Fantastic food is not always enough to make the news. We don’t mean to sound cheesy, but at Aspen- and Fort Lauderdale-based public relations agency Durée & Company, we have more than 20 years of experience in the ever-changing food and beverage industry. From liquor to baked goods, chefs and the best restaurant brands, we help our clients develop a brand presence. We provide a strategic mix of essential public relations and marketing elements to successfully promote their food and beverage products.
You need strategic planning whether you are introducing a new food and beverage concept to the marketplace or opening a new restaurant. And the right public relations team in the mix! Here’s how we serve up the recipe to make food and beverage brands stand out.
Traditional Media Relations
As PR professionals, we draft press releases that include key marketing messaging and all of the details a reporter needs to tell the brand’s story. In the food and beverage industry, imagery is essential. Work with a professional photographer and food stylist to accurately capture the food’s aesthetic.
The objective is to secure earned media coverage by pitching it to a targeted media list. This includes journalists, food critics and influencers. The pitch letter for media should include a Dropbox link of food and lifestyle images along with any other marketing materials. We also offer up a key spokesperson from the brand that the journalist can interview.
Sending media samples of the food and beverage product or inviting a reporter to experience a product or service is another key component of any marketing strategy. By trying a product, the writer can include their authentic review in relevant articles, dining guides, product roundups or holiday gift guides. A media shipment should contain the product, branded swag, a customized letter, the press release and a fact sheet.
Pro Tip: Always ask media for approval before sending them mailers.
We have arranged media dines for or our client Heaven Mykonos in CityPlace Doral. This contemporary dining concept focuses on the palates and picturesque ambiance of the Mediterranean. Journalists and influencers were able to experience the lively, entertainment-based venue and sample the modern Mediterranean menu first-hand to consider for their publications.
Social media is vital to engage with consumers and get them talking about your food and beverage brand. Share mouth-watering content across all of the brand’s social media platforms, blog and webpage to effectively communicate the brand’s identity. The brand’s website, social media channels and blog should have identical usernames and be designed with your brand guidelines to help identify your brand as a credible business. Utilize a consistent voice and clean content throughout all communication platforms. Include custom hashtags on all social media posts. This will also help expand the reach beyond your network, engage with followers, and increase brand awareness.
At Durée & Company, we eat up a fun hashtag holiday! Hashtag holidays are unique ways for your brand to engage with your audience and consumers. (Especially when it comes to the food and beverage industry.) For National Beach Day, we coordinated an Instagram Live with Yelp Miami. We spotlighted cocktail recipes to take to the beach with our food and beverage client, Toast Vodka. The Toast Vodka mixologist showcased how to make three custom cocktails for Yelp Elites on the Yelp Miami Instagram account. We even created branded names for the cocktails – Coconut Breeze, Toasted’ed Coco Loco and the Spicy Watermelon Spritz!
Influencers and journalists are bombarded with event invitations and partnership opportunities every day, so how do they decide where to devote their time? Whether virtual or in-person, an event is a great way to showcase your food and beverage brand to journalists, influencers and potential buyers. Create an indelible impression so guests can get to know (and taste!) the product. During an in-person event such as a menu tasting or cocktail creation class, have an interactive component. This way, guests engage with the product first-hand.
If the event is virtual, such as a live cooking demonstration or wine pairing, send the recipe ingredients and any marketing materials to the attendees ahead of the event so guests can have the items in front of them during the event. The brand spokesperson should educate guests about the brand and its offerings. Always include a fun “Instagrammable” moment and a custom event hashtag. This will encourage guests to dig into the brand on social media and keep the conversation going!
Expert Event Marketing by The Dynamos
The Dynamos recently celebrated the launch of boutique packaged foods company Eat Me Guilt Free’s “You Glow Girl” grant program with an intimate event at the Museum of Graffiti during Women’s History Month. We worked with a local expert to recreate the “You Glow Girl” grant theme and design elements throughout the event. The evening featured a graffiti workshop with artist Miss Reds. Guests recreated the “You Glow Girl” grant artwork and got a first look at the “Lady Pink: Graffiti HERstory” solo exhibition. This produced a unique “Instagramable” moment at the event. It made for a great photo opportunity for the influencers and media in attendance.
We encouraged guests to use the “You Glow Girl” Instagram filter and custom hashtags and to tag Eat Me Guilt Free when posting. Each guest received a custom Original Apolis® Market Bag hand-painted by Miss Reds that included Eat Me Guilt Free products, a custom sweater, a branded face mask and more. As a direct result of this event, and the efforts leading up to it, we gained an incredible amount of exposure for this growing brand.
Here’s the dish on working with influencers. The PR industry has evolved immensely as a result of the power of influencers. So much so, we even created our own Influencer Division, InfluenceD&Co. At Durée & Company, we know that no two campaigns are the same, we find the right influencers to tell your brand’s story. Influencer relations is where public relations and social media collide and should be part of the overall brand strategy. Influencers have a solid social media following with strong engagement and are viewed as experts within their industry.
These social media gurus are pros at capturing content and are major players in creating buzz for food and beverage brands. Brands should work with influencers who have…
- followers that fit your target demographic.
- authentic engagement.
- a reputation that people trust.
Working with food bloggers, influencers and journalists can increase brand awareness and drive traffic for the food and beverage brand. You can also invite influencers to make a brand’s recipe or to do an Instagram takeover. That way, their followers get a behind-the-scenes sneak peek. The food and beverage brand can then repurpose that content for its own social media and marketing materials.
The Dynamos Influencer Relationships
The Dynamos have relationships with influencers from Miami to Aspen and everywhere in between. From complimentary media dines to product launches, we’ve worked with a variety of micro and macro-influencers who help build brand awareness. Additionally, we know how to navigate paid influencer opportunities and can negotiate the best terms for your brand.
Recently the Dynamos worked with Miami-based influencer Emilie Sobel for our client Eat Me Guilt Free. First, Emile attended the “You Glow Girl” grant program launch event and posted about the brand on her own socials multiple times. Then, Emile also thought of Eat Me Guilt Free first when hosting her own events. Plus, we know influencers like to attend events with their fellow influencer friends. So, we worked with Emile to showcase Eat Me Guilt Free products at two events. She also included brownies and bounce back coupons in the gift bags. Establishing an authentic and trusted relationship with influencers is key to positive brand awareness.
If you’re interested in learning more about public relations to promote your food and beverage brand, contact the professionals at Durée & Company. Check out our Dynamo Diary or Instagram page for more insights and #behindthescenes action!
About Durée & Company, Inc.
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit arenas for local, national and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, digital marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions, affiliate marketing and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in yachting, business, real estate, hospitality, travel, cannabis and hemp, wellness and CBD, art and culture, fashion, nonprofit organizations, legal and professional services. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, call 954-723-9350; go to dureeandcompany.com; or visit its new, specialized cannabis- and CBD-specific site at cannabismarketingpr.com. Join the social conversation and follow Durée & Company on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn at @DureeCoPR.