It’s common knowledge that you need more than a delicious dish to cut through the noise and secure your food and drink clients stand-out culinary coverage. The art of pitching food stories to the media requires careful consideration, solid research, a strong angle and colourful, concise writing. Luckily for you, AM+A have the inside scoop.
1. What’s the catch of the day?
Even if your client’s new restaurant serves the best dish in the city, editors, critics and staff writers aren’t going to be interested if you don’t give them a reason to be. The ‘why now?’ angle is even more critical in the food and drink sector than other industries when securing coverage.
Top tip: Take advantage of the current climate
Read the news, find out which stories are thriving this season and stay in-tune with the latest foodie trends on social media. For instance, if your client is offering a brand new range of vegan products, find a way to tie your story into the annual Veganuary challenge. Centring your pitches around popular topics, not even necessarily within the food and drink industry, is a sure fire way to separate yourself from the PR pack.
2. Don’t chew the fat, get to the point
Although it's good to build reliable relationships with media professionals, make sure your press releases and pitches aren’t filled with flowery language and unnecessary bulk. Due to the sheer volume of information and food and drink editors receive, it's highly unlikely that editors will be thoroughly reading your press release.
Top tip: If editors think that you are over-selling, or being too long-winded in your pitch, they will have no interest in what your client has to say. Keep your pitches clear, concise and sharp, emphasising the key selling points.
3. What makes their mouth water?
Knowing the media and publication that you are pitching to is key to building trust and increasing your success rate. If you are pitching stories about the latest sirloin steak to a journalist who primarily features baking recipes, you’re unlikely to get very far.
Top tip: Research, research research. Get to know which journalists, publications and platforms typically cover themes that directly relate to your client. Once you’ve found a list of carefully considered media, take the time to tailor your pitch specifically to them, even referring back to their previous work and why they should be interested in your story.
4. Slow service is bad service
Getting your client’s voice heard through the noise can sometimes feel like an impossible task. Sometimes it can be the luck of the draw, but by making it as easy as possible for the journalist to understand your story and message by cutting to the chase, you’ll improve your chances greatly.
Top tip: Include press release text in the main body of the email
In addition to keeping your writing waffle-free (not that kind of waffle), you should steer clear of attaching documents where possible and keep them in the body of your email. Documents which require media to open them to get to the pitch create an additional barrier between you providing a story, and the editor publishing it.
5. It’s all in the preparation
Your client may only have a certain amount of information on their product, but how you craft that information into different styles of pitch will decide what you are able to achieve for them. For example, a company that has recently launched a new, sustainable milk alternative could be showcased through interviews with the company, announced in food trade magazines or included in national newspaper recipe columns.
Top tip: Ask your client what kind of coverage they are after, think about what audiences would be most interested in the product, research the ways their product can be promoted and go through your media database to find different publications that are the most likely to feature your pitch instead of just firing it out to anyone and everyone.
Interested in learning a little more about AM+A’s services in the food and drink sector?
Click here to see how we positioned Somerset and Exmoor as one of the UK’s leading culinary destinations.