Our first full day at National Conference was a whirlwind of speakers, workshops, and tons of PR students from around the country (even one student from Argentina!). One session in particular definitely had the most impact on my experience thus far and provided great tips for students interested in breaking into the restaurant or hospitality PR world.
Andrew Freeman and Co. is a restaurant and hospitality full-service PR firm based out of San Francisco. I was lucky enough to hear from Andrew Freeman himself, as well as two of his social media coordinators. The firm creates restaurant concepts, manages event publicity, event planning, social media, restaurant and hotel launches, as well as website and email marketing for hot spots in San Francisco. Freeman talked about the importance of results, especially in hospitality PR. “Our job is simple: heads in beds and butts in seats,” Freeman said. PR practitioners can pitch to the media and tweet all they want, but results are the only thing that will truly make a client happy.
Freeman gave 4 tips for aspiring hospitality PR students that is relatable to every student looking to find a job or an internship in the industry.
- Keep up with the industry- Research trends, find out about upcoming restaurant hotel openings in your area, and take advantage of any opportunities to be a part of the industry, even if it means serving.
- Keep a personal blog- create your own personal blog that highlights your own hospitality journey. This helps you figure out what you like or don’t like and maybe even who you want to work for.
- Gain hospitality experience- Become involved with the industry in any way possible or volunteer your skills. Many restaurants or bars have no clue how to market themselves. If you offer them free services, such as social media management, you will learn about the business first hand.
- Follow up and be aggressive- be persistent (not annoying) when contacting potential employers. The more you stay on their radar the more likely they are to think of you when there is a job opening.