The food and drink sector is especially competitive, and an effective PR strategy can give you and your product the edge.
Below are some tips on getting started.
Before you begin…
In order for your consumer PR to have any effect at all, you first need to ensure that your product is in the stores and available for customers to buy – consumer titles won’t even consider promoting your product if it isn’t widely available. Likewise, the more stores you can get your product in to, the more likely you are to get press coverage.
If you have a new product that you want to shout about, this is the place to do it. When your press release is ready, call your chosen magazine. Explain briefly who you are, why you’re calling and what the press release is about, then ask who the best person to send it through to via email would be.
Once you’ve established these contacts, be sure to check in with the journalists regularly – building a relationship can be extremely beneficial as it is more likely to lead to repeat coverage.
While many consumer titles incorporate some food and drink coverage, opportunities are minimal and highly sought after.
Identify which titles are being read by your target market and focus your attention on these; it’s better to have a considered, targeted campaign applied where it matters than a blanket campaign that ends up being nothing more than a blip on journalists’ radar.
There’s little point in targeting recipe pages as the vast majority of these are written in the house; your best bet is ‘Tried and Tested’ and ‘New in store’ slots.
Try and establish a point of contact at each title so that they become familiar with you and your products – you’re more likely to get positive feedback this way.
It’s also worth considering running competitions with consumer titles; guaranteed exposure for a small outlay (i.e. the cost of the prize) shouldn’t be undervalued.
Always be sure you have a plentiful supply of samples that you’re willing to send to journalists so they can review your products; it’s not a good idea to keep them waiting as it could reflect negatively on your business.
Many of the major supermarkets now have their own magazines. Getting your product featured here can make a huge difference, so try to build a good relationship with the stores.