When you have a great business, franchise it. When you want to make it greater, use PR.
Franchising your business can be the best of both worlds: You get to extend your winning business plan to different locations without having to run all of them. For many – both franchisors and franchisees – this represents the ideal business model.
The importance of PR for franchisors
A good PR firm can get you more attention than you could ever earn on your own. At best, you could only devote a couple of hours a day to attracting attention and improving your image. Pitching story ideas, building relationships and managing reputations is what they do full time.
For franchisors, reputation management and crisis communications can be critical. It would take only one incident at just one of your franchises to cause major damage to your entire brand.
For example, a misguided social media post or an accident at one location may cause the public to question your operations and policies as a whole. With the popularity of social media, dissatisfied customers share mistakes and complaints in real time and, as a result, you could find your business in a negative national spotlight before you’ve even finished your morning latte.
Additionally, damaging news reports and poor reviews often hang around online for several years, meaning that even once the incident has passed and the case is closed, it will still appear in search results. This has the potential to affect your image and credibility far into the future.
By closely monitoring your image both online and off, you can help prevent this kind of surprise. When it’s unavoidable, good crisis communications can help get you through it without irreparable damage to your brand.
What PR can give your franchise
Better brand reputation among consumers
Protecting the brand is the key to growth for any franchise. With the right monitoring and measurement tools, a PR firm can help you achieve franchisee and customer loyalty.
Greater revenue and success for your business
Positive news coverage can increase your visibility and make it easier to turn prospects into leads. A good PR firm knows the best markets and publications to reach your target audiences. Media coverage acts as a third-party endorsement of your message and brand. Research has shown that PR efforts can have a significant effect on close rates for franchisors, second only to referrals.
Tools to make your franchise more attractive
The more success the franchisees appear to have, the more franchisees are attracted to the brand/concept/franchisor. Having a good PR firm at your side can also benefit current and potential franchisees. Knowing that this resource is already in place and available may make them more likely to commit.
Content development strategies to combat negative information and online attacks
While you may not be able to make poor reviews disappear entirely, by showcasing the positive aspects of your business a PR firm can work to push them further down on the search results page.
Why the right PR firm matters
A good PR firm can help you find the right angles and tell your story. By staying on top of trends, they can position your organization to take advantage of opportunities for increased recognition.
At Axia, we have already developed long-standing relationships with key members of the media and can help you tell your individual story. We can help you create the right kind of PR campaigns that will boost your visibility and profits. Contact us today or register for our 60-Second Impact to learn about the tools and tactics we use to help your business grow.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter @axiapr.