Restaurant PR Mini-Masterclass with Ann Gynn

If great PR is the 'holy grail' of word of mouth marketing, how can restaurants get more of it? In this episode, we get into it with content + PR veteran Ann Gynn.

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Restaurant PR Mini-Masterclass with Ann Gynn
Restaurant PR Mini-Masterclass with Ann Gynn

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In today’s episode, I talk to Ann Gynn — principal consultant of the content and PR firm G Force Communication.

For almost three decades, Ann’s helped companies ranging from the world’s largest air show to the pioneering Content Marketing Institute reach their business goals through strategic content and PR.

If you’ve ever wondered how to up your restaurant’s PR game, you’ll want to tune into this episode.

Here are some highlights from the episode:

What is PR, anyway? Why’s it important? Isn’t it kinda like the holy grail of word of mouth?

Public relations is so many things today. At its core, it’s about connecting with the public so they can learn or discover something. From a business standpoint, it’s a tool to reach your prospective and existing customers.

In the last 10 years or so, PR has evolved dramatically. Years ago, you had to rely solely on getting through a gatekeeper (i.e., an editor or producer) to reach a bigger audience. But with in the digital world, you now can build your own audiences.

I think that when it comes to PR, a lot of businesses think they have to wait for it to come to them…do you agree? Why / why not?

You’re going to be waiting a really, really long time. And you’ll only get traditional media to come to you if your story is so public and so intriguing that they can’t ignore it.

I just think businesses aren’t deliberate or strategic in their public relations. 

Say a restaurant owner approached you wanting more PR, what steps would you recommend they take?

First, I would say they need a strategy in writing. It needs to connect to the business’ goals. It doesn’t have to be long — a page can suffice. But you need to know the who, what, why, how, when, and where. I’m happy to walk through each one of those.

There’s PR and then there’s SERIOUS PR — New York Times, etc — any tips on how to get that kind of exposure?

I think “SERIOUS PR” is like a siren in the sea calling the sailors. It sounds attractive. You invest a lot to get there, but usually it isn’t what you think it would be. 

Whether it’s a feature or mention on The Food Network or The New York Times, you need to learn about and make friends with those producers/writers/editors. But often, they take their cue from local media and what real people are talking about in food-related community groups, etc. on social to find potential stories.

How would you describe your zone of genius?

I’m a translator. I can take big ideas or complex language and distill it into something practical and understandable.

Say I’m me, Kyle, a business, and I want to get published in Nation’s Restaurant News, Modern Restaurant Management, and Entrepreneur Magazine. How do you suggest I make that happen?

First, I would ask why you want to be featured in any of those publications. From there, we can talk about what your story or pitch would be. You need to have a fresh angle or story to capture their attention. You can’t just say “I’ve got a cool restaurant” or “I’m a successful entrepreneur” and expect coverage.

How can PR be measured?

Earned, owned, and shared (or social)

Owned/shared Digital data is helpful. Are you reaching your target audience? What actions do they take?

Earned: How many impressions are you receiving through earned media? What about shares?

Are there any PR easy wins restaurant owners could go take action on right now?

Make sure you’re discoverable on Google. Fill out your business profile. Respond to your Yelp reviews – positive and negative. 

Watch your local media to see who’s covering food/restaurants. Email them with an interesting story.

What are you working on right now / what has you excited?

I’m involved with a new startup for content entrepreneurs called The Tilt. It’s a twice-a-week newsletter for content creators who want to build audiences and operate a business. We’ve seen a great appetite for it since the April launch. And it’s free. Just subscribe at

Three more takeaways from today’s episode about restaurant PR:

👉 How the PR landscape has changed

👉 Steps restaurants can take to get PR ‘easy wins’

👉 Why you want to build your business like it’s a media company

Tune in now.

Learn more about Ann Gynn

🐦 Get Ann’s thoughts on Twitter

📬 Subscribe to the newsletter Ann is working on: The Tilt

🤝 Connect with Ann on LinkedIn

Weekly takeaways, straight to your inbox.

🙂 Actionable tips to get more guests…

 😃 Ideas to increase per-head spend…

😍 Value-packed quotes from the podcast…

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