Thursday, December 18, 2014

PR Challenges For Restaurants

Drive down any major highway or through any populated downtown area and you will likely pass more restaurants than you can count. Likewise, when you ask someone what they like to do, a great majority of people will answer “well, I like to eat!” According to U.S. census figures, there are over 220,000 full-service restaurants in the United States alone and hundreds more opening everyday. That amounts to several thousand, to tens-of-thousands per state—each one vying for business.

In such a highly saturated market place, grabbing the attention of potential patrons can be daunting. But not impossible. A strategic public relations campaign can get public attention and give restaurant sales a huge boost!

Unique Features
Whether you’re a public relations firm or a restaurateur, one of the first things you must consider is the restaurants unique features and attributes. What kind of cuisine does it serve? Is there, anything special about the location or the facilities? How about the business model? No matter what it is, truly unique features will help a restaurant stand out from its local and regional competitors.

Media Doesn’t Cover Mediocre
Now that you’ve identified the unique selling points of the restaurant, it’s time to let the world know about them. Media coverage has to be exciting, interesting and/or thought provoking for coverage to be considered. Offering up story ideas to local press that are vastly different than what restaurants have done in the past will most certainly gain attention. Let the world know what it is the restaurant has to offer that beats, or is better than, anywhere else.

Creating special events based on these unique identifiers will help too. For example, if the restaurant is the only location to serve cactus soup, perhaps an event hosted alongside desert conservationists that aims to educate the public and raise funds for the local conservation would be a great idea. Events that challenge public perception of what is hip or relevant and that also garners attention for worthy charities, is always a good way to go. In today’s fast paced business world, public relations specialists need to be on point and multi-faceted in approaching client needs. Cross promotional opportunities is an excellent way of doing just that.

When in Doubt—Talk it Out
Sometimes putting it all out there just isn’t enough. Building sufficient buzz regarding a restaurant can take time and money but the rewards can be plentiful. The restaurant business is a people business, after all, and the patron’s relationship to the location– even to its staff–is of the highest priority. Not to mention how they feel about the food!

Don’t wait for comments or conversations to be brought forward. Seek them out. Social media is by far the easiest way to keep tabs on what people are saying and an excellent way to evaluate public relations efforts. Both Facebook and Twitter are great platforms to engage with publics. You may even find that what may seem like obvious breadwinning attributes for the restaurant are really not and the adoring fans really just want more of that specialty menu drafted earlier that season!

Like any other industry for any other business, what separates a client from their competition is bottom-line important. It gives patrons and customers a reason to stay and a reason to return. Foster positivity and creativity in potential clients or potential press leads. Effective public relations tactics means building the client’s brand and highlighting their unique selling points.

PR Challenges For Jewelry Stores

Jewelry is one of those time honored trades consisting of highly-skilled craftsmen and persuasive sales people. If it sparkles around your finger or glimmers around your neck, you can find it at a local jewelry store. But how do you know which one to go to? A big chain shop or privately owned shop? The shop that sells the new Ivanka Trump line or the shop that carries P. Diddy’s branded classics? This is where public relations for a jewelry store can get a bit tricky. Not to worry. If you’re a small, privately owned jewelry store, we’ve got some tips to help overcome these challenges.

Competing with Big Chains
The key to competing with the big jewelry chains like Kay Jewelers or Jared Jewelers is not to go head-to-head on a sales numbers game but to out maneuver at every turn in the way you advertise and market.

Fashion pr firms know the deal and can create unique events to help spread the word about your business. Getting the customer’s attention, especially those who live in the local region, is your primary goal. With the help of public relations specialists, a special cocktail event for invited guests can showcase the class and sophistication of your collections and designer pieces. A special marketing promotion awarding one lucky contestant a select, fine piece from the shops collection can help drive potential customers to the shop in droves.

In the end, its not about how many pieces you sell but the professional, personal attention paid to customers who could very well become life long client; something your run-of-the-mill jewelry gallerias cannot easily say.

Going beyond Brand Names
One of the most challenging aspects for publicizing local jewelry shops is gaining press for the business and not the brand-named collections. After all, no one walks out of a Macy’s department store announcing their brand new Coach bag is a Macy’s bag.

