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The Value of Food and Drink PR Contacts

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In a busy London PR agency that specialises in Food and Drink PR, like CCD PR & Digital, we’re dealing with hundreds of journalists and influencers every day, across several different sectors including Food and Drink, Health, Lifestyle, Beauty, Wellbeing and much more.  Upgrading our ‘little black books’ to digital now means we have even more of information on what contacts like to write about, their article history and where they place the majority of their stories; nurturing and maintaining strong and positive relationships with our media counterparts is a key part of the job.

Food and Drink PR Questions

Questions we often get asked include “ just how good are your food and drink press contacts?” and “which contacts are guaranteed to cover this story/product?” yet these are more complicated to answer than you might think.

So we’ve done this blog a little bit differently and asked Louise, a freelance PR consultant who regularly works with us in our Food and Drink PR team, to share her thoughts on the value of contacts.

“Having worked in PR for over 25 years, it’s no surprise that I’ve been asked these questions a lot, or variations of them. Clients are always keen to find out how strong the relationship is between PRs and the media and how this can benefit them, but there a couple of points I always make in response to questions like these.

“Having worked in the same sector for many, many years, it’s fair to say I’ve developed some great contacts with many journalists, bloggers, influencers and experts. There are certainly many contacts out there who I know will take the time to read my emails and will often cover what I send them. So yes contacts can really help to push media coverage over the line and are a positive start.

“However one really important point to make is that there are no guarantees with editorial press coverage. Even when a journalist confirms that something is being used, it’s not 100% guaranteed – only when it appears in print or online is it a done deal. Stories can be pulled at the last minute and this will probably be out of the hands of the journalist we have dealt with.

“Another important thing to remember is that we all have a job to do. And our job is to give journalists what they really want. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve known a journalist if I don’t have information that interests them, that is relevant to their page or that doesn’t fulfil their needs. Their reputation is on the line with every word they write so it’s vital that I’m giving them what they want.

Food and Drink PR Conversations

“Fortunately this gives me the opportunity to open up a wider conversation about how important it is for PRs and their clients to work collaboratively together. The more I and my colleagues understand a client’s business, and the more involved we are in it, the more likely we are to tease out good stories and create richer, more engaging content. For example, it could be a simple thing such as giving direction on the style of a photo shoot so that the photography will be exactly what journalists are looking for.

So to summarise, yes having good contacts is incredibly valuable and sometimes it gets you over the finish line ahead of your competitors, but it’s not a magic wand that can be waved to guarantee media coverage. It’s a brilliant starting point when accompanied by engaging, relevant and timely content – that’s when the magic really happens.”

PR campaigns are best done persistently and regularly, which can either be in consecutive projects (often seasonal) or continuous.  Keeping a brand and it’s benefits top of mind for journalist and influencers is key to gaining valuable space in media and social media.

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