How to Advertise Your Pub

So you’ve got the décor right, the ales are clear and bright, the food is tasty and great value and you have a cracking program of entertainment for your customers to enjoy … so how do you let the public know? Well, you do what every other business does … you advertise.

This guide will take you through the process of advertising your pub, from deciding on where to place adverts, how to keep the costs to a minimum, how to write a press release and where to find more information on marketing and advertising for businesses such as your pub.

Where To Advertise

With ever increasing pressures on pub budgets choosing the right advertising medium is hugely important and setting a realistic budget with measurable returns is essential to planning your marketing campaign.

There are various ways of assessing what media might be appropriate for you, for example:

  • Advertising trends and total expenditures for each medium
  • Publication circulation and readership figures, radio “listenership” figures and consumer profiles
  • Response rates for different media
  • Your target audience(s) – their profiles and behaviour and what is important to your target audience(s)
  • What are you trying to achieve with your advertising (raise awareness, encourage trial, increase loyalty)


You need to work out some of these for yourself by being aware of the various local media opportunities and the types of people who ‘consume’ these.

Here is some food for thought:

  • Magazines (especially local / countywide) are powerful because the readers tend to be passionately interested in the particular subjects reflected in the editorial content. Magazines also tend to be consumed when someone has the most time to sit and ponder and thus take in your marketing message.
  • Inserts in Magazines are a positively intrusive medium that demand attention and can easily include a response mechanism
  • Response rates for door-to-door communication are 3.3% versus 10% for direct mail – although you may not achieve this level of “conversion” to actual sales
  • Newspaper response rates are approximately 3.3%. Regional or local newspapers achieve a higher readership figure than national newspapers (85% versus 67.7% respectively)
  • Radio is a targeted medium and is growing in popularity amongst advertisers and is becoming more affordable as overall advertising revenues are under pressure … maybe a “Anytown Day” promotion with some of your business neighbours along with a jointly paid for advert might prove affordable.


Free or Low-Cost Advertising:

There are myriad advertising and public relations opportunities to help you positively promote your business. Here are some ideas for you to consider:

Remember to select the most appropriate medium and the appropriate message for the target audience with whom you are wishing to communicate.

  • Local Events – Exhibition Stands, Freshers Fairs, Fashion Shows, Sponsored Events, Village Fetes, Craft Fairs
  • Local Radio Interviews, Local Press and Magazine Editorial and Special Features, Competitions, Press Releases, Letters to the Editor, Direct Marketing, Sales Promotion
  • Local Community Sponsorship and Fund Raising, Local Charities and Organisations, Donations and Gifts
  • Local Business Community – Chamber of Commerce, Local Company or Employer Schemes, New Housing Developments
  • Seasonal Opportunities Mothers/Fathers Day, Christmas, Valentines, Saints’ Days
  • Local Networks – Business Groups, Chamber of Commerce, BNI, Business Cards, Business Link
  • Local Directories Yellow Pages, Thomson Local and Business Pages, Trade Directories, Local Websites and Website Links
  • “Piggy Back Marketing”, that is to say, joining forces with any of the above to exploit their local media links (local charities and organisations generally have well established media links that you could ride on the back of)


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