Getting Creative

 

Achieving Milestones 1

PR tips for celebrating your next milestone.

By Jenna Oltersdorf

Whether it’s your 10-year anniversary, 50th location or 1,000th item sold, there are ways to capitalize on milestones no matter how big or small. A great thing about milestones is they can help make your story newsworthy with their timely hook. Also, milestones do not have to be tied to how many years your restaurant has been in business. Did you just sell your millionth slice of pizza? Let’s celebrate!

An element every restaurant or business should have surrounding milestones is social media campaign of some kind. It could be a social contest where you encourage followers to use a specific hashtag for a chance to win a year of free appetizers, for example. You could run your own social media campaign, where you share a slew of old photos and memories showing how far your business has come. Regardless, amplifying your milestone on social media is absolutely required!

If your restaurant has been anchored in a city or region for a long period of time, consider giving back to that community around the time of your milestone through a donation or a service project. This creates another newsworthy aspect of your announcement and gives you some “points” for social responsibility. Gather your team, their family members and friends and clean up a highway, plant trees or organize a fundraiser for a cause you care about.

Tasty Tactics

Creating your own National Day is another creative way to gain attention in celebration of your milestone. Is your restaurant or company famous for their breakfast tacos? Why not create “National Breakfast Taco Day?” Nationaldaycalendar.com is a great place to register a National Day to be reviewed and accepted.

By creating a National Day, you’re creating something that can be celebrated every year, making your celebration evergreen. For smaller businesses and restaurants, you should explore requesting a proclamation in your city through the City Council. Through this tactic, your local business can grab even more attention, ultimately making your milestone announcement even more timely.

Creative and unique limited-time menu items tend to attract attention, too. Consider offering a new menu item inspired by your milestone during the month in which it falls. Offer the menu item for free (or discounted) on the exact day of your milestone to encourage guests to come to your restaurant and celebrate your big day with you. Try to make the menu item as “Instagram-worthy” as possible to get those social shares! Shoot for mouthwatering, colorful and an A+ on presentation. The first thing that comes to my mind is a Birthday Cake-flavored something…

Achieving Milestones 2Throwing an event to celebrate a milestone is a no-brainer, but there are aspects of an event that can give your party “more legs” in terms of exposure. Consider partnering with neighboring restaurants or businesses to throw a block party of sorts. There are a lot of benefits that come with partnerships. You may be tapping a whole new audience who has never been introduced to your restaurant through a new partnership. Also, establishing a good relationship with other local businesses will only help you in the future in terms of referrals and other events that could lead to exposure.

And finally, for any milestone you reach, be sure to share the news with local media outlets (think: television, radio and newspapers) along with the verticals that cover your industry. Media relations are a great, low cost way to spread the news about your achievement.

Always keep milestones on your radar and allow plenty of time to plan ahead in order to make the most out of it. No matter how big or small your budget, there are many ways to capitalize on your milestone, especially if you have the luxury of time for planning and the opportunity to partner with a PR firm to help push your messages out to the masses.

We’ve only scratched the surface of getting creative with your next milestone, but these tips can also be jumping off points for other ideas you might have. Get creative and have fun when brainstorming, and remember no idea is a bad idea!

Jenna Oltersdorf is PR principal and crisis management expert at Snackbox, the Austin, Texas-based creative public relations and digital marketing laboratory that combines design thinking and the art of storytelling to deliver spectacular results for a wide range of national clients. Visit us at www.snackbox.us and follow Oltersdorf’s Mid-Century Modern obsession and drag racing semi-pro ambitions on Twitter and Instagram at @JennaSnacks. Reach her in her office at jenna@snackbox.us or 512-643-2328.

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