PR Tips & Tricks for Caterers

By Meghan Ely

Let me guess: You’ve (understandably) found yourself too busy with client work to dedicate any time or effort to your public relations efforts. Public relations can seem like a time-consuming process that doesn’t answer to waiting clients. However, wedding PR can be the key to increased brand awareness, more revenue, and a stronger network of connections.

So, as a busy professional, how can you fit in PR efforts that can ramp up your publicity while still making time for all of the lovely work that you do? Great question.

Build your online newsroom
Create a page on your site that is dedicated to media needs, including your headshot, speaking topics, company profile, bio, and anything else that you find relevant. Don’t be shy — feel free to include recent accomplishments like awards and press features. The goal is for a media contact to click on your page and quickly see that you’re an expert in your field.

Know your outlets
It would be lovely if we could all make the cover of Vogue, but that’s not how it works. Take a step back and think strategy — what is the message you want to get across? Your message will help you define the right media outlets for reaching your target audience. Once you have a list of dream publications, ask yourself:

• Is my ideal client reading this?
• Are potential business referrals reading this?
• Does this publication accept submissions?
• Does the current content align with my expertise?
• How is their social media presence?

Get to pitching
Strategic pitching takes patience and creativity. Fortunately, the events industry is chockful of inspiration for story ideas. Keep a notebook handy so you can jot down ideas throughout the day. When you have time to review your notes, send email pitches to the chosen media outlet(s). Always address them by their first name and keep it short and simple — get the point across and, if possible, connect with them on a personal level. (Social media research is a great way to glean some insight into their life.)

And hey, if the story ideas aren’t flowing at the moment, you can always reach out to media contacts simply to introduce yourself as a resource ready to lend your industry expertise. In most cases, they’ll file your information for use when needed in a future article.

Utilize affordable tools
There are a number of free and low-cost resources to use at your disposal to better streamline your PR process. Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is my top recommendation — it brings writers and reporters directly to your inbox. Other tools like Talkwalker Alerts, Dropbox, and Wufoo are also great budget-friendly tools. Keep digging and you’re sure to find more.

Promote your victories
It’s exciting to get a new press piece! Take the opportunity to share it across social media, add screenshots to your portfolio or Pinterest board, and write a blog about it. You deserve your time in the spotlight and a growing press portfolio will really make your brand shine.

Once your first round of pitches are out, it’s all about keeping up the creative momentum. Celebrate your wins and move past your losses — there will be both. Soon enough, PR will become like clockwork and your efforts will show on your press page.

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.