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Public Relations

0 2094
public relations basics

Most food truck’s across the country lack the cash to invest in an internal press staff, so as usual, this task is just one more job an already busy mobile food vendor needs to take care of themselves. So what is it that journalists want when you send them information about your food truck or an event you are going to be part of?

public relations basics

Check out our public relations basics list of 10 Do’s and Don’ts for pitching a story to the press about your food truck.

  1. DO some research and figure out the right reporter before you pitch a story. All reporters have beats and Associated Press also has national writers who specialize in certain areas, including business, entertainment, medicine, health, sports and lifestyles.
  2. DO make sure your story pitch is national in interest and sharply focused. AP is for national and international news. Stories about local food truck events and a new menu items developed by a local food truck aren’t AP stories — but they might be a better fit at a local publication.
  3. DO write succinct press releases, preferably with bullet points noting the time, place and date of the event and a FEW sentences explaining the “what” and “why” of the story. Every newsroom in America receives hundreds of press releases each day by fax and email. Long winded pitches fall through the cracks.
  4. DON’T shop your story around to multiple reporters at once. If one reporter turns down your pitch, it’s likely all reporters will turn it down. If a reporter can’t handle your pitch or it isn’t in their beat area but he or she thinks it has interest, the reporter will pass it along to the appropriate person. Please keep in mind, they talk to each other and pass along pitches all the time.
  5. DO tell reporters that if (despite no. 4) you’re sending a pitch to multiple people within the same newsroom. If a reporter begins a story based on a pitch, only to find out one or two other reporters in other departments or beats have done the same thing, this will make reporters more cautious the next time you pitch something.
  6. DON’T call to follow up on a pitch. If they are interested, they will call or email to let you know.
  7. DO take no for an answer. Nothing drives a reporter crazier than getting multiple pitches for the same story from the same person after they’ve said no once, twice or even three times or having a spokesperson argue on the phone over a “no” response. If you accept a no this time, maybe the next time they will work with you. If you drive them nuts when they are on deadline, that won’t happen.
  8. If you really have a great story, DON’T wait until the day before, or even two days before, to pitch it. The best stories may require a week or more of planning and reporting. Too often, pitches that could have been a good story, but we are first notified of them the day of the event or the day before. That’s just not enough time to turn around a story, alert all the editors, coordinate any video or photo coverage and edit the piece.
  9. DON’T assume you know everything about pitching the media. Media is ever changing and fast moving. With the proliferation of news sites on the Internet popping up daily, news comes in many forms and we can all learn a thing or two!
  10. DO be consistent and send news out regularly. One day your food truck story may be the one that gets chosen to follow.

If you and your food truck follow other rules that would fit into a list of public relations basics, please feel free to share them in the comment section below.

0 1839
top 10

You’ve done it; you’ve built your food truck, perfected your menu, gained all of the required licenses and permitting and now it’s time to hit the streets…RIGHT? Wrong! There is one more step you need to take before your truck hits the street.

What is this mystery ingredient? It’s the ingredient we’ve seen numerous food truck operators miss that leaves their grand opening turn out less than expected.

You must build buzz around your food truck by contacting the media, posting press releases, using social media, and taking part in events, awards and other activities to get the word out about your new, mobile food business.

But before you move forward, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Here are 10 things to avoid when starting your food truck PR efforts:

  1. Distribute a press release to hundreds of media members via e-mail. It will go in the trash, and your system will probably crash. Find out who your local newspaper and television food editors and reporters are. These are the people you want to build lasting relationships with.
  2. Send out press releases without adding SEO friendly keywords relating to your food truck business and the community you plan to operate in. You are missing out on a great opportunity to snag more online attention.
  3. Pitch a reporter during a deadline. This is the quickest way for your story to be missed or even ignored.
  4. Say “No comment” to the press. There are better ways to respond to questions. If you aren’t comfortable giving the media an answer immediately, let them know that you get back to them with an answer…and then follow up as soon as you’ve gathered yourself.
  5. Hire a publicist who guarantees placement in all of your local media outlets. Due to the nature of PR, this is a promise that is impossible to keep.
  6. Create your own Website without getting outside feedback. You are too close to the information and risk missing some grammatical errors.
  7. Provide content that is boring and old. Instead, offer valuable information for your local market at all times, and you’ll build long-lasting, customer relationships.
  8. Forget to update your Website on a regular basis. How old is the news and information on your site? If it’s not current, you’ll look outdated and lose business to the competition.
  9. Stop communicating with customers. Outside of face to face conversations at your service window, there are numerous processes to create newsletters, blogs, e-mails, social media, and more, there is no reason you should not talk to customers and get their feedback on a daily basis.
  10. Avoid any public relations or search engine optimization activities because you lack the funds. There are free and inexpensive ways to build buzz around your new mobile food business.

For PR and SEO copyrighting success, take the time to provide value to all of your prospective customers and the media, so your food truck builds positive buzz fast. If you aren’t sure if your work is up to par, have a professional copywriter review it or even write it.

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