Cost effective and targeted PR is proven to be the best way to get your brand noticed, Michael Donaldson, director at Integris Communications, says
There are more than 900 franchises currently operating in the UK, all of which are jostling for position and want to be noticed. In a crowded marketplace, competition is fierce, so what’s the best way to get your voice heard above all the noise?
Every franchise is looking to grow. Franchising itself is one of the best growth strategies a successful company can employ. However, becoming a successful franchise doesn’t simply happen overnight.
There needs to be a proven business in place, with proven strategies and operations franchisees can believe in. Marketing and public relations is key to this, as you can have the best product in the world, but if no one knows about it, it’s useless.
What are the best ways to get your franchise noticed? Advertising is an option - and can work - but it works much better if someone else is shouting about how good your product is. This is why cost effective, targeted PR works so well for franchising. Every franchise has a proven product and more than one story to tell.
However, deciding you want positive PR is not as easy as it sounds. Every day journalists are being bombarded with information, so why should they take notice of the story behind your brand?
The answer is simple - you have to give them what they want. Whether you’re looking to send out a press release, write a feature or case study, you have to make it newsworthy and relevant.
A poorly written article or an advertising ‘puff’ piece will unfortunately go straight in the bin. Journalists don’t care about your company or brand - they only care about what will interest their readers, so make the content interesting to their target audience.
PR should be brought up during franchise development and constantly revisited as a franchise grows.
It’s important to engage with PR experts who specialise in communicating with the public, gauging public interest in a business and who are skilled in generally creating hype. As the old saying goes: ‘Advertising is what you pay for, good PR is what you pray for’.
It’s a common misconception to think PR is easy. Many people believe PR is purely about interacting with customers, writing press releases or doing a few interviews.
However, what you may think is a big deal may not be considered all that exciting to the publications you want to appear in. Journalists can also be temperamental, so you need to know how to approach them and through what medium.
If you’re going to hire PR experts, experience in the industry is key. If you hire the wrong person, you may well do more harm than good and certainly not get your franchise the attention it deserves.
Michael Donaldson is a director of Integris Communications, which has been involved with the franchise sector for over 16 years working with leading brands, award winning franchise consultants and the British Franchise Association.
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