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Shining the spotlight on women in business

Shining the spotlight on women in business

When it comes to spreading the word about business ownership and the possibilities for women nationwide, there’s little that Rev PR’s Sally Anne Butters and Lucy Archer are more passionate about

Dynamic duo Sally Anne Butters and Lucy Archer founded Rev PR in 2015 after recognising a need for a dedicated PR consultancy that understands the unique nature of franchising.

From what they would describe as their own humble beginnings, the pair have built Rev PR into a leading and award-winning U.K. agency.

Rev PR is passionate about the power of brand storytelling. With decades of franchise and PR experience, the team help business owners look internally to find the stories that will make an impact and reach potential franchisees, customers and affiliates, helping franchisors and franchisees to grow their businesses, empower their teams and create legacies for themselves and their families.

Sally says: “It’s no secret that women make fantastic business owners. Franchisors know it and those who are already running successful franchises are living proof.

“In fact, most of the time the only people who don’t know it, or sometimes doubt it, are women themselves. It’s a combination of lack of self-confidence and generation upon generation of a male-dominated business landscape.

“All that is changing – and a lot has changed – but there’s still more to be done when it comes to encouraging women into business ownership. We made it part of our mission a long time ago to help empower anyone thinking of being their own boss by showcasing what was achievable and educating people about the possibilities of franchising.”

Lucy adds: “The success of our own business is built on telling real stories about real people in real businesses. And that’s what’s so powerful.”

Award-winning partnership

After five years of helping clients achieve their goals, Rev PR was voted Best Franchise Supplier in 2019 as well as being crowned Outstanding Small Consultancy by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and Best PR & Marketing Business in the national Best Business Women Awards.

“The success of our own business is built on telling real stories about real people in real businesses”

“One of our greatest strengths is our partnership,” Lucy says. “We’re great friends and we remain each other’s biggest champion.

“We both moved halfway across the country to launch the business and started out like most new business owners do – working from the dining room table. All that feels a long way away from our countryside offices in the heart of Oxfordshire, which our team of seven now calls home.

“The growth of the business has been hard, but incredibly satisfying because we only grow through our clients’ successes. It’s difficult not to feel proud when you work so closely with your clients and see the tangible difference your work is making.”

Across the pond

While Sally and Lucy champion each other, they also have the backing of one of America’s most influential women in franchising, Sherri Fishman, founder of Fishman PR.

Launched in 1991, today Fishman is the largest franchise PR agency in the U.S. As sister agencies, the teams share knowledge and experience, as well as supporting brands from both sides of the pond to take root on new shores.

“We absolutely love working with Sherri and other passionate, powerful women in business,” Sally says.

“People like Julie Wagstaff, U.K. managing director of global coaching giant ActionCOACH, and Amber Manning, general manager of international hair salon franchise Just Cuts. The industry is full of talented, inspirational women sitting at the helm of great franchise brands and running their own successful franchise businesses.”

Lucy says: “Whether it’s profiling these frontrunners for expert advice articles or positioning them as thought leaders, sharing their knowledge and experience is extremely compelling. And it makes a real difference.

“Perhaps the most powerful thing is telling the stories of franchisees themselves. When women see other women making it in business, it gives them the confidence to take the leap, especially if they can see themselves in the story. And even more so if that story is in a publication they know and trust.”

Addressing the underrepresentation of women

As well as creating content designed to boost franchise recruitment and increase sales, the team at Rev PR work with brands on matters close to the heart. Addressing the underrepresentation of women in certain key sectors is a prime example.

Since 2019, part of the strategy for long- term client Code Ninjas has been to bring the lack of women in tech to the forefront in the media.

The ongoing campaign is designed to educate parents and young women about the issue, the opportunities and inspire them to become part of the sector. Articles from Code Ninjas have regularly appeared in national tech, mainstream and franchise media, reaching hundreds of thousands of readers.

“PR really is what you make of it,” Sally says. “Of course, you can stick to a good news story here and there, provided your expectations on results mirror your effort.

“Our activity not only builds trust and credibility, it also sets our clients as the experts in their field and a voice of authority. When the time comes to invest – in a franchise, product or service – who do you think people will gravitate towards?”

A new partnership for 2021

In 2021, Rev PR and Aceville/DCT Media – the publishing giant behind titles such as What Franchise, Global Franchise and Business Woman – took their already strong relationship public.

The new collaboration sees Rev PR as partners for both the upcoming European Franchise Awards and Multi-Unit Month – highlights of the franchise calendar.

Keen to ensure that as many franchisors and prospective franchisees get the lowdown on all things PR, the team at Rev will also be contributing a regular workshop and advice column for readers.

“This partnership is something we’re incredibly proud of,” Lucy says. “We’ve always worked closely together, but as both businesses have forged ahead our visions have become even more closely intertwined, which are to educate and inspire people from all walks of life to take control of their own futures through franchising.

“We’re all in a privileged position that we work with brands of all sizes that span industries and even continents. It’s exciting to think where, together, we’ll take our clients over the coming year.”

Sally and Lucy are members of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, the Public Relations and Communications Association and Lucy is a Qualified Franchise Professional. For more information about Rev PR, visit revpr.co.uk or call Lucy Archer on 07921 572554.

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