As a travel site featuring must-visit restaurants, bars and cafes in various cities, we get hundreds of suggestions for inclusion on a weekly basis from venues around the world. So, we thought we would put together a handy guide with some useful tips.
Whether you’ve opened a new venue or just want to create some buzz and get a few new customers in the door, follow these tips to show off your business at its best…
1. Have Strong Images of Your Interior & Food/Drink
Most of the articles we publish on Big 7 Travel, various social networks and the most popular websites on the web are image driven. With attention spans decreasing, people scroll through images more than they actually read. So, make sure you have images worthy of featuring!
The hospitality business is a very visual one, so make sure to have lots of high quality images and make them easily accessible, via both your website and social media channels.
This doesn’t mean a professional photographer; some of the best images we see are taken on smart phones. Take photos in bright light and have a mixture of updated menu items and interior shots.
2. Send A Personalised Pitch
You might want to get coverage across as many websites and online channels as possible, but that doesn’t mean you should blast your message.
Read through old articles a journalist has written, look at their content and Instagram foodie posts. Find something that will allow you to personalise your message and try and build a relationship with the person.
Be clear about your ask and provide all the info the person covering it might need. Time is precious, so if you have copy, photos or other essential info, include it all in one succinct personalised message.
3. Have A Clear Email Address On Your Website And Social
The amount of venues that we have not been able to cover because we can’t get in touch before a deadline is staggering. Journalists are time poor and often need quick images or quotes sent over via email.
Put your business’ email front and centre, so it’s easy to get in touch. This should also be on your website and social channels.
4. Use Relevant Influencers
There are some negative connotations around the ‘influencer’ word at the moment, but it can still be a highly effective way to get customers in the door.
Rather than trying to get the people with largest followers into your venue maybe, look at a level below that is more achievable. The right picture or short video shared to 10,000 – 20,000 followers can have a huge impact on your business.
Focus on finding people who have integrity and who are relevant (read: local) to your business and don’t just look at the amount of followers they have. You could invite them in for a special meal, give them a sneak peak of new dishes/openings or offer a discount for them and their followers.
5. Focus On Instagram
In terms of where people are making their decisions about where to eat, drink, party or stay, a large portion of it is via Instagram. For many consumers, it is the first port of call when checking out a possible venue.
It can be hard to keep up with all the social media platforms (you do have a business to run after all!) so if you were to pick just one we’d suggest Instagram. Make your feed as colourful and vibrant as possible, and don’t be shy to show your or your staff’s personality in Instagram stories of behind the scenes of the business.
6. Create A Unique “Angle”
Cutting your prices in half, having a “Happy Hour” or launching a new menu are not news. Unless it’s actually different and exciting, media won’t cover it. Don’t just copy what others are doing. Find an original angle even if it take a little longer.
You need to get creative and think of something that will pique the interest of journalists, or people with large social followings. It’s important to remember that these people might see dozens of pitches per day, so what you are trying to get coverage for really needs to stand out.
Some great examples we have seen include…
7. Be Timely
The lead time could vary from a couple of months to a couple of days.
One thing that you can be certain of is that journalists, influencers and content creators will be on the look out for seasonal content. Be upfront and ask them when would be the best time to pitch any time-sensitive content you have. Landing the email at the right time could get you lots of online PR for restaurants, hotels or bars.