Managing your staff, menu updates, and growing your business are all things within your wheelhouse of running a food truck. Getting the local press to acknowledge you and write about your truck is a bit tougher. Despite the perceived difficulty in promotion and marketing, you’ve got an interest and recognize the opportunity to gain awareness for your mobile food business.
Why It’s Important To Get Local Press Coverage
Before we jump into the how, we’ll start with why. So why do you want local press coverage for your food truck? To get a customer to walk up to your food truck, it’s crucial they trust your that your truck’s food and service will be great. If they haven’t eaten from your food truck yet, how can you achieve that? Simple; build trust through local press coverage. A review or article from a food writer, offers the consumer an unbiased third-party validation that customers will believe.
So where does a vendor start? Start with this little fact: every media group is continually seeking news or a unique local story. So what’s unique and interesting about your food truck? It could be that you’re opening a new truck or your first brick and mortar location. Have you hired a new chef or re-designed your menu? As your wheels start turning for ideas to pitch your food truck to local press organizations, try these tactics.
Host Invite Only Tasting Event
If you’re planning your food truck grand opening or unveiling a new menu, consider hosting a tasting event for local media. Networking with local reporters and bloggers will allow you to tell your story better than just a press release. It also provides a controlled environment for telling your story.
Hosting an event may be extra work, but it is worth it because it improves the quality of media coverage around your food truck and sets the stage for positive reviews in the future. It also gives you a chance to connect and build relationships with these influencers, which will help you long term.
Offer Exclusive Business Story
What is the top media outlet in your market? Does your truck have a unique local business story to tell? If so, connect with the writer and offer them an exclusive. An exclusive story makes the interview and story more attractive for the writer and gives you the opportunity. Also, once the story is published, you’ll get the attention of other local press groups.
Local Press Loves Human Interest Stories
Create a story that will attract local press. Partner with a local non-profit organization to create a win for everyone. New customers find you through the non-profit’s network, and the organization profits on proceeds from the partnership. Throw a lunch or dinner service on a typical slow day and donate a percentage of your sales. This strategy gives you something new to promote to local press. The media loves a great local human interest story.
Tap Into Food Holidays
Create a calendar of the top food holidays that are relevant to your food truck and that local food media cover. Start your search for niche food holidays that tap into your food truck concept. Develop a pitch for these holidays, including a seasonal recipe or technique tip. Pitch newspapers and online media three to four weeks in advance of the date. Broadcast media, especially local morning or midday shows, are great contacts for seasonal food stories and cooking segments. Pitch them a couple of weeks in advance.
The Bottom Line
Take these suggestion and determine what works best for you. It might be food holiday pitch or a tasting event, followed by a business story next year. Start somewhere. Overcome the mental barrier and find your place in the spotlight and watch your food truck grow as a result of your commitment to getting local media coverage.