Rock the House
Authored by Jenny Brooks
Do you have live music in your restaurant? Do you tell people about it?
How about the newspapers? Do you tell them? Most communities have a weekly paper that focuses on the artistic happenings around town. Live music counts as an artistic happening. But how is the paper going to know about it unless you tell them?
If you’re waiting for them to hear about it through the buzz about town, you might as well be waiting for pigs to fly.
Get your artistic happenings publicized – for free – in the newspaper by sending what they call “calendar listings.” They are a simple one-sheet of paper covering the basics of journalism: Who, What, When, Where and Why. Spell out for the calendar editor what happens in your restaurant when, and you’ll likely make it to in their calendar of events page.
It takes some work on your part, including finding the name of the calendar editor and putting together a legible calendar listing. A good extra step is to call up and ask to talk to the calendar editor and find out how he or she prefers to receive the information: fax, email, mail, etc. A sure fire way to make sure you get it right is to model your calendar listing after a listing in the paper. Include all of the information you see in the calendar for someone else’s event.
The work is worth it if it tells readers to come to your restaurant to enjoy live music.
If you don’t have a community newspaper that covers the “arts” in your area, you can still submit calendar listings to the regular daily or weekly newspaper. Send it to the Living/Lifestyle section of the paper. Your best bet is to call and do some investigating to find out how they prefer to get the information and who the best person is to receive it.
These kinds of pieces are the perfect task for an internal marketing position or for an external public relations agency/independent consultant. It’s a great example of hiring an expert to take care of what they do best – get you free publicity. Just like you hire an accountant to manage your numbers, you can gain incredible amounts of free publicity and coverage if you tap an expert to help you.
Jenny Brooks is a public relations professional providing expert and strategic tactics for businesses trying to increase awareness about themselves and their products. She is also the editor of SMART Systems Insider, a monthly newsletter from restaurant expert David Scott Peters. Questions about PR and how she can help your restaurant? Email her.