If you think the idea of a press release sounds a bit old-fashioned, think again.
Let’s say you’re opening a new venue, or launching your vegan menu. Maybe you’re hosting your first-ever networking event and want to ensure as many business people as possible walk through the door.
In all of these instances, PR is your friend - providing you get it right.
So, today, we’ll reveal what a press release is, why you need one, and how to write a killer press release that’ll get read and acted upon.
So, what is a press release?
It’s easy to mistake press releases for advertising or general marketing, but they sit entirely in their own category.
A press release is simply a communication that is sent out to media outlets, influencers, and local newspapers. That communication can be about anything: a new product, event, or achievement.
The purpose of the press release is to convince the recipient to either feature it word-for-word in their publication or content, or cover the news in greater detail, while using the press release for reference.
This form of PR is all about spreading news, building relationships, and furthering your brand’s reach.
4 Quick tips for the best press releases
Before we look at the nuts and bolts of your press release, there are a few things you need to be aware of.
It’s easy to write a bad press release, but just as easy to write a great one. You just need to:
- undertake plenty of research within your industry to identify the best news sources;
- follow the influencers and publications to whom you want to send your news;
- focus on building relationships rather than selling yourself and your brand; and
- build and maintain a press list.
To avoid inadvertently writing a terrible press release, make sure you:
- avoid pitching a non-story;
- don’t waffle on about your awards and past successes;
- never make stuff up; and
- avoid getting upset or angry when your story doesn’t get covered.
Ready? Let’s look at what you need to put into your press release.
The best press release template for restaurants
Below, we’ll cover each individual section of a press release for restaurants, and offer some sample text for you to copy and make your own.
Keep it short, snappy and laced with intrigue. This is pretty much the only chance you have to grab your intended audience by the eyeballs and draw them into your press release.
“Three years in the making, Smiths is the gluten-free venue you’ve been waiting for”
Think of this as an elevator pitch. You get one paragraph to share the key information the reader needs to know. The goal is to make them want to know more.
“Following years of blood, sweat, and tears, the Smith Sisters have finally realised their dream of creating a gluten-free-focused restaurant in the heart of Leeds. Opening on Friday 5th June, Smiths brings a carefully considered, entirely in-house prepared menu to a hungry audience.”
The story 📚
You’ve now got two or three paragraphs to tell the story behind the press release. Think in classic newspaper reporting terms by considering the four Ws (who, what, where, when). Leave no stone unturned, but don’t waffle - keep the benefits for your audience at the forefront of the message.
“Starting any restaurant isn’t easy, but introducing an allergen-specific venue in an area where no such restaurant has ever existed before is quite a challenge.
“But that’s why sisters Jennifer and Fiona Smith decided to open their self-titled restaurant in Leeds. They recognised the need for a venue that catered entirely for those with a gluten intolerance. More importantly, they wanted to create something that prepared everything in-house to ensure the best possible quality and gluten-free guarantee.
“Like so many people with gluten allergies, the Smith sisters were fed up with settling for second best while eating out. That’s why Smiths removes the worry, FOMO, and frustration from dining out gluten-free.”__
Your (or someone else’s) quote 🗣
It’s time to put some personality into your press release with a quote from the owner. This adds substance and gives you the chance to speak passionately about your news.
“Speaking about the opening, Jennifer said: “This has been a dream of ours for so long. Being gluten-free, we realised that in order to experience the perfect dining out experience we’d have to create it ourselves! We’ve poured everything into Smiths and can’t wait to share it with our customers.”
Wrapping it up
If you’ve captivated people up to this point, now is the golden opportunity to confirm what they need to know. Yes - again!
“Smiths opens on High Street, Leeds on Friday 5th June. Bookings are encouraged, and can be made directly on their website: [WEB ADDRESS]. Opening hours are 12 noon - 10PM, Monday to Friday.”
This final section of your press release is where you can write a short description of the business and any contact details for press enquiries. Keep it super short and to the point.
“Smiths Restaurant is the first gluten-free only restaurant in Leeds. For all press enquiries, please contact Fiona Smith on XXXXXXXXX.”
Think about where you want your press release to appear
Now we’ve got a handle on what to include in your press release, it’s time to think about where you want it to appear.
These are the most common destinations for press releases:
- Local publications (for instance, newspapers)
- National publications (if you think your news is ready for a much wider audience)
- Industry-specific publications (for instance, food and drink titles)
- Influencers (prolific content creators on platforms like Instagram and YouTube)
You may only need coverage in one of the above areas, or a combination of them. Just make sure you focus your efforts on making contact at the right time and with the people who are most likely to take an interest.
Good luck with your press release!