Leveraging Local Media and Influencers to Promote Panera Bread’s New Menu Items
To support the introduction of Panera’s new salads, Linhart PR executed an integrated media relations and influencer program to drive traffic to the 30+ Panera bakery-cafes in Colorado and sales of the new menu items.
Panera Bread is well-known and well-liked for its healthy, delicious food and relaxed atmosphere. While the Colorado restaurants benefit from this reputation, managers and owners don’t always have the resources to promote new menu items and community activities at a local level. Panera asked Linhart PR to expose consumers to the new menu offerings and drive positive engagement and conversation by partnering with some of its biggest advocates.
Linhart PR identified and connected with five Colorado social media influencers who are passionate about healthy living and eating, and love Panera. Each influencer received gift cards to sample the new salads and post about the experience on their social media channels. We also provided them with extra gift cards to give away to their fans and followers as a way to generate positive, meaningful engagement. Additionally, Linhart PR secured a cooking segment on Denver’s Fox31 “Everyday” lifestyle show. The segment allowed a Panera spokesperson to demonstrate one of the new salads on-air, showcasing Panera’s fresh, clean ingredients and building brand excitement among an extensive local audience.
Over the course of one month, the five influencers shared a total of 14 posts that generated 2,200 social engagements (likes, shares and comments) on their blogs and social media profiles. Total impressions (influencer social following and blog/website UMV) reached more than 185,000. The top- performing influencer posts are below.
Overall, social content plus the Everyday television segment allowed Linhart PR to share information about Panera’s new salads with 1.2 million Denver-area consumers.