Any and all pr agencies know: Always put your client first. When drafting pitch letters, press releases or anything involving copy, make sure you highlight your client’s name in some way. Telling potential customers about designer collections is great because it can get them in your door, and part of a business’s branding process is in affiliation with something more well known. The key is to creatively tie in a major brand with your business’s name, not the other way around

Keep the pressure on the press too. One thing you can say about persistence is that no matter what, by the time you stop pitching stories or inviting press to events, they won’t forget the name of your business. Nor will those seeing all the press the local jewelry store receives.

It’s all about baby steps. Not only will potential jewelry store clients benefit from taking smaller strategic steps but the public relations firm in charge will get great practice in dealing with a microcosm of celebrity pr.

Solving Unique PR Challenges

Here at The Hip Event, our day-to-day activities have us filling out almost every minute. Like most public relations firms we are busy writing press releases, pitching stories to magazines, following up with clients, or setting up the next big cross-promotional event. There’s always something to be done. In such a fast paced business it can be hard to rise above the crowd and stand out.

One thing we truly pride ourselves on is taking the time to sit down, brain storm and create and pitch unique events or stories for each of our clients. Effective public relations strategies should always include being creative with the needs of your clients. Take into consideration the type of business your client runs, the community where it is located and the behaviors of the target audience when creatively strategizing about your client’s PR campaign. Staying informed about your clientele will make it easy to take advantage of opportunities that will present themselves. Your team needs to be ready to greet that French pastry loving hip-hop artist with a spread to make all of Paris say “Mon Dieu!” because your client’s specialty is creating to-die-for French pastries.

Being creative can be time consuming, especially with so much to do! But aiding your clientele on a personal level to reach their audiences with fresh and unique content will pay off in the long haul.

Remember: public relations specialists not only help market and drive traffic to businesses but also build creative, long-lasting impressions that help sustain business brands for years to come.

Use Facebook to Connect With Clients

February 9, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Branding, marketing

Maintaining your professional relationships is the key in creating a lasting public relations presence. It is great when potential clients know of your business but it’s even better when they know what you’re up to! Facebook is not just a means by which people connect these days, it’s a means by which companies can conduct business and foster professional relationships. It is a portal in which the entire internet is filtered.

Social media has become a driving force in the business world and offers a variety of perks to an effective public relations campaign. Facebook allows a user to create a page that displays information about a company, its upcoming events, press it has received and a list of clientele. More importantly, however, is the focus on maintaining the connections between people and companies.

More and more, social media public relations efforts are helping to spread the word about a new client on a daily basis. Clients, fans and others may even discuss the latest celebrity parties that a firm has helped to create, or devour the latest news on fashion week posted on the page. Visitors to the page can also find links you supply that connect them to other related sites. With the click of a mouse, a company can keep fans updated with breaking news and brand new must have products.

As public relations specialists, we know the value of keeping all our ducks in a row. With Facebook, we can maintain our relationships with our clienteles, discover new clients, publicize business and events, and allow the world to see how we operate through photos and videos.

Fashion Public Relations Tips

December 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Branding, fashion marketing, public relations

So you have just created a brand new fashion line and need a way to tell the world about your creative project. One of the first things that you should be thinking about is press exposure and your public relations efforts. Here are some of The Hip Event’s best fashion PR tips for emerging designers!

Connect with the media
Getting your new designs in the media can be a hard process, but with the right fashion pr know-how you’ll be well on your way to seeing your fashion line on the pages of InStyle in no time! Start by creating a look-book of your line’s best designs and send it, along with an accompanying letter, to editors at top fashion magazines and suggest a meeting where you can bring design pieces to them. By allowing the editors to get to know your designs, they will be more apt to call-in collection piece for their upcoming stories.

Engage the Public
There are many ways that you can engage your target consumer. One of the best ways is meeting them face to face at small VIP events in key retail locations. A trunk show gives a designer the opportunity to meet with perspective clients and show off designs to the community, engaging them with the designer collection and giving them a more personal connection to it. It’s an excellent grassroots approach to develop a loyal customer following.

Connect with Local Celebrities
Celebrities have a huge influence on what people buy, so if a celebrity is wearing your creation, you can be sure it will be a major “want” for people across the globe. Connect with your local celebrities (North Jersey is the epicenter of reality television right now, so your best bet is to connect with a Real Housewife or Jerseylicious cast member!) and then do a bit of celebrity pr- send photos of celebrities wearing your designs to celebrity blogs and weekly magazines so they know you are the new up-and-coming designer that’s making a splash in Hollywood!

