Four reasons why an effective PR campaign is like a good restaurant

Great meals out stick in the mind but we can also recall less than satisfying dining experiences which seem to stick in the throat. Whether it’s a gastro pub or a Michelin star cordon bleu eatery, there are things PR professionals can learn from successful restaurants, their menus and their service. Here are four reasons an effective PR campaign is like a good restaurant.

Clear goals

A good restaurant has clear goals that go beyond simply serving fine food. The best restaurateurs consider what they want customers to come away with from the whole experience and refine their business model accordingly. This will include menus, premises, style and service and will be very specific to audience and objectives that are measurable.

Successful PR campaigns must first define clear goals. Again, they need to be specific and in line with timetables and budgets and have measurable indicators by which to define success.

Simple and fresh

Be suspicious of small restaurants that offer huge menus – chances are you’ll be faced with a plate of uninspiring boil in the bag food that was bought in rather than cooked on site. The best dining experiences are usually those in restaurants that offer a limited menu of freshly prepared food with an emphasis on ingredients and simplicity. Confident chefs have no need to hide behind overcomplicated meals and extravagant presentation. If executed and developed with knowledge of the simple, innovative menus can offer a unique and memorable dining experience but in the wake of Heston Blumenthal there have been many chefs who mistakenly assume innovation can come before good cooking.

PR campaigns require imagination and innovation too, but as with restaurants this must not come at the cost of solid results. By keeping things simple and playing to your strengths you might better meet and surpass your objectives and have your PR diners coming back for seconds.

Well researched

All restaurants must research and understand their particular audience. You don’t want to find your serving in burger and chips in an area better suited to fine cuisine. It’s vital also to understand what your audience is likely to expect from the experience in terms of service and atmosphere; relaxed and homely or formal and expensive, you’ve got to get it right and consistent across the whole approach.

Research is at the root of all successful PR campaigns. Interviews, polling and focus groups will help you better understand your market, audience and opportunities. Research is where a new campaign starts and how an existing campaign evolves.

Evaluated and developed

For the best restaurateurs, diners and their experience is everything. Top restaurants welcome feedback from customers to help develop, improve and steer the future direction of the business. There’s no point listening to only positive comments or hiding away from reviewers. Welcome criticism and compliment equally.

Successful PR campaigns rely on monitoring and continual evaluation to help meet and redefine objectives. Professionals in PR jobs are never static and don’t view evaluation as an endgame; PR campaigns evolve.

Tom Walker writes freelance for PR Week.


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