If you have a great food or drink product, then you’ll need to build your brand image and increase awareness to ensure you generate those all-important sales. Whether a start-up or an established business, a great reputation with your target audience is key to growth.
PR is so powerful when it comes to consumer-facing products, and it only takes one link in a national paper or a lifestyle magazine to drive the right audience straight to your website and generate sales.
Here at Motive, we have many clients that work in the food and drink industry, so we know what it takes to build a brand in this sector and what tactics work.
Outside of a specific launch to market PR campaign, here are a few PR tactics that you can consider to help promote your products and get them in front of the right audience.
First up is a good old product placement. Sending products to a journalist to test or try is one of the best ways of getting them to write about it.
Finding the right journalists is key, and they need to have an initial interest in your product. You’ll need to pitch to the journalist in an email, and maybe follow up with a call, but usually journalists are receptive to testing products.
It’s worth mentioning that you need to be fully confident in the quality of your product, as taste tests can be subjective.
You don’t want a bad review, so make sure the product is fresh and presented to them in the best possible way. Deliver the product directly to the journalist’s office if you need to! Then give the journalist some time to test and try the product, and wait for the coverage to go live.
Giveaways and competitions
This is a similar tactic to product placement, but offering products to the media’s readers as a competition prize is another great way to get the word out about your brand.
All you have to do is offer a certain value of the product, and you can easily reach thousands of people.
Here’s an example of a recent competition we ran: https://www.yours.co.uk/competitions/magazine/win-a-super-lean-hamper/
Showcase your USPs
If your product has certain health benefits, or contains only natural ingredients that are new or exciting in any way, these are great selling points to journalists.
When thinking about promoting a food and drink brand, we often ask ourselves:
- What’s new about it?
- What’s your story?
- Are you the first to do it?
- Are you the cheapest?
- Can it save you time?
These are questions you should ask yourself when pulling together PR facing content. You can pitch these benefits or selling points to the journalist, and remember it needs to offer value to the media’s readers.
Often your story in itself is enough to gain media attention. In this example, The Mirror told the story of how Spicentice grew to be the brand they are today.
Use amazing visuals
Many health and lifestyle media make an editorial decision based on the strength of the pictures. Picture led stories are so important in PR, so make sure you have high-quality photographs to accompany your story.
Pictures can make or break a story, so ensure you offer the journalist product shots and lifestyle shots. Make sure they are captioned correctly. We need to make life as easy as possible for journalists.
Have an opinion
We’re lucky to have built relationships with key food and drink journalists, and regularly put forward our clients for reactive opportunities. We find reporters often seek out spokespeople from brands who are willing to take a position and provide an opinion on an industry topic.
Identify a key spokesperson for your brand, and keep an eye out for opportunities. The #Journorequest hashtag on Twitter is a good starting point.
Here is a recent example - our client Eat17 provided an opinion article to Retail Times, positioning them as leaders and offering actionable advice to their peers.
There are key dates in every PR’s calendar, from Valentine’s Day through to Christmas Day and everything in between. So build a PR plan around this. What content and what products can you launch in line with annual key dates? Do you have an Easter promotion, or a Christmas bundle? If so, you need to get the word out about it.
Remember that monthly magazines work to quite long lead times - even six months ahead in some cases - so planning is vital. If you have a Christmas product, then you need to get the story out to some magazine in June or July to be confident it will get picked up in the Christmas issues.
Here’s an example from our client Musclefood; we placed a Christmas themed meat package in the Daily Mail.
Customer stories and case studies
Don’t just tell your own story, tell your customer’s story too! Nothing shows your credibility like a good case study does. The human connection and relatable elements of your product leaps out and provides customers with powerful social proof of just how good your products are.
A good customer case study offers immediate credibility for your product from the best source – your customers.
If your food or drink product has health benefits, or aids weight loss, then shout about it. A recent example is when a Musclefood customer went from eating pizza three times a day to losing weight and becoming a bodybuilder. We wrote this up into a motivational customer story that got picked up across many media including the Daily Star.
Do you have a food or drink product that you want to get more media coverage for? Get in touch for an honest and open discussion on how PR might help elevate your brand!
Or if you’re still not sure, learn more about our approach to PR here.
© MOTIVE 2020