Would your restaurant benefit from a PR agency’s expertise?

Mar 1, 2013 2:12:45 PM / by Stephanie Angelyn Casola

As a public relations professional, agency life affords a wide variety of experiences. During my years in the field, I've had the opportunity to work with clients from high-profile restaurants, to award-winning breweries and nationally-recognized pizzerias. Though the services vary and are customized based on each clients’ needs, one thing remains constant: hiring the right public relations agency to promote a restaurant can bring in new customers, re-engage past fans – and most importantly, keeps them coming back.

Why might a restaurant considering hiring an agency?

Let’s look more closely at the benefits:

Executive chefs and managers can spend more time on perfecting menus and attending to clientele, rather than media outreach. I’m a proponent of doing what you do best. In the fast-paced restaurant industry it’s rare to find a manager or chef who’s as interested or proficient in media relations as he or she might be in creating an innovative menu or caring for guests. Leave the media outreach up to professionals who have already established those relationships, understand the nuances of deadlines and the needs of local, regional and national outlets. They can advise you on what will benefit you most when it comes to attracting media attention.

Agencies are built on solid reputations and strong relationships. When restaurant PR is what you focus on every day, you establish strong relationships with feature, food and drinks reporters and restaurant critics. Those relationships will benefit your restaurant clients by gaining them coverage in ways they may not be able to achieve alone.

Restaurant owners may not have the need or resources to hire a full-time, in-house PR professional. In the restaurant business the skills you value most may be a creative chef, attentive servers, and employees that make your environment stand out from the competition. A full-time publicist may or may not be part of that equation. One internal employee often can’t match the range of resources an agency can offer in a more cost-effective manner. At Franco Public Relations Group, where I work, we assemble a team to match the needs of each account. Our executives and managers come from a variety of backgrounds, which benefits clients in so many ways. For instance, I worked as a full-time journalist for more than a decade before making the switch to PR and social media. That insight is paired with teammates whose expertise includes everything from event marketing to advertising to public affairs. At an agency, all of those resources are available to all clients.

Public relations professionals are experts in creating media events. We understand how to work within a restaurant owner’s parameters. When our restaurant clients have a major announcement to share, we consider the option of a media day to highlight all aspects of the venue – whether that involves a major renovation, revamped menu, a chance to hear about the inspiration behind the restaurant’s concept from managers and chefs, or all of the above.

We do more than just public relations. Restaurant owner or managers who require something more – advertisting assistance, branding, crisis management or social media can count on a full-service agency like Franco for help. When a restaurateur asks for guidance with a social media strategy to promote the venue or simply doesn’t have time to monitor or manage existing social networks, for example, it’s possible to seek out experienced professionals who will work with you to achieve those goals.

Restaurant professionals may be wondering when is the appropriate time to seek out the services of a PR agency?

There are plenty of options. Consider what might be newsworthy or beneficial in bringing in business. When you’re opening a new restaurant, launching a new concept, approaching a milestone anniversary, hiring a hot new chef, battling more and more competition in your local region, or when you just want to stay top-of-mind with potential customers, PR professionals can assist with creative ways to do so. Whether it’s a special project for a set amount of time or an ongoing partnership where the work matches a restaurateur’s changes needs, an agency can sign on to assist.

Want to learn more? Franco Public Relations Group is a Detroit-based agency that has been helping clients connect with the audiences that matter most since 1964. Contact Stephanie at casola@franco.com or visit the website www.franco.com to find out more about the ways in which your restaurant might benefit from a strategic public relations or social media campaign.

Tags: restaurant pr, restaurant public relations, Tips & Ideas

Stephanie Angelyn Casola

Written by Stephanie Angelyn Casola

Stephanie Angelyn Casola is a senior account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. She has more than 15 years of experience in media, beginning with a successful career in journalism in metro Detroit and moving into public relations and social media. She works with clients including Buddy’s Pizza, the GM Renaissance Center and the shops and restaurants of downtown Milford, Mich. Find her on Twitter @StephCasola or Facebook.com/StephanieAngelynCasola.

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