You’re opening a new property, launching a new restaurant or perhaps just changing an existing one up a bit. In any case, you need to get people interested…you need attention.
First, start with something that’s genuine and remarkable. That’s more than half the battle. If it’s remarkable to more than a handful of people, you’ll get interest. If it’s real, it’ll last.
Then, to speed up the attention getting process, use relationships and trust. There are no shortcuts and no substitutions to this approach, unless you have a whole bunch of cash and time which most of us don’t. If your PR firm is any good, they’ll use relationships to get the right people to your door. If they’re not, they’ll send out batches of press releases and media kits to lists of editors which anyone can buy. If your sales team is on top of it, they’ll use the trust they’ve developed with past clients to get them to listen to the story about your new place. If they’re not, they’ll order up cold calling campaigns and “sales blitzes” which are largely ineffective and a tell tale sign that you are working with an inexperienced group. Worse yet, someone will try to convince you that a well financed advertising and media plan will get people in the door pronto. This is the ultimate con in our business. Build an average project, buy a bunch of advertising and people will come…and like it. Give me a break. I’ve never seen this work, ever. And when someone tells me it does, it’s usually easy to illustrate that it wasn’t the ad campaign at all…more likely it was design, care and the story which got people’s attention and compelled them to spread the word. The ads just made some marketer feel good.
Again, there are no shortcuts. Memorable experiences, just like great ideas, take time to spread. So, start early, way early…Rome wasn’t built in a day.