Insurance retail franchisor Brightway Insurance is a rapidly growing independent insurance agency offering a variety of insurance coverage options to meet the unique property and casualty insurance needs of U.S. consumers. Among the company’s metrics of success is the number of new franchises opened. Brightway receives up to a $60,000 fee for a single franchise, plus an ongoing royalty fee over a five-year renewable agreement. Selling a new franchise is highly profitable – both short- and long-term – for Brightway. Working alongside Brightway to promote franchise opportunities is Axia Public Relations, the company’s PR agency for 10 years.
One of Axia's multi-year PR campaign objectives is to generate inbound documented franchisee leads for Brightway. Other goals include building a strong brand and a great reputation – measured by third-party media-monitoring and measurement services – for Brightway in business and franchise trade media as a smart franchise investment.
Here’s a case study of how one Axia Public Relations pitch generated viral media coverage and earned several new leads and a franchisee for Brightway Insurance.
Axia researched upcoming opportunities for Brightway’s PR campaign via editorial calendars and previously written franchise stories. Based on research, Axia identified Kiplinger’s Personal Finance as a target to secure high-profile media coverage. Kiplinger’s is one of the nation’s most trusted and prestigious business outlets, with a print circulation reaching more than 600,000 influential businesspeople, small-business owners and individual investors looking for business opportunities.
Axia determined that Kiplinger’s reporter Neema Roshania covers franchising. Using a custom pitch, Axia contacted Roshania via email with the subject line “Neema – Successful Franchises” and introduced Brightway and its success despite a tough economy.Axia pitched the company’s franchise model and two franchisees, who, within five years of opening their stores, generated a $10+ million book of insurance business. Within 20 minutes of sending the initial pitch, Axia responded to Roshania’s information requests. Roshania informed Axia that Brightway made her list of up-and-coming franchises. Over the next few months, Axia responded to her follow-up questions and photo requests.
Roshania’s article titled “8 Great Franchises,” published online and in Kiplinger's print issue and included Brightway as the first of the eight alphabetically featured businesses. Axia’s powerful pitch and responsiveness resulted in extraordinary publicity for Brightway among key target audiences, distinguishing it from thousands of franchise opportunities nationwide.
The campaign secured positive exposure for Brightway in business/franchise trade media as a smart franchise investment among 50,000 potential investments. Kiplinger’s has print circulation of more than 600,000 – plus its online readership. Kiplinger’s positive coverage gave Brightway an opportunity to achieve high exposure and credibility among valuable audiences.
- David Miller, CEO
Following the initial Kiplinger’s publication, the article received additional pickup among numerous print newspapers, news sites and social media, including the Associated Press wire, Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, Jacksonville Business Journal and Tulsa World, among others.
This particular pitch and story generated 38 new and documented franchise leads. It was highly effective for Brightway and lends additional validation for its other leads.
Media coverage from the Kiplinger’s pitch generated one new franchisee by December, which opened in Lexington, Kentucky. Brightway’s director of franchise development confirmed that the new franchise owners only heard about Brightway from the article. The total estimated return on investment from media coverage exceeded $350,000. Brightway will also enjoy future earnings from its new franchisee's monthly royalty payments and any additional locations this franchisee may open, any franchisees signed from the original 38 leads and others who find the articles online.
Axia’s work for this Brightway pitch and corresponding media coverage earned recognition from the Florida Public Relations Association at its annual Image Awards.
This franchise PR campaign and media relations campaign earned PR award recognition, including an Image Award from the Florida Public Relations Association.
- Public relations covers insurance agency from startup to national franchise
- PR Firm increases Brightway Insurance's call volume by 300%
To learn how we can help your franchise company and financial services company achieve similar results, contact us today at 888-PR-FIRM-8 (888-773-4768).