How to Use PR to Your Advantage
As a Retail Dietitian, you wear many hats including serving as a spokesperson. As a spokesperson, you can educate, empower and drive traffic to your stores as your academic background, expertise, and credentials give you instant street credibility.
Understanding public relations and how to work with the media to get your message out can help increase sales, define your company’s story and shape your public image. It’s also a priceless professional skill and is fun too.
To begin promoting yourself and the in-store activities,
- Determine if you have a PR firm and let them know your plans.
- Determine your target audience. Is it the community and potential cusomters? Is it corporate wellness leaders at local companies?
- Create a contact list based on your target audience.
- Meet the media that matters to you. Reach out to local health, food, and nutrition reporters at newspaper, news stations, radio and bloggers. Try to meet them in person for a quick meet and greet. This way when something of substance is going on, you can pick up the phone or shoot an email, and they are more likely to respond.
- Don’t make it just about you wanting their promotional help. Offer your expertise to help them better understand any food and nutrition issues taking place in the news.
Registered Dietitians can talk about new corporate and store-level health and wellness initiatives, new food products and merchandising such as a new gluten free aisle, food trends, food holidays and can also speak to issues related to health and nutrition, such as local recalls and nutrition labeling and how this affects their stores.
However, the key for any corporate spokesperson is to get trained on how to speak with media and to then work closely with your internal public relations and marketing teams. Messaging should be consistent and should be in one voice, and it's the PR team's job to manage the messaging.
“There are media trainers that can help a spokesperson understand the media, practice corporate messaging and just help the person get comfortable answering questions,” says Amy Goldsmith, a public relations consultant who works with the RDBA. “Anyone who is a spokesperson and speaking to a journalist should be repeatedly trained. Not just once, it should be ongoing.”
In the food world, we’re dealing with prices increases, recalls and other issues that can get social media buzzing. An RD spokesperson can be an expert and valuable resource to help journalists with their story and also educate the public.