Did you know that newspapers, magazines and Blogs could help your coffee business to being seen by potential customers, too? And, I’m not talking about paying hundreds of dollars of your tight budget for media ads here. You don’t have to be canvassing for being present in one of your local newspapers, either… With some strategic thinking and tips, you can raise awareness for your cafe, coffee shop or roastery before you actually opened your doors.
There are multiple ways how to become known with your coffee brand through media nowadays – offline and online. Depending on, if you have a brick & mortar business or an online shop or only a web presence, you can work out certain ideas how to make the connection between media and your business.
Why the media?
Especially when you’re new to the coffee market, it can be very tough to make yourself known out there. And journalists or other people working in the media have a different approach to coffee and coffee businesses than you have.
You are more likely to reach not only more potential customers, but also people that you might have never thought you’d be attracting to your business. With reaching out to journalists and bloggers, you can not only attract new customers, but actually grow your business and tell people about what you do and why you do things, meaning your core values and your story, and what you’re good at or what’s special about you that others out there can’t claim. The more journalists write about you, the more about you is out there to being found on Google, too. Nice side effect even is, journalists and media usually are pretty good when it comes to SEO – search engine optimization.
What’s worth telling about?
- The new opening of your brick & mortar business or another branch,
- new launches such as new menu items that are outstanding in food preparation or hiring a chef,
- your very special approach when it comes to food (vegan, local, organic) or coffee roasting and/or preparation like your signature drinks recipes that are new to your area or outstanding or when it comes to the ingredients you use, e.g. honey that comes from the beekeeping boxes on your rooftop,
- an announcement of working together with local charity or a collaboration with farmers for a good cause,
- innovative products that no other coffee business near you is using,
- working with other local businesses and being active in the community,
- events or holidays such a International Coffee Day celebrations or other milestones.
Who to reach out for and where
Food & Coffee Bloggers
There’re hundreds of Blogs out there. I’d suggest not looking for the biggest, but the ones that are local and write about the things, you’re trying to promote also, meaning new shops in town, the best Flat White in town, etc.
Local newspaper/ local radio or TV
This is also a great way to reach locals and get them coming to your brick & mortar business. Especially, when you’re trying to tell about an opening event or collaboration with a local business.
Coffee magazines or Blogs
What I’m referring to here is those special magazines and bigger/official online magazines or Blogs that focus on coffee and coffee roasting and/or preparation. I’m sure they exist in your country or even your city.
Social media and social media groups
Social Media is also a great way to get in touch with bloggers and journalists. Many of them are members of coffee related groups, well at least the ones that write about coffee. So, if you have something worth telling and you’re already writing blog articles, share a blog article in those groups or your news. See above which topics are worth sharing.
To be prepared create a small media kit with photos, even videos, as well as some information about your coffee business.
Invite a professional photographer
When adding photos to your media kit, invite a professional photographer. Tell him or her to not just take photos of you, but your team and a bit of your location, also your regulars. The thing is, your customers probably will tell their friends & family that they are going to be in the local newspaper or on local TV and possibly on social media as well. So, this is a great way of multiplying you reaching out for journalists, too.
Try to include some branding in the photos such as your unique cups, your striking coffee packaging. Also, don’t just do head shots, try to show yourself in action to have it as authentic as possible. Include some info about your business as well, what you do and why you do it and what’s special about you. Have a press release ready as well, if there’s a certain event or something worth telling about coming up.
Try being creative about this media kit and show your personality. Let the people receiving your media kit feel what your coffee business is all about. Make your business stand out to them.
What is your goal?
As always, before you start reaching out to journalists and bloggers, make sure, you know, what you want to achieve with either one single activity or multiple activities. Not everything is newsworthy and you don’t want to tire them out.
Is it to promote your opening event? Is it to raise awareness for your coffee brand? Is it to reach new customers? Is it to launch a new product? Is it to announce working together with other (local) businesses?
Find one certain goal before reaching out. Only to tell them, you’re there on the market now, too, doesn’t cut it…
What can you do to grab the attention of journalists and bloggers?
Connect and engage with them on social media! Make sure, you’re in their mindset. If they don’t write or talk about you now, they might do at a later stage, when a coffee related story is on their schedule.
I wouldn’t suggest ‘cold calls’ or ‘cold emails’, you’d probably be only one of hundreds they might receive every week. Instead invite those people to your opening event, especially Bloggers and local journalists. Grab their attention with something special that is happening during the event or they’ll receive, when coming to the party. Don’t let them feel it’s just another of those coffee shops going to be opened – they’re too busy to attend every party…
How to write a great Press release for your coffee business
First, ask yourself, is your announcement really newsworthy? Mostly, it really only is new openings, product launches, special events or collaborations.
To grab the attention of the people reading the press release, have the 5 W’s about your announcement in the first paragraph already. So, let’s say you’re about to open a new coffee shop in your town with an opening event maybe, after already having one coffee shop in the same town.
The 5 W’s
What? – Opening of your new shop.
Where? – Address of the new shop or the exact location of the event.
When? – When will it open? Date & time of the event.
Who? – Who are you? What’s your business about?
Why? – Why a new shop? What’s special about the new place?
AND, why should they care about your announcement?
The body or main paragraph is focusing on more details and facts that you introduced in the first paragraph. Add a quote of yourself or some other person involved about a fact that has not been told in the copy, yet.
If you’re struggling to find the right words and approach for the press release, either put yourself in the shoes of your customers or get feedback from some of your regulars. If it’s not appealing to them, it won’t be for the journalists and you might want to reconsider your copy.
The goal is to catch the attention of your audience, the journalists as well as potential customers, not just with your press release, but with your media kit as well as everything you put out there on your website and social media, too. If you’re doing a good job with a consistent branding and messaging, great quality of your products and customer service, you will be noticed, trust me.
Simel.Coffee stands for the merging of specialty coffee and Marketing. The person behind Simel.Coffee is Melanie Boehme, Coffee Marketing Consultant and branding expert for specialty coffee shop businesses.
Melanie Boehme supports busy coffee shop owners and managers with her inspiring Marketing strategies (offline & online) on their way to a successful & thriving coffee business that customers just love going to.