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Restaurant PR: Delivering Food to the Media

By Miriam Silverberg

One of the best ways to get a restaurant free publicity is by taking advantage of events and seizing the opportunity.

For example, Saturday, February 5th is Television Weather Persons' Day! Bet you didn't even know such a day existed, but it does, and it can give you free publicity. How? Weather people are the forgotten people at television stations. Deliver one of your specialties to the station. There's a good chance the weather person will be so delighted with the attention, he or she will mention you on the air. Even if they don't mention you, your goodies will be shared with the others on the staff and you'll get your name out. Then, when you call to let them know about a newsworthy event (and you will call, won't you?), they'll know about your restaurant.

Actually, it's not a bad idea to deliver goodies regularly or periodically to a television station or a radio show host. Remember, nobody ever says no to food. People love to eat, especially when it comes gratis.

If your restaurant serves breakfast, or even if you don't, but your kitchen staff comes in early, here's another idea. Send breakfast (juice, pastries, coffee) each morning to the host of your local Morning Drive show on radio. I guarantee after a few times he'll look forward to it and mention you on the air. Then you can start sending hot meals of pancakes, eggs, etc. He'll constantly talk about you and perhaps even have you on as a guest.

If there's a special radio or television show on during the afternoon that everyone watches, send lunch. You don't have to feed the entire staff, but do send enough for the host and a couple of others.

I frequently bring my restaurant chefs to a television program where they prepare food on the air. They always bring enough for the staff to devour (and I do mean devour) after the show. The hosts and staff cheer when they see us because they've come to expect good food. And it's easy for me to get the producer to agree to use my clients!

You might consider trying to lure a radio program to your restaurant to actually broad- cast or possibly even film a television program. Years ago Sherman Billingsly made a fortune going on television from his Stork Club. He introduced his celebrity guests but you don't have to and you may not even have any celebs. It could be a talk show or music or morning drive, whatever. The host will have to say where he's broadcasting from and people will want to come to the restaurant during the broadcast. Of course, you will put the host, desk, mic, etc. in the window, right? Or at least a prominent place and not stuck away in the corner.

Even after the broadcast is over, this will increase your business enormously. By having someone mention you on the air or broadcast from your restaurant, this conveys that you are important. You are one of the best in your field because, after all, a famous person is not going to go just anywhere, right?


Miriam Silverberg is the president and founder of the New York City publicity firm, Miriam Silverberg Associates. She can be contacted by e-mail at silverbergm@mindspring.com

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