Public relations provides a recipe for success for restaurants on Orlando’s International Drive

Though new food fads are created daily in the restaurant business, it is often the old favorite dishes and drinks that are top sellers.

The Orlando Eye at I-Drive 360

The same is true is in restaurant marketing. Public relations – announcing your story before everyone else does it for you – has been around for years. Some might say that public relations and its main dish, the press release, are old news in today’s digital age. Yet PR is still the building block for restaurant success and a key step to customer credibility.

For owners with an eye on the bottom line, restaurant PR can produce results. It can get people talking about your restaurant, your new space or your new menu.

Wellons Communications has had success with restaurants across the Sunshine State, launching new restaurants and keeping existing brands in the public eye – no matter where the customer gets their news.

This month kicks off the  celebration for Orlando I-Drive 360, a new entertainment complex with the Orlando Eye, attractions and host of wonderful shopping and dining options. Our agency is proud to play a part in the promotion of this new mecca for tourists. We were honored to open Tin Roof, a restaurant and live music venue, as well as Cowgirls Rockbar.

We also opened and partied with McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon in the neighboring complex Vue at 360. For each of the openings we used public relations to help find qualified staff, educate food media on new signature dishes and create credible media buzz that brings people in the door.

At Wellons Communications, we don’t make the food – but we do make it sizzle.

The Importance of Knowing Your Audience in PR

So you got the new iPhone update which includes the new emoji keyboard and you’re really excited about it.

However, you wouldn’t send your grandmother a text full of emojis when you know that:

  1. She doesn’t understand that EMOJIS means that you did not enjoy waking up this morning.
  2. Her cell phone doesn’t receive text messages.

You would simply pick up the phone and tell her that information. It doesn’t make sense to send her a message she doesn’t understand through a medium she would never see.

The same is true in public relations. Knowing who you’re speaking to – knowing your audience – is a critical part of the PR practice.Apple new emoji keyboard.

No matter what strategy or tactic you are using, the best message in the world won’t be effective unless it’s in front of the right people in a way they understand. From collateral to social media campaigns and press releases, knowing your audience is crucial.

For example, when choosing outlets to send press releases to, we choose the ones most relevant to the client’s audience. A food blogger isn’t going to want to know about an upcoming marathon race. A CEO of a company probably doesn’t read or watch the same material that a college student does.

It’s important therefore to know where your audience gets their information and what channels they frequent. Facebook seemed like it was going to be the end-all-be-all of social media, but did you know that today’s teenagers don’t see Facebook to be as important as their parents do? If your product appeals to a younger demographic, it’s important to follow the trends of social media platforms. In the long run, these teenagers will hold major buying power 5-10 years from now. How will we adapt?

It’s also important to ensure that your message and tactics are appropriate for you audience. Messaging that is humorous isn’t always going to translate well for serious non-profits or business people. Similarly, a text-only ad for a children’s breakfast cereal isn’t going to communicate to toddlers.

In public relations and marketing, knowing your audience is step 1 in a successful campaign.

Degree – Check. Skills – Check. Experience – Not so much: Gaining experience through Internships

If you’re a recent graduate then it’s quite possible that you’ve run into the merry-go-round of applying for entry-level positions, meeting all of the qualifications, but one of the requirements is to have 1-3 years of experience. Huh? “But that’s why I’m applying for this position!” you may say.

Finding yourself without adequate on-the-job experience can make your post-graduate career search quite difficult.  Here is where the importance of internships comes in. Internships have become a must for college students, and many degree programs have begun to implement them into the required curriculum. A number of colleges host internship fairs where they invite companies and organizations that are looking to fill internship positions. This basically brings the employers to you. However, that’s only half the battle. The other half is landing a positon and making the most of it.

Once you’ve been selected for an interview, the next step is selling yourself. If you succeed and land the internship it’s important to make the most of it and that lies not only in the company’s hands, but yours as well. Here are some tips:

 

Preparing for an internship interview:

Internship imageResearch – It’s important that you know about the positon you are pursuing and about the company. Is it paid or unpaid, do the internships objectives align with your goals, how many hours are required, ect? These are things you need to know. Additionally, the best place to find information about a company is through its website. Take time to sift through it, find what they’re all about and what they have to offer.

FAQs – Prepare responses to frequently asked questions.

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What makes you a good candidate?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What are some of your strengths/weaknesses?
  • What qualifies you for this position?

Don’t come empty handed – Though this may be your first chance at gaining experience, don’t come empty handed. Rather than telling the interviewee what you can do, show them. This can include work samples, class assignments that show off your skills, and most importantly, a nice, clean resume is a must. Be sure that your resume highlights skills and qualifications pertinent to the position you’re applying for.

Making the most of your internship:

Set personal goals – Come in with an idea of things you want to take away from your internship experience. This can be tangible work to add to a portfolio or skills and practices significant to your career field.

Communication – In any field, communication is vital. Ask questions, lots of questions. As an intern you’re there to learn and often you get the chance to work with individuals who have a lot to teach. Use this opportunity for advice and guidance.

Take initiative – Though it’s not a career, put as much effort into it as if it were. Take every opportunity to be involved, contribute ideas and meet new people.

 

Wellons Communications is always on the lookout for eager public relations, marketing or communications majors to be a part of our intern program. Please send questions and resumes to tracey@wellonscommunications.com

ICYMI – Social Media Platforms Widening Advertising Options

Instagram introduces carousel ads, Pinterest expanding promoted pins

In case social media advertising and marketing wasn’t complicated enough, more platforms are expanding their promoted content offerings. Instagram and Pinterest are both expanding their promoted content services, and they are both making their advertisement options unique.

Instagram Logo, Instagram carousel adsInstagram:

Earlier this month, Instagram introduced their new idea for promoted content: “Carousel Ads.”

Carousel ads give brands using promoted content advertising more flexibility in telling their stories.  Viewers of these ads will be able to swipe left to see additional images and link to a website of the brands choice. Instagram says that this will “bring the potential of multi-page print campaigns to mobile phones.”

The new kind of ad will allow advertisers to be more creative. For example, a fashion company could deconstruct the individual pieces in a “look” and link to where potential customers could by them.

Click-through links give advertisers another way to drive traffic to their website and drive sales.

 

Pinterest:

Our Pinterest home-feeds have become flooded with Promoted Pins.pinterest-logo-transparent

As of the first of this year, Promoted Pins became widely available to advertisers. These pins are paid for by advertisers and appear in the dashboard of users that match the advertisers’ brand’s interests and relevant search results. Much like Facebook, Pinterest allows you to target your promoted pins and uses analytics so advertisers can see how their campaign is going.

Now, Pinterest claims that Promoted Pins perform just as well and sometimes better than organic pins, and that brands across all industries saw results. But if your consumer base is anything like this blogger, they will have nixed most of the “Pins Based on Your Wedding/Food/Style Board” pins in no time flat.

Time will only tell how well Promoted Pins does and whether it’s worth investing in. In the meantime, we’ll be watching for more research.

On a related note, Pinterest said that their Auction-based Promoted Pins (CPC), or cost-per-click model is seeing impressive results for their beta users. However, they’re not quite through working out the kinks, and it’s not ready for mass use.

 

So if you didn’t have enough on your plate with Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms and advertising options, we’ve just added two more to your list. Do you think these options are viable for your business? How do you plan on keeping up with different social media platforms?