Restaurant serves it up on 'Today'

Today, June 14

Today, June 14

Who is your client, and what are its media goals?

Hanna Lee: San Domenico NY has been one of the finest Italian fine-dining restaurants in New York for nearly two decades. The proprietors, Tony May and Marisa May, are a father-daughter culinary team, and they were looking to raise both regional and national awareness for this legendary restaurant.

NBC's Today has national appeal. What also made it good for a local restaurateur, and how did you pitch the producers?

Lee: Today has a great reach, and San Domenico NY was looking to build its name nationally, so it was a perfect fit. We had originally pitched a seasonal winter menu story focused on risotto, and, as a result, the Today producers visited the restaurant, where they met Marisa May and saw how her vivacious personality and passion were perfect for TV. We then worked with them and came up with an idea for a Father's Day-themed segment.

How did you prepare the Mays for a live cooking segment? What other support materials did you provide to help clinch this placement?

Lee: Because we were familiar with the "Today's Kitchen" format and style, we were able to develop potential interview questions and review them with Tony and Marisa. We rehearsed the day before at the studio and went over everything with Today's culinary team. We also helped create a nostalgic video of Tony and Marisa by providing old family photos and magazine articles, which ran with the segment.

What was the impact of the hit?

Lee: Almost immediately after the Today segment, San Domenico NY got fan letters from all over the country, and a lot of customers who came into the restaurant acknowledged they saw the segment. The brand awareness of the Mays and San Domenico NY was raised dramatically, and we were subsequently approached by CNN, whose producers saw the Today segment, for an upcoming culinary program.

Name: Hanna Lee, president, Hanna Lee Communications (New York)

Placement: Today, June 14

Pitch timeline: Six months

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