I went into Pictures Plus yesterday to frame the front cover of the West Hawaii Today’s Food Section which featured my client, Cary Peterson, chef and owner of Kohala Burger and Taco. It was Cary’s first foray into the beauty of public relations.
Along with the West Hawaii Today article, I also brought in the North Hawaii News which also had a feature article on Chef Cary. The framing artist discussed the layout of both articles and which frame material to use. She looked at them both and said, “Did you have something to do with this Chef getting into the papers?”
There are moments when you have flashes of memories before you answer a question. I remembered Chef Cary sending me an email after I asked him if he had received any significant press in the past five years of his restaurant being opened. He said, “No. I am like Rodney Dangerfield and I get no respect!” And then the moment I got the email from the editor of the North Hawaii News asking why I was promoting Cary’s fifth anniversary with a burger promotion. This led to convincing her that Cary is a hard working local business man using local labor and ingredients in his food and NO, this was not a $5 burger promotion story. (Sometimes indignance on behalf of your client works). And then there was my friend Fern who helped get Cary chosen as a new chef for the “Christmas with the Chefs” event in Kona to give me the story hook for the local paper. So, I sat up a little taller and I answered the framing gal with “Yes, I did have something to do with him getting into the papers, because he is my client and I am his public relations specialist.”
She nodded and said “Good job” then discussed how she was going to lay out the articles and which matting color she was going to use. The framed media should be ready in a few weeks and it will be a very good day when I deliver them to the restaurant and Cary gets to put the framed articles on his walls. Then hundreds of his customers will have a chance to read about his story. They will see he is a passionate business man and chef and that he donated his time for a charitable event and he loves what he does.
Literal and figurative art of public relations
This is the literal and figurative art of public relations. In the world of ephemeral photos and messages on social media, blatant advertising buys and silly videos on YouTube and Twitter, this old school medium still holds an important business function. It lasts. It lasts on Google, it lasts in the memories of foodies who read about the restaurant and know its a great place to stop on a trip up to North Kohala and it will last for people to read for years to come hanging on a wall at Kohala Burger and Taco.
Public relations is the art of finding the unique story of a client and connecting that story to members of the media and press so the public can be educated, entertained and inspired. My college professors at San Jose State University would be happy to know that 30 years later, I am still singing the praises of the art.