Whether you’re just starting out or are an established fashion brand, you can never be exposed TOO much, and implementing effective public relations strategies will allow you to connect yourself to the world in a positive way.

Handling a Business Crisis

December 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Branding, crisis management, public relations

Crisis’s can occur everyday, everywhere, and to everybody; even businesses. In the professional world, it is important to always be prepared to face any obstacle with your business public relations strategies.

When a crisis occurs within your business, whether it be a product recall, sexual harassment suit, or any other unfortunate event, your organization’s reputation is at stake which is why it is so important to implement a public relations crisis management strategy into any business- large or small!

A crisis can be anything from a product recall or company scandal (like Enron) to something a bit more gossip-driven like infidelity (like Tiger Woods), but all crisis’ can be handled with the same public relations tactics to maintain a good public image.

The most important thing to remember when handling a crisis is to face the problem head on. Address the public by holding either a press conference or issuing a press release acknowledging the problem and let the public know what you or your business is doing to rectify the situation. By acknowledging the problem and offering up solutions to rectify it, you are showing the public that you are taking swift action to ensure everyone’s best interest.

It’s important to remember to take swift action when addressing the problem. Waiting too long can make the public think you have something to hide, but if you address it too quickly you may be ill-prepared for the barrage of questions that are certain to come your way. It is best to respond to a crisis within 24 hours, this gives you enough time to prep yourself on the situation, meet with a crisis public relations specialist and prepare a strategic plan that will ensure the situation is dealt with correctly.

Businesses and public figures may lose all credibility and eventually fail due to a crisis handled improperly. Across northern New Jersey there are pr agencies that are dedicated to crisis communication management and are helpful in identifying and managing risks for companies that could hinder the success of their business.

Tweet This! – Twitter Public Relations

One of the most effective social media public relations tools for a business is Twitter. This online social site has grown tremendously in the past two years and boasts over 105 million registered users. Here are a few ways that you or your business can effectively utilize Twitter as a public relations tool.

Make Yourself an Expert
If you’re a business or consultant, you can take advantage of Twitter by tweeting messages pertaining to your businesses trade. Keep up with the current news stories and make daily comments that include your opinion on the hot topics, positioning yourself or your business as an expert. You may one day get an unexpected email from a news outlet that needs a quote from someone in your area of expertise!

Engage Customers
You can also utilize twitter to engage consumers. More and more large companies are dedicating social media public relations staff to manage their twitter and Facebook pages. If a consumer tweets how much they love their new product from your company you can engage them by offering up other products they will love! You will promote additional products to not only your happy customer but their followers as well.

Get Feedback
Businesses are also able to use Twitter to get quick customer feedback by monitoring trending topics about a particular product. If hundreds of twitter users are bashing a company or their products, a business may need to rethink the quality of products they are offering clients. Alternately, if hundreds of Twitter users love your product or brand, you can leverage this news in your advertising and public relations strategies, playing up the fact that there is a positive buzz around your brand!

Twitter can be an effective social media public relations tool that, if used correctly, can help your business grow through viral outreach. So, if you’re looking to expand and promote your business, start with the free Twitter tool.

Reaching Internet Media Through Events

October 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Branding

The ever-expanding world of internet media has brought upon a greater need to focus on online public relations strategies. Through online media outreach, a company can ensure that their news lives on in the digital world and gets picked up by other news outlets including blogs!

Many companies overlook bloggers when putting together an event, but fail to realize that bloggers are sometimes more influential than editors at traditional print media. Bloggers are shaping the news of today and tomorrow on a daily basis, this is why it is important to effectively target them when trying to promote a brand or product through public relations outreach. One way to ensure that their attention is on you is by holding an event, a blogger event to be exact.

Just like your standard media event, a blogger event should introduce your brand, product or idea in a smart and clever way, allowing a guest to walk away and remember the event. Adding “blogger-friendly” touches to your event will ensure easy promotion through the blog world.

Blogger-friendly event tips:
• Make sure your event space has wireless internet access for those bloggers who may want to utilize a laptop or iPad during the event.
• Try to be more “digitally friendly” by distributing press kits and photos on CD’s or flash drives.

• Place short “fact cards” around the event space about the person, product or idea that you are promoting at your event so that bloggers can quickly tweet to create an even bigger buzz surrounding your event.

After the event has wrapped, remember to thank the press for coming and send them an event recap including photos- this will ensure they have all the information they need when they are ready to blog about your event!

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