, one thing is certain…communication is key! 

By doing this, Restaurant Public Relations Agencies are able to strategize and develop a working PR Plan For Restaurants that incorporates everything in a well-thought out timeline to be successful. They have regular promotions, tie-ins to holidays and national observances, but also are ready to pounce on timely and topical news as it pertains to your restaurant.

By working closely with PR agencies and having a plan in place, it allows restaurants to have target goals and objectives, stay organized and overall on track for success. Businesses as a whole that work closely with their agencies and get them the information they need on time, are by far the most successful with their campaigns.

Reason #5: To Be Tuned In on Your Behalf

Have you ever heard “go where there cameras are?” A great way to gain earned media is by tying into timely or topical news. What is the media already covering – holidays, breaking news, observance, big annual event? Whatever it is, find a way to tie into what they are already covering. 

PR agencies are on top of what’s in the news and what patterns they’re seeing the media covering, so once a national story hits that pertains to your restaurant, they’re on it! Pitching or coming up with a solution on how you could be a part of the story.

For example, National Soup Month is every January…chefs and restaurants can create fun promotions with soup or offer an interesting flavor combination. The media will be interested in it because of the timeliness. Or National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is every October…if you are a gynecologist, give your top tips to home self breast exams or host a Live Q&A on social media. This will create buzz because it is timely. 

Now how about breaking news…a celebrity makes an announcement or a national legal case is being disputed. What types of sources can comment on these stories? Media are looking for expert sources to weigh in on these topics and give their opinions.

Introduction to Bettie Bomb

Founded in 2005, Bettie Bomb is a Chicago-based Restaurant PR Agency, offering a suite of services from trusted industry partners under one creative umbrella. PR, Marketing, Social Media and beyond…we work as an extension of your team, creating personalized campaigns, building awareness and telling your story when it matters most.

We’re a Chicago Restaurant Public Relations Agency specializing in all things lifestyle: food, fashion, hospitality, retail, health & wellness, medical, consumer and philanthropy. Partners Rebecca Kussmann & Laura Collins work closely with businesses & organizations to target key audiences and generate exposure all under the Bettie Bomb umbrella. Work one-on-one or have us build a team. We can be BIG and we can be small…that’s the beauty of it. Small, but mighty with the ability to grow. That’s us in a nutshell. 

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