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How to Get Good PR

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 10 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Public Relations Pr Free Advertising

Getting good Public Relations, or PR, for your restaurant is terribly important for the success of your business. Public relations are essentially free advertising, so in these credit crunch times, why pay for something that you can get for free?

PR is also a very positive focus for your business because there is something a bit more professional about getting some feature or review in the newspapers and magazines, rather than simply paying for an advert. So, not only is it free, it is also better for your business! A no-brainer, really.

So, how do you get good PR for your restaurant?

Build Your Network of Contacts

Many newspapers and magazines have a bank of journalists, both employed and freelance. These journalists are continually looking for interesting features to write about. If you can offer them some newsworthy items, they will be keen to speak to you. Once you are known as a person that makes good stories for them to write about, you will be able to contact them more easily and they will be receptive to your ideas.

Journalists are fully aware that people want to make friends with them to get free advertising in the form of PR, so don’t think they will be impressed by your saying ‘I am opening a new restaurant, please write about me.’ That will simply not cut the mustard, which leads us onto point two.

Do Something Interesting

Get creative – offer local students a competition to design your new logo, or to come up with a name for your restaurant. Offer a meal for a family of four as a prize – that way you are introducing their parents as potential customers, too.

You could approach your local art or IT college course and suggest designing a website as a project. Colleges are always pleased to have real life projects, so you can offer the students to visit your restaurant to take the brief. You can post it on your restaurant Facebook page for added free on line advertising, too.

Any of these ideas – and any others you can think of – make for a great story, especially a local interest story in your local paper. This is a good way to get local people talking about your new restaurant as they will somehow feel a part of it.

Offer Free Vouchers

When you launch your new restaurant, you can gain excellent PR by offering free or discount vouchers in your local newspaper or in relevant magazines. Two for one on main meals is popular, as is a bottle of house wine for every two diners. You could also think about offering free desserts or kids eat free. Whatever you do, make sure there is a section on the voucher for people to fill in their contact details, that way you can start to build up your networking database. Be careful not to contact your customers too many times, though, or they will start to think of you as a nuisance – which is not good PR at all!

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