Why PR is even more important as we come out of lockdown
Almost 70 per cent of UK business decision-makers see PR and digital marketing as crucial in the months ahead.
The next few months are going to be a vital time for everyone involved in the franchise industry, as we not only battle to reconnect with pre-lockdown audiences, but also look to attract new customers with differing needs and values.
There’s no denying the world has changed significantly, so it’s time to embrace it and show people you’re still open for business.
Keep your competitive edge
Strong leadership and resilience have never been more important as franchises look for that competitive edge that will help them navigate through all this uncertainty.
Franchises, big and small, need to listen to their customers, reassure them and adjust sales messaging.
We’re already seeing a shift away from salespeople relying on personality and rapport to a more strategic and data-driven plan of action.
Face-to-face meetings and customer interactions have been very limited lately and this is likely to continue, so organisations need to utilise different tools to fill this void. Sales enablement will play a key role, so we recommend that franchises concentrate on improving communications and in particular content creation, findability and analytics.
Enhancing your company profile
Today, PR is vital for managing your company profile, improving your reputation and achieving your business objectives.
If you make a list of everything you’re trying to accomplish as a company, all points can be linked and enhanced by targeted, positive PR. People need to know you’re there, know what you’re doing and trust needs to be rebuilt.
As a small to medium-sized enterprise, we’ve seen business steadily grow through lockdown and as a company we’ve grown by over 30 per cent.
The reason for this is simple: organisations need to find fresh ways to communicate and utilise new channels. Expert, innovative, eye-catching content has never been so important. Habits are changing forever, so business habits need to change as well.
Shout about your successes
There are more than 900 franchise brands currently operating in the UK, all of which are battling to reconnect with audiences. It’s a very crowded marketplace with fierce competition. Put simply, now is not the time to sit back and hope for the best, it’s time to shout about successes and support your network in the best way possible.
Reconnecting with your audience
What are the best ways to reconnect with your audience?
Advertising is an option, but it’s much better if someone else is showcasing your business and 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 or write a feature or case study, you have to make it newsworthy and relevant, as a poorly written article or an advertising ‘puff’ piece will, unfortunately, go straight in the bin.
It’s important to engage with PR experts who specialise in communicating with the public, can gauge public interest in a business and are skilled in creating a buzz around a brand.
5. Reasons why effective pr is key to your success
1. Reconnect and re-energise your customer base.
2. Enable you to share your successes and let people know you’re still around.
3. Rebuild your reputation - don’t assume everything is still the same.
4. Assist you to attract new franchisees. Working from home has changed many things and a lot of people will be re-evaluating their lives and considering their options.
5. Give your network a much-needed boost at both a local and national level.
Michael Donaldson is PR director at Crossford Communications.