As a bakery owner or manager, you probably didn’t get into the bakery business to manage news media relationships, but there’s a major advantage to communicating with the general public through trusted local news sources.
Public relations (PR) have a number of benefits that help create buzz around your bakery. It keeps your bakery in front of your potential and existing customers, helping to build brand awareness. Seeing your name and branding from multiple channels, which includes PR pieces, can spark people’s interest and lead them to think of your store first when they’re craving a baked good.
Know Your Local News Sources
Most likely, your bakery will have more success and see better results if you reach out to local or regional news sources rather than national. No need to court Oprah’s people to try and get on her show. Focus on the types of channels you see and use every day. This includes:
- TV stations
- Radio stations
With local sources, you have the opportunity to establish a working relationship. Pay attention to articles written by someone who’s a good fit for your stories, like a community engagement editor, food reporter, or arts and creative reporter. Get involved, so they begin to recognize your name and bakery. Comment on their stories, drop them an email introducing yourself.
Personalize Your Pitches
Once you’re ready to start pitching to your sources, take the time to get the angle right. The pitch to the community engagement editor should have a different spin than the food reporter.
Even if you’re not pitching national news sources, you should still pay attention to them. Be aware of any national story that could have a local angle. For example, if you read an article on the benefits of being gluten-free, you can offer your expertise as a gluten-free bakery. This captures attention from the national story and makes it real for your local community.
Whatever your angle, make it “news-worthy.” PR is not an excuse to disguise a promotional piece as news. You need to have a reason to pitch. Otherwise, they may just start ignoring your attempts to reach out to them.
One thing you don’t need to personalize is your press kit. This will be all sorts of information that a reporter would need to develop a story about your bakery. It should include elements such as:
- Bakery background
- Brief management biographies
- Previous press coverage
- Industry accolades and awards
- Contact information
Make sure you pay attention to the size of the files. It may be worth sending a filesharing link rather than a large folder with files.
Create an Annual PR Calendar
Look ahead to popular events or important dates that could be useful to your PR plan so you can be prepared. You may have to think out of the box to catch the attention of local news. For example, you could bake the biggest King Cake you can for Mardi Gras and try to break or set a local record.
Here are a couple of other ideas to add to your PR calendar:
- Hold an event for your bakery’s 5th anniversary or other significant milestones.
- Are there any local festivals that you can participate in?
- Can you set up a wedding cake booth at a bridal expo?
Another thing to explore is participating in charitable events. Dedicate a portion of your proceeds from a particular item or during a specific time frame to a local charity, one that resonates with you. Partnering with a charity not only gives back to your community, but it offers a heartwarming story that can be picked up by your news station.
Ideally, your bakery would be taking part in these events or experiences already to help drive traffic back to your location and website. So all it really costs is the time it takes to draft the pitch.
Good PR can heighten your bakery’s credibility, boost your reputation, and drive people back to your store.
With more traffic, you may need help streamlining your bakery. Schedule a demo with BakeSmart and conquer the chaos.