With 10 new locations set to open in one year, the objective of the Firebirds Wood Fired Grill new restaurant openings was to develop a protocol that would be customized per location. The objectives were to generate awareness, and drive the market to the new location by saturating the media with ongoing news and feature stories. The protocol was designed in a three-pronged approach – tease phase, pre-opening week/final reminder and post opening.
Research efforts included a market analysis to determine the demographics, major organizations, competitors and businesses within a three-mile radius of each restaurant. This ultimately helped us understand the community and our target audience.
A media audit was conducted to identify the market’s major media outlets and community publications, including print, online and broadcast. An additional step was taken to grasp what media outlets have written about Firebirds in the past so we could ‘keep this on the radar’ on who to repitch at the right time.
Rountree Group drafted and pitched a series of media announcements that served different purposes during the opening process.
- Tease Phase
A news alert was created that announced the opening and ‘teased’ the media on what they can expect at Firebirds. The purpose of this was not only to begin generating awareness of the restaurant but to start lining up potential interviews/behind-the-scenes in the weeks prior to opening. It also serves to help ensure that media kept Firebirds in mind for any potential “what’s coming to the area” updates.
- Pre-Opening Week & Final Reminder
Rountree Group drafted a news release and pitched for bigger picture stories on Firebirds. A final reminder pitch was distributed the day prior to each opening to serve as that last push for potential weekend stories and any media who has not covered the opening yet.
A series of story angles/pitches aligned with new restaurant updates were developed and pitched to local media to keep Firebirds top of mind. Rountree Group made a point to ‘touch’ each new restaurant market at least three times post opening.
Media relations efforts resulted in securing media placements and broadcast interviews at a local level in all 10 markets. Each market’s average included:
- One to two major TV on-air recipe demonstrations in-studio
- Eight online placements via major media and other online sites (i.e. blogs, city websites)
- One article in each market’s highest circulated/most popular newspaper and online
- Six additional articles in other media outlets including business journals
- An additional three media placements throughout the restaurant’s first year of opening
- Each new restaurant opening resulted in an average viewership of 75,500 people