Madalyn Chau / June 11, 2018

The communications and marketing industry is constantly shifting, evolving and adapting to meet consumer needs and desires. The challenge for consumer and hospitality brands is to continue to elevate the guest experience.  For brands that are new, or new to a market, this is an even bigger challenge as you try to not only launch, but also introduce the brand to new audiences.

In PR, actively maintaining your brand’s public image is important, using both traditional and digital strategies. Whether you’re opening a new hotel or restaurant, building a new property, launching a new service, or sharing news of an innovative product, you must go beyond paid media. But how you say?

At the Fearey Group, we help consumer and hospitality brands think through key events that can help establish and build a loyal local community that will leave a longer lasting impression. Here are three essential PR events to consider:

  1. Launch Party

Press releases are the most traditional form to announce a new product or property. This is always a great and easy way to issue your news to media as it can gain momentum and traction to spread your news far and wide. But on the other spectrum – from digital to “real” life, hosting a live event gives your brand the opportunity to really showcase your product and brand personality, beyond the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony.

Putting face-to-name, and hand-to-item can give attendees the opportunity to try the product, see the property and brand personality and hear directly from the leaders for themselves. Inviting media and micro-media to a private launch party not only gives an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look, but also an opportunity to celebrate with you.

  1. Influencer Events

Influencers, or micro-media, are a great audience to reach for a new brand. These individuals often have a strong following that consumes their content daily on social media and can help drive consumer behavior. You can also be very selective about influencers that match your brand persona and target audiences.

Hosting a tasting / testing events is a fun way to showcase your offerings. Let the environment, product, plating and flavors speak for itself. No need to do the convincing through email when you can offer attendees first-hand experiences to participate in the new offerings in town. Often these will lead to longer lasting relationships and future coverage opportunities.

Continue to build a relationship with these folks by offering at leisure experiences, allowing them to work around their schedule – this relationship shows that you respect and appreciate their time. So then, when you have a public event you want to promote, you have these media/micro-media friends to help drive awareness in your back pocket – they are now your allies.

  1. Press Preview Tours

It’s important to also build relationships with traditional online, print and broadcast media. Though they are less likely to cover a “ribbon cutting” event, unless you are a large brand, you can still offer a preview/tour opportunity for key local media folks.

A media tour prior to opening is a way to offer media a sneak peek at your operations and what consumers can expect when they visit you. Whether it’s insight on future growth plans or exclusive information never shared before, the press loves the opportunity to check out the new stuff. This also allows your brand to modify your PR message to better appeal to the consumer. After all, the media is looking to advocate with the consumer’s point of view in mind.

This experience also gives brands an opportunity to nourish the relationship they have with media – face-to-face.

The success of a new launch isn’t just great advertising and marketing, but also a compilation of building long-lasting relationships and loyalty with your target audience and the media. Building a community of authentic advocates around your brand is the key to sustaining your brand’s public image; and with these three essential PR events, any consumer and hospitality brand will be sure to elevate their PR plan and brand awareness.

Check out our work with Next Level Burger as they opened their first Seattle location.