As a bakery owner or manager, you probably didn’t get into the bakery business to manage news and media relationships, but there’s a major advantage in building them. Communicating with the general public through trusted local news sources will boost not only your awareness but your sales too.
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.
Target Local News Sources
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 an appearance on her show. Focus on the types of channels you see and use every day. This includes:
- TV stations
- Radio stations
- Social Media Influencers
- Foodie Bloggers
With local sources, you have the opportunity to establish a consistent working relationship. Pay attention to articles written by someone who’s a good fit for your stories, like a community engagement editor, social media food blogger, or arts and creative reporter.
Reach out with a friendly message so they begin to recognize your name and bakery. We recommend reaching out periodically, whether that’s dropping a comment on their stories or sending an introductory email. Typically, local platforms prefer to feature local stories to promote the greater area of your community. Bonus points if you pitch seasonal specials (like Valentine’s Day or National Cake Day specials).
Prepare Your Pitches with Personality
Once you’re ready to start pitching to your sources, take the time to get the angle right. The approach you take should vary depending on who you are reaching out to. For instance, the pitch to the community engagement editor should have a different spin than the food blogger.
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 “newsworthy.” PR is not an excuse to disguise a promotional piece as news. You need to have a reason to pitch. Otherwise, sources may just start ignoring your attempts to reach out to them.
One thing you don’t need to personalize is your press kit. This includes all sorts of information for a reporter 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
- Logos and Branding
- Media Assets (high-quality photos or products, video footage, headshots, etc.)
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 since larger files may be hard to send.
Plan and Update 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. An easy way to start planning is to look at all the holidays your bakery will celebrate during the year. Do you plan on offering any specials during the holiday season or Small Business Saturday? Do you plan on launching any customer loyalty programs or expanding your facilities? You may have to think out of the box to catch the attention of local news. For instance, 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 more unique bakery ideas to add to your PR calendar:
- Hold an event for your bakery’s 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 idea to explore is participating in charitable events. Dedicate a portion of your proceeds from a particular menu item or during a specific time frame to a local charity 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 local news outlets.
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. Piece of cake!
Good PR can heighten your bakery’s credibility, boost your reputation, and drive customers back to your store for years to come.
With more foot traffic, you may need help streamlining your bakery operations. Schedule a demo with BakeSmart today, and we’ll help you conquer the chaos.