Jul 2017

Restaurant Advertising vs. Restaurant PR

  • By Ribbon
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Advertising and public relations are two of the most common promotional tools used by restaurants and other businesses worldwide. While you, as a restaurateur, would like to promote your restaurant as often as possible, it would be wise to know which medium of promotion would best fit your restaurant.

Both restaurant public relations and advertising are intended to increase the consumer base for your restaurant. However, as a restaurateur, one is divided over which marketing medium will provide the best return on investment. Let the below pointers help you ease your doubts:

1) Public Relations is subtle, Advertising is direct: Let’s first understand what differentiates advertising from public relations. Advertising is typically a paid form of marketing directed by an organisation to its consumers, drawing attention to its products and services. Public Relations, on the other hand, is more subtle, as it utilizes an external trusted source to promote your products and services to current and potential customers.

2) Public Relations is persuasive, Advertising is intrusive: Public Relations focuses on building a positive image about the brand, which results in convincing the target audience and converting them into your customer base. Advertising uses more of a hard-sell strategy to generate a reaction from the audience. As a restaurateur, you need to be well aware of what objective you’re looking to achieve in the minds of the consumer, and accordingly select the mode of communication.

3) Public Relations creates credibility, Advertising creates skepticism: When consumers read an article, review, or blog about your restaurant, or see it being covered in the news on the TV or radio, they’re assured of its credibility, as it is generated by an unbiased third-party. The decision to then visit the restaurant lies solely with them. Whereas, with advertising, the consumer is aware that the information being put across is completely controlled by the company, and are hence more likely to be wary of the message being communicated.

4) Public Relations is usually more economical than Advertising space: Getting free publicity is always a good thing, even if it doesn’t happen that often. Public relations usually costs less and is often pursued by restaurateurs who cannot afford direct advertising covering a large area. Having said that, while advertising tends to be more expensive, it does allow your restaurant’s message to reach out to a more specific / targeted audience base, whereas PR covers a broader, more general audience, without focusing on a particular type of consumer.

5) Public Relations builds trust, Advertising builds exposure: Building trust among your current and future customers is what all restaurateurs desire most. This is made possible with public relations, which brings more credibility and knowledge about the restaurant, and thus helps build trust through published articles and reviews in trusted newspapers and magazines. Whereas advertising typically focuses on creating more exposure that all restaurants require, to help expand their business.

Whether you’re thinking of creating a public relations strategy for your restaurant or looking to invest in restaurant advertising, or both, it would be good to understand the characteristics, differences, advantages and disadvantages of both marketing mediums. The above points should give you a good idea about these and help you decide which is preferred for your restaurant.

At Ribbon, we ensure that your restaurant’s marketing needs are catered to, as a part of our specialized restaurant consulting solutions. You can reach out to us at info@ribbon-me.com or give us a call on (971) 4360 5758 and we’ll be glad to guide you and help you decide!

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