Has anyone here done a Press Release that was successful?

My restaurant is approaching it’s 1 year anniversary and I would like to send in a release for publication.

But I am at a loss as to how to go about it?

What do I say?
To whom at the paper do I send it to?
Are there ant tips to ensure it will be published?

I look forward to your expert suggestions!
Thank you!!!

Press Release Template and Directions for Creating Effective Press Releases

The above link is a great place to start. The biggest challenge you will have is to get your press release into the hands of the press.

I write a press release at least every other month and have an average of 3 hits on each one. My last one was for a boar meat pizza, celebrating the year of the boar. I got a magazine, newspaper, FM radio spot and a TV station to pick that one up and plug my shop. I assure you it really helps the sales.

Just a few things about them though:

  1. Do you have 3 hours to drive around and hand your press release out?

Hand deliverying them is the best (only) way to get a response, and there aren`t that many mass media outlets in town, unless you are in NY and in that case they will laugh at any PR about pizza unless it includes rat movies.

  1. Do you have business cards you can hand out to the press, in the hope they will give you theirs? So you know where to fax the next one!

  2. Do you have any extablished contacts already? Ask your friends and relatives, I am sure thay know a few people in the local news.

Press realeases are one of the most under utilized resources in the local store marketing arsenal, and they cost nothing! Ask yourself, “What is the absolute worst thing that can happen?”. They laugh at you and toss you out of the building? Probably not. But seriously, all they can do is ignore it. Best case is someone comes to your store, films it for the local news and you have customers lined up out the door for your 1 year annivarsary.

Even more underutilized, though, is the press release attached to a sample of your spectacular pizza! If you hand a hot pizza to a beat reporter with a small pepperoni pizza, you’ll get a whole lot more attention than a release alone. Heck, give out gift certificates to the press corps for their use or as prizes for contests. Make it impossible for them to ignore you.

Thanks for the plug there Nick, but I can`t disagree more with that advice. If you are a relatively unknown, as in not on TV regularly or one of the big 3, then avoid this tactic unless the reporter is standing in directly in front of your shop.

Everyone regards Free lunch with far too much suspicion these days, and sadly enough you may be viewed as more of a freak than a newsworthy story for giving away free food.

As a general policy most reporters cant acccept bribes` of even gift certificates as well. Here again the system will nail you. If you are going to pay for advertising, then you will have to pay for the regular commercial rates.

I hate to sound like the devil`s advocate, but now after 7 years of a good deal of PR from many Press Releases, I still remember the initial rejection of the free pizzas I sent out to the local radio stations when I first started my drive for free recognition. So Dee, on your first attempt, dont go for the free samples or appear to be buying PR. It is too transparent. Just make something newsworthy and go for a well written and executed PR.

I do understand that different market swill receive my strategy differently. I am in a smallish marketplace where after 1 year I had name recognition throughout much of the county, and in some neighboring towns outside the county. I went with the expectation that she would have been somewhat known and could capitalize on that.

Definitely do not risk your reputation if you think that the more aggressive method would make you look phake or phony. Additionally, I sincerely meant to offer giveaways as just that. No bribe ever intended. I left out the disclaimer I use that I offer the free stuff as just that. If they never print or repeat anything about me, I want them to have tried my food so that they will have an experience base from which to judge my place. If they don’t know about my food, then they aren’t going to convey it in whatever is said or done.

Do go with what matches your style. Mine is to get my food into the mouths of as many people as possible so that they will talk about it (when their mouths are not full). My community and recognition will permit a little more aggressive tactic in that regard.Yours may or may not. Use your best assets.