In numerous articles we have stressed the importance in building and maintaining relationships with your local media outs. Today we will look at how you can show reporters you respect them and, in turn, help to get local media love with you and your mobile food business.
Here are 10 steps to get local media love:
Invite Them To Eat Your Food
Nothing will endear you and your truck to a reporter’s heart more than offering them some of your delectable offerings.
Take note: Make sure you make it right. This type of peace offering can surely backfire if you hand a media member a food item that isn’t cooked properly or even gets them sick.
This could include offering additional resources for a story such a customer or another local food truck reference, a link to a video explaining your truck, your background, the truck’s logo or compelling image, results from a survey with data on the food truck industry, and so on. This makes it easier for them to do a story. After all, if you make their jobs easier, they may keep coming back for more.
We understand your schedule is always busy, but when the media asks for something, be ready to send it as soon as possible. Don’t make them wait three days for a photo or other request. Think and prepare ahead to be ready with whatever they may ask for. They’ll appreciate it and be more likely to turn to you in the future.
Nothing will turn off a reporter more than if they feel you are not being sincere with them. Formulated answers and a fake bravado will certainly put you on their favorites list. Humility and sincerity are great traits to show the press especially if they come from the heart.
Get To Know Them
Do a little research to see the types of stories they write and the topics they cover. If you do this prior to initially introducing yourself, it will help you craft a better message and maybe even stand out in their crowded mailbox.
Email Email Email
According to the reporters we’ve spoken with, they prefer to be pitched via email vs. social media. So, why not go with that instead of trying to pitching them in 140 characters?
Please & Thank You
If they do respond to your pitch, make sure you thank them for their time and interest. Also, ask them what stood out in your pitch that attracted them to follow. Maybe it was a great subject line or perhaps it was simply good timing. That way, you can use the same type of approach in your next attempt.
Don’t Be A Pest
Sure, it’s alright to send a follow-up email. Wait a few days or a week after your initial message, but whatever you do, don’t pepper them with multiple emails, calls and social media messages? This is a quick way to find your messages in their email trash cans.
Build A Relationship
Make yourself a valuable resource for reporters; they’re more likely to turn to you in the future when they’re looking for help with another story.
Don’t Get Offended
Members of the media receive multiple pitches each day of the week. Sometimes, your story just isn’t going to get followed up on, no matter how hard you push it. You’re competing for their time with every other small business or food service establishment in your community. Just take solace in the fact that in some cases you’ll win and in others you’ll lose.
Showing respect for a reporter’s busy schedule and deadlines, thanking them for their time (see above), and keeping in touch all go a long way toward making them fall in love with you and your food truck business.