With newsrooms shrinking over the last decade, generating earned media for food brands in today’s media landscape can be a challenge. Therefore it’s important to be strategic when executing media pitching efforts to engage your intended media and reach your target audience.
Here are five tips to help you break through the noise to get your brand or story in front of food media.
- See it to believe it: Food media want to see, taste, hear, smell and touch food so if you want them to be interested in your brand you have to give them an opportunity to experience it firsthand. For example, if you’re pitching a restaurant, invite them for a behind-the-scene tour of the kitchen, meet the chef and taste a dish. They don’t want a long email with information and links about the restaurant. They want to feel it, not just read about it.
- Quality over Quantity: When it comes to deciding who to pitch your food brand or product, think about your intended audience and identify the best person to communicate your message to that audience. If you have the time to do your research, do your research! Identify a list of media contacts who are covering similar brands or topics. Look at their previous stories and articles to make sure your topic is a good fit. Check their social media handles to see what they’re posting.
- Use a catchy subject line: Food media get hundreds of pitch emails per day so it’s critical that your email stands out. This can be tricky because how are you supposed to keep the subject short yet include enough information to get the journalist’s attention so they open your email. If you’re pitching a particular brand or restaurant in a particular city or market, indicate that market in the subject line. This will make media contacts in those areas more likely to be interested in covering your story. If you’re pitching an exclusive story, make sure to include in the subject line. Media outlets love a good exclusive!
- Keep the pitch short and sweet: Once you’ve successfully crossed the first hurdle of getting the journalist to open your email, you want them to read it. Long emails with several paragraphs are overwhelming and usually generate an automatic delete so be sure to keep the body copy of the email concise. Media want to be communicated with like your colleague or friend so drop the fluff introduction and get right to the point. Indicate why you are reaching out to them and what you want them to do.
- Build the relationship: At the end of the day, food media are people too and they want to be treated like one, not a robot behind an email. If you know you’re going to be pitching a particular outlet or person more than once, consider setting up an in-person meeting to introduce yourself. Keep it casual, so maybe offer a quick coffee, lunch or dinner near their office, or by phone if in-person isn’t an option. Also, journalists like to feel appreciated so try to keep in touch with them periodically even when you’re not pitching them. For example, if a journalist you’re working with writes an article that you found interesting, but it’s not necessarily related to your client or topic, shoot them a quick note to acknowledge their work and help keep your name top of mind. Journalists can tell when you’re only reaching out to them when you need something, so try to be proactive and demonstrate good partnership when you can.
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