The best publicity you can find for your restaurant actually doesn’t cost anything at all. Paying special attention to the media outlets in your area – newspapers in particiluar – will help garner the attention of readers.
Depending of the publications you choose to target, you may be able to reach an audience the size of a town, city or entire country.
How to Garner the Attention of Newspapers
- Create Your Own Print Publication
Having an in-house newsletter, or even a flier, can have many advantages. You can choose what topics to include, whether it’s a favorite dish that month or spotlighting a frequent customer. After you create this publication, send a few copies to newspapers in your area. Including lots of details and pictures may entice a reporter to make his or her way out to your restaurant and write about it.
This in-house publication will also serve as a great and inexpensive marketing piece to distribute to patrons and other people around the town your restaurant is in.
- Give a Reporter a Call
The best way to get your name out there is to force it out there! Browse through all the newspapers local to your area and pay special attention to the reporters who cover dining and entertainment. Give them each a call or send an email with some information about you and your restaurant. Be prepared, though! Have lots of interesting facts about what sets your restaurant apart from others in the area and why the newspaper would benefit from writing a story about it.
- Learn to Write a Good Press Release
A simple Internet search will give you all the information you need to write a fantastic press release that will attract the attention of newspaper reporters and editors. A concise, well-written release that contains a lot of information is what most editors are looking for. Submitting a press release that’s too long or is poorly written will likely be thrown in the trash, so make good use of the page! Use a catchy headline and give the editor or reporter a reason to keep reading.
- Hold an Event and Invite the Press
A great way to increase visibility with the press and with customers is to hold an event. Even a mid-size event can garner a lot of attention if it is planned well and customers and press are given lots of notice. A simple “grand opening” event or cocktail night are a few great ideas. Send invitations to local dining columnists and to your regular customers. Both will greatly appreciate the gesture.
These tips will go a long way with attracting the media in your area– namely newspapers. Consistent efforts and increased communication with reporters will help you to establish a relationship with them. Business owners who have good relationships with the press are more likely to see their name in the paper.
Amy Gorczowski is a professional blogger that writes on a variety of topics including restaurants in NYC. She writes for Restaurants.com, a leading restaurant directory of top dining locations.