Restaurants often target morning news shows for free publicity. Cooking segments seem to be an effective tool for morning shows and newsrooms seeking free food. But smaller restaurants with fewer contacts might find stepping into a TV studio more difficult.
However, restaurants thinking strategically can supply the media and internet with other types of news stories. The growing number of business associations offering group health insurance led me to air a story about a small restaurant. The owner and a single-mom waitress explained they could now afford to offer health insurance and retain top employees. The public relations strategy: Tie in the restaurant to the timely and topical debate on healthcare.
In a different case, my stories on a mom and pop restaurant reflected how the economy impacted the smallest of businesses. One story focused on the restaurant possibly closing. An updated story later showed how the restaurant successfully re-invented itself.
Restaurants should position themselves to the media as more than places to eat. Restaurants should consider themselves a mirror of the every day issues people face. This approach will allow media to focus on restaurants for more than simply morning chitchat with TV anchors.