Afternoon Tea Time
Rarely does a week go by without my receiving a press release announcing a hotel’s – usually a London hotel’s – new afternoon tea. These are almost always themed in some way, be it an Asian twist or an Alice in Wonderland focus, and only available for a limited window.
They’re exceptionally hard to cover. Firstly, if a publication covered all of them, they’d barely be able to cover anything but. So the afternoon tea already needs to be noteworthy. British travel sections are then notoriously sniffy about covering London stuff – somehow this feels like the antithesis of travel, even though plenty of readers live outside the capital and frequently visit – while afternoon tea is more of a foodie thing, really, even though it’s at a hotel and hotels are travel fodder. They’re also, finally, not the most exciting thing about which to read.
This takes me back to my own PR days. For a period I represented a global hotel chain with two London properties. No coverage of their Caribbean or Indian Ocean outposts was ever nearly as gratefully received as column inches about these two UK places. They seemed to launch a new afternoon tea or cocktail menu every month, and desperately, relentlessly harried us for editorial about these. It wasn’t easy, and it still isn’t for you now.
Ultimately, I think unless the tea is really unique or you’re targeting bloggers, you’re not going to get a feature story on it. As such, your best-case scenario here is a NIB (news-in-brief) in whichever travel sections have a news page full of bite-sized items. What will massively boost your chance is having a terrific photo or three. It’ll help, too, if the tea is available for more than a week or two, or is being announced quite a few weeks early.
Can you tie it to a theme? Are afternoon teas trending? I’d also be inclined to reach out to foreign publications; on the back of the Queen’s death and all of the incredible pomp and spectacle which ensued, it seems likely that there will be an increased desire for all things classically British – and afternoon tea is definitely that – from overseas tourists.
What Richard thinks…
“A nice picture to complement a nice, newsy and timely angle from Caroline here.”