Back in the day, you could write a press release to announce a new product, menu or campaign you have and voilà – press coverage and happiness served on a platter! But as the media landscape has rapidly evolved over the years and begun to shrink, journalists and publications expect more than a press release, making it harder to land coverage. Today, those in the F&B industry must instead find ways to connect with their audience directly while providing journalists and publications with more sophisticated offerings.
Compounding this is the fact that the F&B industry has undergone two years of intense changes, from dealing with recurring waves of restrictions and disruptions in supply chains to an uncertain future. Regardless, the industry has persevered, and there is much to be discussed as to how it can continue to thrive. Through our interactions with brands in the industry, here’s our take on three how-tos to ensure continued success for these businesses.
Tailor your press announcements
Let’s say you’re launching a new product (yay!) – the (not so) bad news is that only you and your consumers care about it. But the good news is that there are ways to make the media care about it. To do this, brands must think outside the box to jazz up their launch and engage media and consumers, while bearing in mind the current news cycle – perhaps an occasion is round the corner or there is a heavy focus on a particular topic in the news. Work to leverage these moments whenever possible and tie them into your announcements and launches to ride the trending topic wave while also generating excitement for your new product.
On top of the usual press assets like a press release and press kits, F&B brands should consider going one step further and coupling these announcements with creative media drops or media events to give writers, critics, and tastemakers a first-hand experience. Finally, to further drive post-launch sustenance, brands must continue to engage journalists with tailored story angles to maintain momentum.
Keep up with industry news and trends
As part of the industry, brands must stay in the know about the latest trends and developments within their specific niche. This allows them to, as mentioned above, tap into these moments and trendjack them with relevant content while also discussing what these issues mean for their customers and the larger community.
One such way to keep updated is through media monitoring – by doing this, brands can have an overview of the type of industry news making the rounds as well as what their competitors are doing and saying. It is also useful for brands with a significant presence to track their consumer feedback and gather data to analyse any potential trends to further improve their services. Additionally, these insights can be packaged with announcements to share with the media, whenever relevant.
Develop expertise in a particular field
Ever wondered why you always see the same few experts commenting on the same industries and topics? For media to consider certain brands or spokespersons as go-to experts, they must first establish themselves as an authority on core topics within their business. Most importantly, these spokespeople must be willing to take a stance or provide high-level insights and analysis, whenever appropriate.
To position yourself as an industry expert, trust and credibility must be built first on your brands’ owned platforms – anything from sharing infographics on social media or your thoughts in a blog posted to LinkedIn. When you get your thoughts, opinions, and data out there, you distribute content relevant to your industry and position yourself as a thought leader in your area of expertise. If your content is impactful, it will translate to your brand and help cement you as a trusted source people can turn to for a quote or comment. In addition, this will help you amass a trove of information that can be used in media engagements.
Eventually, journalists will start seeking you out after you’ve established a certain level of trust. From there, repeated interactions with journalists either through casual (media lunches, meet and greets) or formal engagements (exclusive media interviews) help to build a relationship, foster trust and allow journalists closer access to you and your brand.
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