PR Tips: Food & Drink Start Ups


Recently, I’ve met several amazing start-up food and drink companies who have hatched interesting and original products, from innovation in teas, sauces and marinades, to healthy snacks and ethical spirits. This got me thinking about the following pointers every start-up needs to know about PR.

Timing Timing is king and deciding on the right time to invest in PR should be an important part of any start-up’s business planning. It can be tough to know the right moment, but often you will reach a pivotal point that will help you make this decision. It might be when you are on the cusp of a major retail listing (or when you need help securing this); when you are about to invest in new production technology; or just a gut feel that it’s time to take your brand from the kitchen table towards a more serious proposition.

Briefing Providing a good written brief to your agency will help ensure your PR activity is aligned with your goals. You wouldn’t ask a builder to build you a house and not tell him where you want the windows and doors, so be clear about what you want your PR campaign to deliver from the start. Remember to include specific areas where you want support, such as new listings or activities, details about your target audience and any new launches in the pipeline. An idea of budget will also ensure everyone is clear as to the scale and type of campaign you can afford.

Photography Good photography is important for PR success for two reasons. Firstly, the old adage that pictures speak a thousand words is never more relevant than in our increasingly busy world. A photograph and how it is styled can say so much about your company and what your brand stands for. Think of Yeo Valley dairy products and how they are always photographed in a farm or green field setting. Secondly, good photography will increase your chances of media attention and more or less essential now across all forms of social media.

Integrate PR is much more strategic than simply getting coverage. A good PR campaign will help you curate an image for your company, product, service or brand and establish a dialogue between you and your customers. Making sure your PR agency is aware of other marketing or sales activities you are undertaking (and vice versa) means that everyone is working together for your business.

Get the Most from Your Agency Viewing your relationship as a partnership and not just a service you are buying is important. Trust is a key factor and listening to advice on what will work and what won’t will save you time and money. Feedback is vital too – good and bad. When a relationship like this is in place, it will help your agency be enthusiastic about your business, fostering loyalty and a genuine desire to help you succeed and prosper.

Measuring for PR Success

If PR success was measured by the amount of publicity one receives then Teresa May would be doing very well indeed. Except of course, the reality is rather different. There’s an old saying that goes ‘all publicity is good publicity’ but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The wrong sort of publicity can ruin reputations and end careers. And sometimes the job of a PR professional is to keep their clients out of the news, rather than in it. Continue reading

Is the Press Release Dead or Just Misunderstood?

Reading yet another blog post on the death of the press release recently got me thinking – is the press release really redundant? The idea that it’s no longer relevant in the digital age is a valid point. Many journalists groan at the thought of them, mainly because of the hundreds they receive every day. However, while the idea of a press release might seem old fashioned in today’s quick fire PR landscape, it’s too soon to write it off completely – here’s why. Continue reading

The Taxing Problem of Trust

trust-e1436536636481The tax affairs of the rich and powerful in the headlines this week had me thinking about the issue of trust – that most precious of assets that takes time to win yet only moments to lose. In a recent poll just 21%* of Britons trust politicians to tell the truth, so even with the latest scandal to hit Parliament, Government ministers don’t have very far to fall in the eyes of the public. But while politicians may be perhaps a lost cause in the trust stakes, what about the rest of us?
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PR: Why everything’s different, yet still the same

motorola cuttingsReading about the demise of the Motorola mobile phone brand made me stop and think. Who would have thought that the name of the original inventor of the mobile phone and one-time world’s largest manufacturer of them, would be no more. Yet that’s the reality today. The very first mobile phone aimed at the consumer was launched by Motorola in 1992 in the UK – I know because my PR agency at the time was given the task of handling it. We spent most of our time trying to convince journalists that mobile phones were really very useful things. Continue reading