5 tips for grabbing coverage in food publications

Media relations efforts aren’t always focused on securing a headline in The New York Times or Forbes. If you’re looking to go niche with a cuisine-oriented publication, follow these tips.

This article originally ran on PR Daily in April of 2017.

Pitching a food publication can be tricky.

Here are five tips to help you craft your pitch so that it stands out among the plethora of food and restaurant pitches that flood an editor’s inbox every day:

1. Conduct thorough research. Examine not only the publication’s guidelines (which you must follow closely) but also the topics it covers and the way in which it covers them. Look at a publication’s archives to ensure your pitch will align with its recent content. Editors review pitches all day long; keep yours relevant by conducting good research.

2. Understand the publication’s voice. Is it serious and detail-oriented? Fun and quirky? Topical and snappy? Draft your pitch in line with that voice. Identify the publication’s audience, and position your pitch so the editors know your topic will engage their readers. If you’re pitching Spoon University, construct your pitch differently from the way you would for Fancy Food & Culinary Products.

3. Personalize the pitch. Address your contact by name whenever that information is available. Unless the whole publication is specialized, you’ll probably have to find the person who writes about the specific topic you are pitching. (For example, if your client is a restaurant and you want to pitch a happy hour special, avoid targeting someone who writes a cooking blog for parents.) Include a relevant, informative subject line in your pitch. (Example: “Columbus-based Chain Shaking Up the Fast Casual Scene.”)

4. Take pride in your pitch. Your goal should be to turn your interesting client or topic into a must-read story. Put time into your pitch, check for grammatical or spelling errors, and have two colleagues proof it. Details are essential. If you’re pitching a restaurant to multiple regions, for example, you’ll have to make sure any region-specific logistical information (such as hours of operation or an address) is accurate.

5. Keep it short and sweet. Offer a one-sentence synopsis to start your pitch. Include links to help the editor access information on your client/topic. Include photos of the product or venue, depending on the client and type of publication you’re pitching. Provide attractive photos of the food or venue, or create a link to those images to keep the file size reasonable.

Food publications can create great opportunities to get creative with your pitch and reach your target audience. Conduct the requisite research, adopt an appropriate voice, proof for errors, and stay close to your angle to keep your pitch relevant and unique.

Heather Allen is the content and community manager at Belle Communications. A version of this article originally appeared on the agency’s blog.

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