Today, a Q & A With Kristin Daher, President and Founder of Powerhouse Communications
1. Why is Public Relations so instrumental to a restaurant’s bottom line?
Public relations is the heartbeat of any marketing program and one of the most effective ways to build a brand, its reputation and customer base. At Powerhouse Communications, our role is to forge meaningful relationships with our clients, the media and influencers, to ensure that the stories of the brands we work with are communicated across multiple channels in creative and impactful ways. Brand awareness, whether achieved through a well-placed article, social media post or TV segment, is at the forefront of our daily business; making sure our clients are seen, heard and ultimately visited. As an agency focusing on restaurants and food, we generate the impressions that keep our clients top of mind when it comes to deciding where and what to eat.
2. How is the PR landscape changing and what are you doing to keep up with the everchanging trends?
The PR landscape is constantly evolving, and staying one step ahead of the game is something that we have made a priority at Powerhouse. Media relations can’t be the only focus for PR firms anymore and we’re well aware that social media and media relations are now in a symbiotic relationship. To be successful, our agency must be consistent, but also willing to evolve and to integrate trending communication efforts across all platforms. We do this by creatively packaging the news for each medium and communicating effectively to the given audience, whether it be through traditional media outreach or interacting with social media influencers.
Our influencer lists grow daily and evolve as new accounts throw their hats in the ring. It’s not that traditional media relations is being taken out of the picture entirely, but rather we are supplementing, especially visually, on social media. They are intertwined, and it’s very rare that there’s one done without the other now; otherwise, you’re missing out on a large demographic of your consumers.
3. How does what you do every day translate to the guest experience?
The guest experience can be defined simply as an interaction between an organization and its patrons; the misinterpretation is that the guest experience lies only within the four walls of a business. That’s just untrue! The guest experience starts with grabbing the attention of consumers, and that’s our job!
As wordsmiths and PR professionals, we assist in crafting the message and making sure it’s heard. It is with our words that we’re able to create the buzz for our clients, and hopefully drive traffic. From there, the team on the ground is responsible for execution. As most industry veterans know, ROI is what every client cares about at the end of the day. Our end goal is to increase our client’s sales (even if on only one day during a largescale initiative), and then we know for certain that we’ve done our job.
4. What are the most important goals to your Clients and how are you ensuring you meet them?
Every client has different goals or needs when it comes to public relations. One client may want national consumer press, while another wants franchise trade press to attract potential investors and/or franchisees. Additionally, you may have another client aiming to cultivate a social media presence, and another client wanting to reach a more niche audience per their industry. Our job at Powerhouse is to find the right outlet that speaks to our client’s target audience and build relationships and craft applicable content on behalf of them.
5. What sets Powerhouse Public Relations apart from other restaurant and franchise PR firms?
Powerhouse is a young, bold and creative firm backed by the legacy of a 25-year-old agency. The Powerhouse team is made up of PR professionals who tend to use both sides of their brains. While we’re logical, strategic and rational, we’re also tremendously creative, curious and intuitive. Our focus is not just on media relations anymore, but rather on how and where we can get in front of the consumer. We look at strategy a bit differently and build customizable campaigns based on thorough research and growing trends. Public relations isn’t a one-size-fits-all industry, it’s about knowing your client, their consumers and the industry landscape, and then tailoring your tactical approach accordingly. We consider ourselves to be thought leaders and professional story tellers, and always aim to integrate ourselves into our clients’ brands as an extension of their marketing teams.
6. What are some areas where your firm excels and how do you see your firm expanding in the next few years?
With a unique and rich history of working with restaurant, franchise and consumer packaged goods clients, Powerhouse has a specialized focus in food and hospitality. With over two decades of experience, we’ve honed a creative PR writing style that resonates with media and writers in the space. Our strong connections in the industry enable us to target the perfect outlet and secure mainstream consumer or trade coverage for our clients. When it comes to franchising clients specifically, we understand the importance of demonstrating that corporate is invested in every franchisees’ success, as well as accurately representing the franchisee’s point of view.
We are making sure to grow our firm in terms of the quickly changing industry trends. As social media and influencer marketing continues to evolve, our agency is adding departments to meet our clients’ desires so they (and we!) can be at the forefront of all trends.
7. How do you see PR and communications evolving to meet the new demands of a post-COVID world?
Distilled to its essence, public relations is the action of building relationships with key stakeholders and target audiences. COVID-19 has shaken up the strategies and channels that PR pros and marketers typically optimize to build these relationships. The pandemic has also changed consumers’ expectations about the way brands should communicate with the public. What we can expect to see is brands communicating more compassion, increased social listening, a merging of internal, external and executive communications and rethinking the mix of traditional and digital touchpoints.
To learn more about our expertise and our capabilities, please visitwww.powerhousecomm.com.
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