Struggling with gaining media coverage for your food or beverage brand? You’re not alone. From commodity boards to well-known names, securing earned media coverage has always proven tough, but it isn’t something that should be shied away from. Our relationships with editors have sparked conversations about their hesitations featuring outside recipes or industry-funded studies, especially with the recent distrust consumers feel with ‘fake news.’ In fact, 85 percent of millennials don’t trust advertisers and corporations, and that sentiment has been spreading to older generations as well.

Should you give up your aspirations for top media placements and put your dollars elsewhere? Short answer: yes and no. Below are a few ways to think outside of the box for your brand:

Get to Know Your Target

Landing on Good Morning America sounds ideal, but this isn’t necessarily a fit for everyone. Do these outlets reach your targeted audience, or do you simply want to land them because of the name? Securing placements with media who actually reach your target audience is more beneficial than getting a shiny placement with significant reach.

Securing placements with media who actually reach your target audience is more beneficial than getting a shiny placement with significant reach.Click To Tweet

If you’re not entirely sure of your target audience and which publications are best to reach them, Padilla’s own SMS Research can do the leg work to provide this information, while the rest of the team is here to get creative and make your campaign come to life.

Experiences, Not Products

With more publications closing their doors, catching the eye of journalists with a simple pitch can be difficult – but shouldn’t be underestimated. Journalists and editors are looking for stories that can differentiate their pieces amongst the clutter. Show them what sets your product apart and why they should care; from a farmer’s personal story to how a product is made to educational-guided wine tastings, look for what makes your brand unique.

Social media is changing the media landscape especially with the introduction of Instagram and Facebook Live. Last year for client Prosciutto di Parma, we pitched our close media contacts offering an exclusive interview with a producer visiting from Italy. It resulted in a Facebook Live feature with Food52, discussing what sets Prosciutto di Parma apart from the rest, and garnered 22,000 video views.

Influencers and Spokespeople

One of the best ways to convey your brand’s messaging in an authentic format is by utilizing paid influencers and spokespeople who can help influence earned media. Depending on a registered dietitian’s sphere of influence with their own media contacts, they can secure placements to outlets featuring your given messaging. And well-known spokespeople can grab the attention of editors if they are able to talk about other projects they may be working on as well. Don’t underestimate the power of that food blogger or Instagram star – their loyal followers are highly engaged with their content and can be a more focused audience.

Don’t give up all hope when it comes to getting recognition for your food product or brand in the changing media landscape. Get to know your audience and understand exactly what you want to get out of your media coverage to ensure goals are met. Think outside the norm to capture both your audience and editors alike.

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