Whether you are a start-up or an established business, your success relies on creating a great reputation with your target audience. PR, with its powerful ability to communicate key brand messaging, can put your brand front-of-mind when consumers are contemplating what to add to their shopping basket. In this blog, I’ll explore some of the most effective tactics to maximise PR coverage and ensure the products you’re promoting get the spotlight they deserve.
📈 Jumping on TikTok / Google Trends
TikTok is an extremely powerful platform that has become a hotbed for viral recipes and food trends. Capitalising on these trends whilst they’re fresh is a great way to join in on the conversation (and the coverage!). Most broadsheets now employ dedicated social media journalists who closely monitor what’s trending across various platforms, meaning these trends present an excellent opportunity to catch their eye and secure coverage.
For example, at Hatch we spotted that the somewhat unusual combination of ‘Parmesan Espresso Martinis’ were going viral on TikTok, so we jumped on it by creating a bespoke press release explaining the phenomenon and offering expert comment from our client, The Cocktail Co. The result was branded coverage in 5 target national publications (Mirror, Daily Mail, Metro, Daily Star, and Mail on Sunday), along with one very happy client!
In addition to TikTok, Google Trends is another valuable tool for food and drink brands to predict emerging trends. By analysing search data, you can identify rising search terms related to food and drink, helping you forecast what might become popular soon. This proactive approach enables brands to tailor their content and PR strategies to align with upcoming trends, positioning them at the forefront of the industry and ensuring their products and stories resonate with current consumer interests. Embracing both TikTok and Google Trends allows food and drink brands to stay ahead of the curve and tap into the rapidly evolving digital landscape to secure media coverage, enhance brand recognition, and foster meaningful connections with their target audience.
📦 Product Placements
Product placements, roundups, and listicle articles are a great way to secure PR coverage for your brand. Consumer-focused titles are constantly on the hunt for new food and drink products to include in these articles, so offering samples is a great way to get your products in their hands and breed good relationships – who doesn’t like being sent free goodies to try?
Remember, your confidence in the product’s quality is paramount, as taste reviews and inclusion can be subjective. Ensure whatever you’re sending is fresh and will arrive in time for any deadlines they may have.
Here’s an example of some coverage we received in The Sun for alcohol-free beer brand, Freestar, after sending samples to a journalist for a roundup.
🎥 Elevate your Visual Content
In the digital age, captivating visuals are essential. High-quality images play a significant role in attracting the attention of journalists, as well as your chances of being featured. The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, making them a powerful tool to quickly convey your message to journos who might only spend a few seconds scanning your email whilst rifling through their inundated inboxes.
For maximum impact, it’s crucial to provide hi-res images over 1MB, as this is a requirement for most journalists when deciding whether to use them in print or online. To ensure that journalists receive the images in the best quality, upload them to WeTransfer or a similar file-sharing platform. This will help avoid potential issues with file sizes that could lead to your email ending up in the journalist’s junk folder.
When submitting visuals to journalists, make sure to include both product cutouts (standalone shots with no background) and lifestyle shots to give them a well-rounded view of your products. A diverse range of images allows journalists to better illustrate your message and story, increasing the likelihood of media coverage. Additionally, make their life easier by captioning all images correctly. A good rule of thumb is to include 5 – 20 images, depending on the complexity and scope of your story.
At Hatch, we have a dedicated production team in-house, capable of creating studio-quality images and videos. Also, our skilled design team can add the final touches, ensuring visuals align seamlessly with your brand’s identity. Check out our showreel here:
📅 Seasons are the Reason!
Timing is everything in PR, and strategic planning around seasonal events can be a game-changer. Developing content plans at the start of the year allows you to prepare for each month, ensuring you are ready to seize timely opportunities. Journalists often operate around key calendar occasions, like Valentine’s Day, Easter, or Christmas, so these are a great hook to get in touch. Keep in mind that magazines often work on long lead times (we received our first Christmas Gift Guide request in June this year!) so planning ahead is crucial to maximise coverage potential.
Another valuable tool to consider is forward features. These are editorial calendars published by media outlets in advance, outlining the themes and topics they plan to cover throughout the year. By identifying relevant forward features that align with your brand, you can proactively pitch your content and increase the likelihood of being featured. Features also present a fantastic opportunity to spotlight key spokespeople as thought leaders within their industry, cultivating opinions that position them, and the brand, as experts. Another tip is to keep a close eye on trending discussions and use the #Journorequest hashtag on Twitter to identify opportunities.
Finally, there are awareness days for pretty much anything – from World Cocktail Day to International Crumpet Day! Find out which ones work for your brand and pitch bespoke press releases and email pitches ahead of the dates.
✈️ Press Trips
Press trips are an exciting way to showcase food and drink brands to the media through immersive experiences and foster relationships with key media. A well-planned trip can lead to positive coverage in various media outlets.
To ensure a successful trip, meticulous planning is crucial. This includes crafting an itinerary that balances activities, incorporates local culture, and offers unique experiences. It’s also important to ensure you secure the right mix of guests, as well as avoid common pitfalls like overpromising to guests.
I have already written an in-depth guide on how to master press trips, so if this is something you’d like to learn more about check out my Top 4 Tips to Ensure a Memorable Trip that Delivers.
If you’re a food or drink brand looking to stand out against your competitors and improve your sales, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org